Adalu is a Nigerian dish made primarily from brown beans and yellow corn, to which spices and seasonings are added. It’s not a very complicated dish to make and the end result is quite tasty. If you know how to cook regular beans the Nigerian way, you should not have a problem making this. Even if you’ve never made Nigerian beans before, the steps below will also show you how. *Please read the notes for more information, very important!.*
I’m not a huge beans eater, but I do enjoy it whenever I make it. It’s so incredibly filling though, I mean oh my gosh, you eat some and want to take a nap or just laze around, lol… the power of beans I tell ya!
To learn how to make Adalu, here’s what you’ll need:
|Prep Time: 15 mins
||Cook Time: 50 mins
||Difficulty: Easy||Serves: 2-4
- 2 cups brown beans
- 2 m ears yellow corn
- 2 tbsps ground/dry red pepper
- 1 knorr cube
- 1 s white onion
- 1/2 cup palm oil
- 7-10 cups water
1. If beans are ‘dirty,’ spread out on a tray to see dirt and stones
2. Pick out dirt/stones, discard
3. Transfer cleaned beans to a pot, lightly rinse and drain twice. Add water to pot, turn heat on to medium-low
4. Slice white onion, add to pot
5. Let cook still over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes or till almost soft
6. Whilst beans is cooking, shuck corn (remove husk and silk)
7. Using a sharp knife, hold corn upright & slice off corn kernels
8. Repeat till all corn kernels are off the cob (also remove any leftover silks *see notes*)
9. Beans should be almost soft at this point; reduce heat to low & add corn kernels
10. Mix corn into beans, turn heat back up to medium-low. Let cook another 10 minutes
11. Add palm oil to beans and corn mix; reduce heat to low
12. Stir palm oil into beans and corn
13. Add knorr cube to beans and corn, stir into mixture
14. Add ground red pepper to mixture, stir in. Turn heat back up to medium-low, let cook 10 more minutes
15. And it’s cooked!
16. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving
- Nigerian brown beans are what most Nigerians expect when one mentions beans. You can find them at your African/ethnic grocery stores usually called ‘african beans,’ or they can be found sold online through African grocers/vendors. See second photo and this beans recipe for a picture of what the beans should look like.
- Brown beans seems to come in two versions; the regular kind (as used in this recipe) and another that’s often called ewa oloyin or honey beans (since it’s naturally sweet). However, I think even the regular brown beans has some sweetness to it. Whenever I’ve cooked beans, I’ve used the regular kind.
- By saying the ‘beans is dirty,’ I simply mean that it might have dirt and stones in it and you definintely don’t want to ingest that, so its very important to remove those. In the States here, I’ve bought brown beans that had already been rid of all dirt, but of late, it seems, they sell it as is since I’ve had to pick out the dirt. In Nigeria though, I know for a fact that you have to pick out the dirt manually and it seems to have more dirt than beans bought here.
- Depending on the amount of dirt in the beans, it might take a while or no time at all to remove the dirt.
- To pick/remove dirt from beans, I typically use a large, wide tray, spread the beans out on that, use my fingers to spread portions out and have a small bowl on the side to pour the dirt and stones into. If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry, you’ll eventually develop your own method and rhythm.
- When removing the dirt, you will see some individual beans that have small holes in them. These holes are caused by weevils that burrow into the beans during the packaging/transport process. I want to say they’re relatively harmless if mistakenly eaten (because realistically, you won’t be able to pick out or even see all the weevils while picking out the dirt) but don’t quote me on that!
- Those holes will look similar to the below photo. Discard any that you see, but fret not about those you missed.
- When you rinse the beans, some will float and it’s okay to discard those if you wish or leave them in. No shaking!
- To explain what ‘shucking corn’ means, I’ll start with the anatomy of an ear of corn. When you buy fresh corn from the market, it often has a green covering which are protective leaves called the ‘husk.’ When you peel off the husk, you’ll notice some thread-like strings, these are called ‘silks.’ When you take off the silks, you’re left with corn (kernels) on the cob. The kernels are what you need and will either be white, yellow or a combination of both. (Most times though, it should be primarily yellow).
- Adalu should have some bite to it. It shouldn’t be too soft or too chewy, just a happy medium somewhere in between.
- Corn bought in the states takes little time to get soft, say 15 minutes max! I mean, you can even microwave it if you wrap it in a damp paper towel! Corn bought in Nigeria or elsewhere in Africa might take much longer to cook, so you might want to cook the corn the same time you start cooking the beans, so as to give it enough time to cook and get soft.
- For every cup of beans, you want a half cup to a cup of corn. So, say you’re making 2 cups of beans, you’d want 1-1.5 cups of corn. Ideally, you want a good, relatively equal amount of beans to corn ratio. If you prefer more corn, by all means, add more corn.
- You can also add dried fish/shawa to Adalu or even ground shrimp.
- When you add the corn to the beans, you want to have at least 1-2 cups of fluid from boiling the beans. If yours is drying out, add 1/2 a cup of water or less, depending on how much liquid you have left.
- If you don’t have cups for measuring the water, just make sure you add enough, and then some, to cover the beans.
- If you prefer not to deal with shucking the corn, you can also use canned corn. You can also either drain the water or use it. If you do decide to use the water in the canned corn, be sure that the water in the boiled beans is not too much and almost dry, otherwise, your Adalu might become mushy.
- Prefer not to use palm oil? Try some Annatto Oil.
- I imagine you could use any kind of beans, for instance, black eyed peas, but that would take away from the originality of Adalu! If you cant’ come across brown beans and you really want to make this dish, I guess it could suffice.
- With some Smoked Turkey Stew…
- You can eat it with any kind of stew you want, really.
- Eat it with bread and make you a bean burger, and prepare to be knocked out by sleep, lol.
- Eat it by itself, with some white rice or maybe with some garri sprinkled on it. However, I do think that would be overload, but hey… I’m just suggesting! 😉
Yetunde A. is the lady behind AvartsyCooking.com. She is an Afrocentric lady who is also a beauty fiend and a Nigerian Food connoisseur. If need be, she can be reached at email@example.com‘
Visit her blog at www.avartsycooking.com