Have an account?

Log In

AvartsyCooking

Pingo one buck promo to call Nigeria

Frejon (Coconut Bean Dish)

April 17, 2012 | 29 Comments

frejon

Frejon can be translated to mean a coconut bean dish made from black beans, coconut milk and white sugar. While popular in Nigeria, Frejon has it’s origins in Brazil and Portugal. Frejon is a delicious dish that finds a sweet, yet delicate balance from the addition of coconut and sugar. It is traditionally eaten on Good Friday, during the Easter season and is usually served with toasted garri/dried & ground cassava and fish stew.

Oft times, you will see Frejon described as a paste, pudding or a soup. I choose not to use either term, because the final consistency of Frejon is really based on personal preference. Frejon can be made thin enough to be described as a soup and it can be made thick enough to be described as a paste (think tomato paste/de rica). Also, when I think pudding, I think of a more wobbly, yet thicker consistency and Frejon doesn’t fall into that category. Also, who wants to eat a paste? That’s really not appealing, now is it?!

I prefer Frejon to have a consistency in the middle of soup and paste, so something similar to a custard/pudding consistency. Frejon will also thicken up after it’s left at a somewhat thinner consistency, so care needs to be taken not to make it too thick from the onset.

As mentioned, Frejon is made from black beans, known in Yoruba as Ewa Ibeji, however, these are hard to come by in the States, so I made the dish using Ewa Oloyin (Honey beans). The result taste wise is the same, the main difference is in the visual as Frejon is usually of a darker brown color. However, what really matters is taste!

Frejon is quite easy to make and really hard to go wrong with even if it’s your first time making it. It’s as close to a Nigerian dessert as you’ll come owing to it’s sweet nature.  It’s also cheap to make. I would recommend it as a special occasion dish, perhaps once every couple of months. Just because it’s a Good Friday dish, doesn’t mean you can’t eat it any other time of year.Be sure to read through the notes section!

Frejon is a MUST TRY dish! You’ll love it!

Requested Recipes are a series of posts geared towards recipes YOU’ve requested! Thanks to Ronella, Heidi and @MadamPeppa for the request! If you’d like a particular recipe featured, let me know!

Enough already! On with the recipe! To learn how to make Frejon, here’s what you’ll need:

Recipe Cost: $10.24 Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1.5-2 hrs Difficulty: Beginner Serves: 1-2frejon.ingredients

1. Pick beans if necessary to remove dirt, stones, weevilsfrejon.picked beans

2. Add beans to a pot; add enough water to cover beans completely *add no salt or onions*frejon.boil beans

3. Let boil continuously over medium heat for about 1-2 hours till soft and mushy; keep adding water as neededfrejon.beans boiling

3b. Keep boiling…frejon.beans boiling_001

3c. and boiling…frejon.beans boiling_002

4. Once beans is soft and mushy, strain extra liquid if any with a sieve, large bowl and a large spoonfrejon.sieve beans

4b. Stir beans around to strain extra liquid; use spoon to scrape underneath the sieve to rid it of extra liquidfrejon.sieve beans_001

5. Transfer the sieved beans to a bowlfrejon.sieved beans

6. Transfer sieved beans to blenderfrejon.beans.blender

7. Add coconut milk to beans in blenderfrejon.coconut milk

frejon.coconut milk_001

8. Add coconut waterfrejon.coconut water

9. Blend till smooth, add to dry pot over medium heat, let boil 5 minutesfrejon.blended

frejon.blended.consistency

10.  Add knorr cube, stirfrejon.knorr cube

11. Add sugar, stir.frejon.white sugar

12.  Let boil uncovered for 10-15 minutes over medium heat till it starts to thickenfrejon.coconut.sugar boiling

13. Once it starts to thicken, stir constantlyfrejon.dropping consistency

frejon.dropping consistency_001

frejon.dropping consistency_002

frejon.dropping consistency_003

14. After 5 more minutes, it should be cookedfrejon.cooked_001

15. Cover pot and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

16. After alloted time, Frejon is all done!frejon_003

frejon

Close Upfrejon_004

To make toasted garri:

Add garri to a dry pot over low heatfrejon.garri

Stir garri till it toasts/darkens in color. Take off heat immediatelyfrejon.toasted garri

Notes:

  1. If you are in Nigeria, you should be able to come across Ewa Ibeji or black beans. They are small and dark brown in nature, lending to the dark brown color of Frejon.
  2. As you can see I used honey beans and while the result was not as dark brown in color, it still worked. The chaff from the beans adds to the textured look which does not translate in taste. If you blend it till smooth, it should also not translate for you.
  3. You can soak the beans overnight to get it softer quicker, or you can just boil on the day of.
  4. You should not add any salt or slice any onions into the beans whilst it is boiling. You can slice 1 fresh clove of garlic to help it soften quicker.
  5. I prefer the Goya brand of coconut milk and coconut water, as they seem to be heavy on the coconut taste. I got these from a super Walmart. If you cannot find Goya, you can make do with another brand.
  6. I like to add a bit of coconut water with the pulp just to intensify the coconut taste in the dish. This is optional as you can use just coconut milk.
  7. You can add as much sugar as you’d like, but try not to overdo it. Start with less, stir and taste to gauge the sweetness and add more in small increments as you see fit.
  8. After turning the heat off the Frejon, it will darken in color and also thicken up a tad more. Don’t leave it on the heat for so long till it really thickens as it will become stiff and a bit unwieldy.
  9. For the consistency I like, if you notice in step #13, I tried to simplify it visually by using the cake batter method I learnt from my mom; before you count to 5, it should drop from the spoon.
  10. If you prefer the consistency I like, try to look for a cake batter consistency, it’s not too thick, neither is it thin. If you like it thicker, cook it longer, if you like it thinner, cook it for a shorter period.
  11. Garri also acts as a thickener when sprinkled over it, so if you make your Frejon quite thick, don’t use garri or just dust it across lightly. If your Frejon is thinner, the garri will also help thicken it up as well.

Substitutes:

  1. I’ve never tried it with light or dark brown sugar, but I don’t forsee any problems with using brown sugar.
  2. I can’t recommend using sugar substitutes such as splenda or nutri-sweet, as I am not a fan of them. However, if you like them, you can try adding it.
  3. If you cannot find Ewa Ibeji, you can use honey beans (Ewa Oloyin) or black eyed beans/peas.
  4. You can use 2 Maggi cubes instead of 1 Knorr cube. A pinch or two of salt will also suffice.

Serving Suggestions: 

  1. Frejon is traditionally served with toasted garrifrejon.serving suggestion.garri
  2. and with fish stew (I made fried fish stew using Tilapia)frejon.serving suggestion.fish stew
  3.  If you’d like to bring out your gourmet side, boil it long enough to cook and make it thin enough and serve it in Martini glasses with an unsalted cracker as a garnish.

Drool, baby, drool…frejon.fork

frejon.fork_001

frejon.fork_002

frejon.fork_003

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Disclaimer:

The Recipe Cost of $10.24 is approximate for me in US dollars, but should be used an estimate only. Please keep price fluctuations & exchange rates in mind. If you’re based in the US, the grocery store(s) you frequent might have the same items cheaper or more expensive than what I purchased.

If you’re international, please keep in mind that exchange rates vary constantly. I recommend using this site to convert it from US dollars to your local currency. You might also have some of the ingredients at home already, thereby reducing the cost.

If you’d prefer to see an individual ingredient cost breakdown, let me know!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Enjoy…

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this recipe!
Rating: 8.5/10 (8 votes cast)
Frejon (Coconut Bean Dish), 8.5 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

29 Responses to "Frejon (Coconut Bean Dish)"

  1. Ebun says:

    Hi Yetty,
    Nice recipe we have here.
    What if I’m using fresh coconut? Do I use only the milk or alongside the chaff?
    Or would we say it’s better to use the processed coconut?
    Thanks for all your prompt responses-
    YOU are simply a darlyn.
    Have a lovely day ahead.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Ebun!

      For fresh coconut, you can set the water aside, grate the meat of the coconut and then using a sieve, strain and squeeze out the milk from the coconut meat. You can also add some of the grated bits into the blender as well.

      Either one works, it’s just a bit too tiresome to use fresh coconuts and much easier to use the canned coconut milk/water. It boils down to a matter of personal preference.

      Aww, thank you :) Hope you had a good day too!

  2. Azuka says:

    Never heard of it until today. Will give it a try.

    • Yetunde says:

      I think you’ll love it!

  3. Yetunde:

    You, Madam, deserve a MEDAL for your work. But for now, a high five and a big HUG will suffice, right?! I can’t describe my joy on seeing the Frejon recipe. I almost screamed “Yeepa!” but being the cool, calm and collected “ANGEL” that I am, I just smiled … Only you could have come up with Frejon in Martini glasses (I don’t drink, but the concept alone … I didn’t see it coming, and boy! Was I pleasantly surprised!). I associate Frejon with Good Friday, like you rightly pointed out, and I actually thought of it this past Easter (Didn’t make it though). Your recipe is so simple … LOVE it! I was expecting a really dark color (like I was used to seeing, growing up), but you see with the fried fish stew and toasted garri, I tossed that idea outta da window …

    And yes, I DID Drool … In fact, I am still drooling. *singing* “Drool, Baby Drool* (You started it o!)

    • Yetunde says:

      Aww, thanks! You should see me totally cheesing right now, lol. I want everything, medal, hug, high five! Lol @ yeepa, I told you you’re a razz one! ;) Yeah, the black beans is what gives it that really dark color, but hey, toss it, ‘cos that taste is on point!

      Serve it up in a martini glass at a small gathering and you have a winner! *ding, ding, ding!* You should definitely try it out though, it’s super easy, you can’t go wrong. Wipe up that slob ma! ;))

  4. Oumou says:

    Wow this looks so delicious and i never heard about it before. I will definitely give it a try and see.
    Thanks for sharing.
    By the way, nice pictures .

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Oumou!

      It is definitely a must try if you’ve never had it before! Thank you :)

  5. Amina says:

    WOW! Never heard or tasted this but I will certainly give it a try *yum yum* But my husband must not see the ingredients and preparation stage o cos he will not eat it, coconut milk ke? He hardly eats the flesh sef takl more…*yeah he is picky like that*
    Love the idea of toasted garri, neat!
    I will try it and will tell you how it went… with my hubby I mean cos I know I will love it :D
    Great post. Eagerly waiting for the website

    • Yetunde says:

      Aminaaa!!!!!

      You absolutely have to try it! I can almost guarantee you’ll love it. Now your husband on the other hand, girl, just let us know his verdict ;)

      My sister, I’m eagerly awaiting the site too!

  6. Nkeiru says:

    Hi Yetunde,

    I never imagined that cooking frejon would be this easy.thank you for simplifying the process cos i would definately give it a try and get back to you.
    Your doing a good job.well done.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Nkeiru!

      You’re most welcome. Frejon doesn’t need to be complicated, even if you’re using fresh coconut! I would love to know how it turns out when you try it!

      Thank you :)

  7. Heidi says:

    Yetunde,
    Thank you! Can’t wait to make this…so appreciate you posting!! I tried making for Easter prior to the post and already see where I went wrong…my family will be thrilled.

    Can’t wait for the new site!!
    Heidi

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Heidi!

      You’re welcome! Where did you go wrong with it? The site is coming, I’m eagerly awaiting it too!

  8. Akande says:

    Frejon? I never heart of that before but i think i should give it a trial. Hope we are not confusing Ewa Agonyin to this frejon? Thanks for the efforts you are putting to better people’s lives, most especially here in Nigeria. Many of the recipes we would have learned with a lot of money is what we are getting here free of charge. Pls keep it up. The Lord is your strength!!!

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Henry!

      Frejon and Ewa Aganyin are two entirely different dishes/recipes, not to be confused with each other. If anything, Gbegiri would be a better dish to compare to Frejon as the steps are similar to a certain extent.

      Thank you, thank you! I’m glad that readers based in Nigeria are finding the site useful as well, that’s the purpose! Lol, I got annoyed and happy in the same breath with the last part of your comment. They won’t be free forever, so take full advantage while you can! ;)

      The Lord IS my strength! Thank you so much though, I do sincerely appreciate the support, from all angles.

  9. Nkeiru says:

    Hi yetunde,
    I would like to know if its mandatory for one to take it with toasted garri and fish stew.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Nkeiru!

      There’s nothing mandatory in the serving suggestions, as they’re really just suggestions. In this particular recipe, the suggestions are the traditional way the dish is served, since it is eaten on Good Friday, when no meat should be eaten.

      However, I mentioned in the introduction that you could make it any time of year, so with that, you could eat it with goat meat, shaki, chicken, turkey, any protein other than fish. Garri is totally optional if you prefer not to have it too. Matter of fact, you can eat it with anything your heart desires!

      Hope that clears that up a bit!

  10. sparkle A says:

    hmmm….i ve neva heard of this dish be4………too scared to try it….lol

  11. Babafemi says:

    Your recipe has confused me….My understanding was that it was the liquid from the strained beans that was added to the coconut milk.. But in your recipe, its the shaft that you used.

    Please clarify…Also, I noticed you used the normal beans… I have tasted this before and it was horrible..

    I suggest people shold go to the asian shops and buy Red Chorai….Although red in colour, its taste is the next thing to ewa ibeji

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Babafemi!

      If you were to use liquid from the beans, added to coconut milk, you’d have too soupy a dish, which will give you a different variation. The beans is blended after straining and the strained liquid is substituted with the coconut milk/water.

      This didn’t taste horrible with regular beans, it’s all in the technique used. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Wande says:

        Yeah Babafemi my recollection of Frejon is the same as yours. My grandmother made Frejon every year while I was growing up in Nigeria and my grand aunt still makes it in England and you blend the beans and sieve the chaff away (that is the process that makes Frejon tedious as in Nigeria we would sieve it like Ogi (pap) until it was smooth enough to pass through a muslin cloth) and then cook it with the coconut milk. And it was made with the red beans not the regular black eyed beans.

  12. Lola says:

    My wonderful SIL depends on me to cook Frejohn for her and after making it for the last 6 years, it’s great to see the menu and confirm I was doing it right.

    As I usually look for easier ways of doing things, I always buy pre-peeled beans but then it comes out creamy in colour. This year I will be adding honey beans to give it a darker consistency.

    We always had frejohn growing up in Lagos.

    Great work Yetunde. I do agree with you. Making Frejohn is much easier than it looks. My aunties from the Brazilian quarters in Lagos would have wished they were born in our generation.

    Wishing you all a great Easter. Christ is Risen, he is Risen indeed.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Lola!

      Awesome! Either way works with the beans, once you have the basic steps down. Thanks hun, happy belated Easter, hope you had a blessed day!

  13. Sarah says:

    Good job! Have loved Frejon ever since I was a kid. My mom learnt how to make it on tv in Nigeria & she peeled the skin off so it didnt bother our stomachs. it was white Frejon I knew off till I grew up & knew better. We use black beans here which she finds at the Indian store.

    • Yetunde says:

      Hey Sarah!

      Thanks love! Love Frejon, didn’t make it this Easter though :p. I think the variation of beans used eventually boils down to availability and personal preference.

  14. Grace says:

    Yetunde, you bring back memories of my childhood growing up in ikoyi…i ALWAYS looked forward to Easter cos of frejon….i am from the yoruba tribe and the fish stew on top of the frejon with gari kikan on top brings back fond memories. Must get to the shops this week and get some fresh fish. i miss nigerian food and make it when i can. My husband is white and my daughter is from the same pod as him, the closest they come to eating nigerian food is fried rice or puff puff which is called vetkoek here in south Africa. Aarrgghhh! Lol

    • Yetunde says:

      <3!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 504,653 bad guys.

What is 4 + 13 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)