Koki the bean cake

If there is one most popular food to find in Cameroon, it is the Koki beans. The bean cake is a moist, delectable pudding-like steamed treat made with coarsely grounded black-eyed peas(native to West Africa). 

This popular delicacy is not only found in the streets, but also at restaurants at bars as it is a darling to the Cameroonians. 

Preparation of the meal can be time-consuming as it involves several processes such as soaking, washing, peeling, grinding, pounding (whisking) and assembling.


• 3 cups Dry koki beans

• 1 1/2 cups Palm oil

• 300 ml Lukewarm water

• 2g Kanwa'a/limestone

• Salt to taste

• 2 Habarero pepper

• Banana/Bobolo leaves or Aluminium foil

The black-eyed bean is the main ingredient and has its origin in west-Africa. The beans are rich in nutrients, good for digestion and support weight loss.

Red palm oil: Giving the Koki its yellow colour and texture. It is rich in carotenoids, vitamin E and an antioxidant.

Habanero pepper and salt are needed to enhance the taste of the meal.

Water helps with the softness.

Limestone is needed to make the red palm oil and water homogeneous and also helps to prevent tummy aches.

Method of preparation

1. Soak the dry beans in a good quantity of water overnight.
2. Wash the beans by rubbing them between your hands and changing the water. 3. Once the beans are clean, sieve and put them aside.
4. Blend the beans and habanero pepper. Avoid putting a lot of water while blending. Pour the blend into a large bowl.
5. Heat the palm oil into a pan to a lukewarm state.
6. Mix the blend for a while, then add salt and lukewarm palm oil. Keep mixing until it is well combined.
7. Pour lukewarm water into a bowl, add the limestone and mix.
8. Add that water into the koki mixture and mix. Have a taste to check if the salt is enough.
9. Clean the Banana leaves. Take 2 leaves at a time and place them crosswise over a bowl.
10. Pour in a small portion of the koki mixture. Join the ends of the leaves to the centre and tie them with a kitchen string
11. Pour a cup of water into a big pot, place a leaf at the bottom and then the bundle. Let it cook for at least 1 hour. Make sure you check and add water regularly to avoid burns.


• When buying the beans, choose the already peeled ones to save you some time and energy to peel them yourself.

• Do not grind your beans into a fine paste- They MUST be coarsely ground. 

• Once your meal is ready, you can eat it on its own or with boiled plantain.

Bon Appetit!

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