We will be talking about cowpea (beans) for some times now. The beans type am referring to here is Vigna unguiculate though many other legumes are used in cooking though out Nigeria. There are various varieties of this cowpea commonly referred to as beans in Nigerian market. All varieties are similar in nutritive value but local preferences exist. The common ones are either whitish or brownish in colour. Cowpeas are high in soluble carbohydrate and protein. They also contain some minerals but are low in oil. In Nigeria, cowpea is a valuable source of protein because of short supply of animal protein.
For storage sake, it is better to buy the ones that are well dried and free from insects , insect holes and are not discoloured. They should be picked to remove foreign materials and debris. A proven way of keeping cowpeas in bulk is by keeping them in an air tight container with some fingers of dry pepper preferably ‘ata wewe’ in a cool dry place.
Cowpea can be cooked as a whole or as processed paste.