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  Akidi na Ji is one of the South-Eastern Nigerian delicacies. Akidi is also known as Cow Pea or Black Beans.  There are two main species of Akidi, the black specie and the reddish-brown species.
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The black species, however, seems to be more popular than the reddish-brown variety. This perhaps explains why this legume is also known as black beans. Akidi is a natural and healthy food that is suitable for people of all age groups. It belongs to the beans family. So, it is an excellent source of plant-based protein. It is also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, starch and antioxidants. Akidi can be made into pottage and eaten alone but yam is usually mixed into the pottage hence the name, Akidi na Ji. However, Akidi can also be added to abacha.  Akidi na Ji is one of those foods that are prepared with minimal ingredients so that its natural, unique taste can be retained. Onions, pepper, palm oil and salt are the standard ingredients used in the preparation of this food. Seasoning cube(s) and crayfish, shredded oil bean, vegetables like ugu and spinach are optional additions to this food and should be used in minimal quantity.
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Akidi is one of the local delicacies that take a loooong time to prepare. A pressure pot can be used to shorten cooking time. Other methods of reducing cooking time include edible potash to the food, presoaking the food for a few hours and parboiling it with salt. Mention, however, must be made of the fact that while the addition of edible potash to food does a pretty good job of reducing cooking time, this substance has been found to be harmful to health. As a result, its use in cooking is discouraged. Presoaking and parboiling with salt on the other hand reduce cooking time a bit but cooking still needs to start hours before the food is needed to prevent a hunger strike. Finally, Akidi can be served as lunch or dinner. I can say that this is one meal that is well worth the time spent in cooking it. If you haven’t tried it before, consider cooking it this week. Featured Image Source: Global Food Book
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This article was first published on 29th April 2021


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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