Red Beans


Cowpeas are known in Africa as beans! They originated in Africa but are now also grown in South Africa and Asia. Cowpeas date back to 5000 years of grain farming in West Africa. They come in various colours from white to very dark brown or black but in this post I’m going to be consecrating on the pale brown cowpea called the clay cowpea. In West Africa it is called the honey beans (Oloyin) due to its very delicious taste.  Brown beans can be cooked into various meals in multiple ways, they could be boiled, stewed, fried or baked.


Apart from being rich in protein brown beans also contain B vitamins, Calcium, Potassium and Folate. It is a very valuable source of food more brown beans nutritional values are listed below:

  • Low in cholesterol
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Good source of protein
  • Good source of fibre
  • Rich in Iron
  • Rich in Anti-Oxidants


  • Aids digestion
  • Can be added to a weight loss diet
  • Fights hair loss
  • Boosts hair growth
  • Great with diabetic conditions
  • Prevents development of cancerous cells by eliminating harmful free radicals
  • Removes toxic compounds from the body


Preparing Beans – When harvested, beans could be mixed with stones and chaff from the farm. First the beans have to be picked and made chaff and stone free.

Peeled Beans
Peeled Beans

Depending on what type of dish is being made sometimes beans have to be peeled. I mean the skin has to be removed. This is done by soaking the beans in warm water for an hour, rub the beans between your palms the skin will come off and float. Pour out the water with the bean skin, replace the water and repeat the process until the beans are free of the skin.

The peeled beans is then boiled or blended with spices.



Bean Soup

For bean Soup the peeled beans is boiled with salt and onion till very soft and then blended.


Bean Cakes or fritters

Bean Cakes
Bean Cakes

In this case the peeled beans are blended

with pepper (best is Scotch Bonnet) and

onions into a paste that is a bit thick.

Then spooned into hot (250 degrees C) oil and fried till brown.




Bean Pudding

For pudding, peeled beans are also blended with onion and spices but into a lighter texture than for fritters. The mix is put into small containers (similar to pudding bowls) and either steamed or baked.

Bean Porridge

For porridge, brown beans are boiled with palm oil, onions and pepper till soft.

If you have any questions on brown beans, would like more information or would want to add some information please leave a comment below

This article has 9 Comments

  1. Hello here, thanks for introducing cowpeas. I like this name. It is interesting from where it came from?
    Overall beans is valuable food. It is full of proteins and vitamins. I like these bean cakes. I wonder if I can buy somethere bean flour? Maybe I will ask in Whole Foods tomorrow.
    It is interesting how people grow these beans? Did they used backyards or somewhere in open fields?
    My grandmother planted similar beans. We ate them with covers. Of course we cooked them before.
    Thanks for the great read, all the best, Nemira.

    1. Hi Nemira,

      The only place I have been able to buy beans flour are the African grocery shops. Did you get it at the whole foods.

      Thanks for coming to my site and reading my post

  2. Neat, never heard of these beans before. They sound like they offer quite a bit of health benefits and are full of nutritional value. The bean cake reciepe sounds really good. I think I would like to try out some of the recipes you listed here. Where can you normally buy these beans? Are they easy to find in stores?

    1. yes Summerly,

      These beans are great, and you can get them from African and Caribean shops

      Thanks for coming by

  3. I love cow peas! a lot of people in the western society haven’t really tried them but i really like them as a curry. Tastes absolutely nice and provides whole lot of benefits like you have stated. Fibre being one of them. I’m also a blogger in the health and fitness niche and i can vouch how good cow peas are for your health.

    Keep up the good work and informative site 🙂

  4. Beans are the perfect food! Low in fat and high in protein, all the things you say! The bean cakes look interesting, I’m going to give those a try. Do you know where I could buy cowpeas? I’m not sure if I have ever seen them in the grocery store.

    1. Hi Diana,

      Cowpeas are called brown beans. You can find them in African, Jamaican and Asian grocery shops. I have not seen them in the big grocery shops either.

      Thanks for coming by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.