This is a Nigerian dish which is enjoyed mostly at the tail end of the raining season when corn crops are harvested for boiling and roasting. In the real sense of it, Adalu is a form of beans pottage which has corn kernels added to it. It is very delicious, comforting and easy to make. Below, I will be sharing a recipe of mine. Though it might very from the traditional way of preparing this dish, the result is an amazing pottage which is sure to comfort you.
(1) 2 Cups Black Eyed Peas (See Note 1)
(2) 1 Cup Corn Kernels (See Note 2)
(3) 1 Large Onion
(4) 1 Dried Catfish (See Note 3)
(5) 1/4 Cup Ground Crayfish
(6) 1/2 Cup Pepper and Tomato Paste (See Note 4)
(7) 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil (See Note 5)
(8) 1 Teaspoon Ground Dried Pepper
(9) 1 Stock Cube (See Note 6)
(10) Salt to taste
(1) Any type of beans can be used to make Adalu. Black eyed peas and brown beans are however mostly used. You can also use various types of beans together and make the dish into an Adalu medley.
(2) You have the option of using canned corn, frozen corn or fresh corn on the cob. If you are using fresh corn on the cob, use a knife to scrape the kernels from the cob before using it.
(3) Dried fish is not a usual ingredient when making Adalu or beans pottage. Growing up, my siblings and I never liked eating beans and my mum had to try several tricks in order to entice us. Incorporating dried or stock fish in the beans pottage was always a win. I have carried on with that tradition when cooking beans pottage.
(5) Traditionally, palm oil is used to make this dish. I tend to use more of vegetable oil. Either would work.
(6) In some parts of Nigeria, it is almost a taboo to season beans with stock cubes. I have never understood why as Nigerians liberally use stock cubes in every savory dish they make. Not getting into that debate, I use stock cubes in my beans.
(1) Chop the onions and divide it into two portions. Wash the beans, place it in a pot, cover the beans with water, add half of the chopped onions and cook until tender. Depending on the beans variety you choose to use, this could take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour 2o minutes. You do not want the beans to get mushy. It should just be soft. Add more water to the beans if and when the water dries up.
(2) While the beans is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Blend and boil your pepper blend; grind the crayfish, soak the dried fish in hot water and clean it, prepare the corn.
(3) 40 minutes after the beans start boiling, add the dried fish to it. This will soften the dried fish and also infuse the beans with its flavor.
(4) While the beans is boiling, prepare the sauce which will be added to the beans to make the pottage. Heat the oil in a small sauce pan or frying pan. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the pepper and tomato paste and fry until a thick sauce is formed. Set it aside until the beans is soft. Frying the tomato and onions before adding them to the beans adds another level of flavor to the dish.
NOTE: To prepare Adalu the traditional way, when the beans is soft, add the corn, pepper, oil, crayfish and seasoning to the beans and cook it for about 20 minutes, just enough time for the corn to soften and all the flavors to blend.
(5) When the beans is soft, add the fried pepper and onions, corn and crayfish to it. Season with salt, pepper and stock cube and allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes.
(6) Serve hot.