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Koki beans from Cameroon

Koki beans

Koki Beans is a traditional dish in my village in Cameroon. It is also one of the favorite dishes of many Cameroonians back home, as well as the diaspora. The Koki Beans meal looks like a cake, yellow in color, soft, and very tasty.

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What ingredients do you need to prepare this meal?

This meal is very simple to prepare but takes a long time to cook. The traditional recipe which, I learned from my grandma requires very few ingredients: black-eyed beans, red palm oil, salt, habanero pepper (hot pepper), water, and Kanwaa (limestone). Here are short descriptions of the key ingredients:

  • Black-eyed beans: the main ingredient of Koki. It is also called Black-eyed peas, it has its origin in West Africa. These beans are very rich in nutrients (folate, copper, thiamine, iron…) and they are good for digestion and support weight loss and much more. My grandmother used to grow these beans every sowing season. I assisted her during sowing and harvesting. After harvest, we removed the beans from their shells. Then we removed the skin of every bean, one after the other. Can you imagine, we did that for thousands of beans!
  • Unrefined red palm oil: This is the ingredient that gives the Koki its yellow color and texture. It is a must-have when cooking this meal, you can’t replace it with another oil, except if you are cooking something else. Red palm oil is rich in carotenoids and vitamin E. This oil is a great source of nutrients and antioxidants.
  • Habanero pepper (hot pepper) is needed here to enhance the taste of the meal.
  • Water helps with the softness, therefore the right quantity should be added.
  • Kanwaa (Limestone) is needed to make the red palm oil and water homogeneous, it also helps to prevent tummy aches

The preparation process

When buying the beans from the store, you can choose the already peeled ones. This will save you some time and energy to peel them yourself. To start preparing this food, you need to soak the beans overnight if possible, or for about 2 hours. Then wash them properly and grind them together with the habanero pepper using a blender. Avoid grinding them to a fine paste, it should be slightly coarse. Then add the remaining ingredients. Please follow the instructions on how to do it below. The Koki beans are tied in bundles like Egusi pudding and Sweet Koki Corn.

Koki beans

Koki beans

The Koki Beans looks like a cake, yellow in colour, soft and very tasty. It can be served with any starchy side of your choice, preferably with boiled yellow plantain.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine African
Servings 8 people


  • 3 cups Dry koki beans
  • 2 cups Palm oil
  • 300 ml Lukewarm water
  • 5 g Kanwa'a/limestone
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Habarero pepper
  • Banana/Bobolo leaves or Aluminium foil


  • Soak the dry beans in a good quantity of water to soak overnight.
  • The next day, wash the beans by rubbing them between your hands and changing water. When the beans are clean, sieve and put them aside.
    Koki beans Cameroon
  • Blend the beans and habanero pepper using a blender. Avoid putting a lot of water while blending. Pour the blend into a large bowl.
    Koki beans Cameroon
  • Warm the palm oil into a pan, just bring it to a lukewarm state.
  • Mix the blend for a while, then add salt and the lukewarm palm oil progressively. Keep mixing until it is well combined.
    Koki beans Cameroon
  • Pour lukewarm water into a bowl, add the limestone (if you have it) into it and mix.
  • Add that water into the koki mixture and mix. Have a taste to check if the salt is enough, if not adjust.
    Koki beans Cameroon
  • Clean the Banana leaves. Take 2 leaves at a time and place them crosswise (on top of each other) over an eating bowl
  • Pour in a small portion of the koki mixture. Join the ends of the leaves to the centre and tie it with a kitchen string
    Koki beans
  • Pour a cup of water into a big pot, place a leaf at the bottom, then place the bundle into the pot. Let it cook for at least 1 hour. Make sure you check and add water regularly to avoid burns.



  1. Avoid putting a lot of water while blending the beans.
  2. Avoid blending them to a fine paste, it should be slightly coarse.
  3. check your cooking pot regularly and add water to avoid burns.
Keyword beans, cameroon food, koki, Koki beans, meatfree, Vegan

Feel free to share this recipe with your family and friends. It will also be a great pleasure for me to see a picture of your creation. Let’s keep in touch by following me on Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

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  1. Dada says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing .

  2. Hulda says:

    You are welcome:)

  3. Honny says:

    Thank you for sharing. So detailed and well explained 👏🏾

  4. Hulda says:

    You are welcome Honny. I am happy you like it!

  5. […] Photo by Hulda on […]

  6. Mpongo says:

    This is a typical mbo bakossi meal. Bakossi people put coco leaves in theirs

  7. Hulda says:

    Thank you Mpongo for your comment. Yes, there are other variations of this meal.

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