Naturally Zimbabwean

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Cowpea Pancakes


  • 225g cowpeas, cleaned and washed
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • vegetable oil
  • salt to taste


  1. Soak the cowpeas in clean water for at least 16 hours.
  2. Drain the beans and rub off any loose skins.
  3. Place in a food processor or pestle and mortar with the garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt and cayenne and process until a grainy paste is formed.
  4. Slowly add 325ml water, mixing with a spatula.
  5. Process for another minute, then add the onion, coriander and cumin seeds. Process again for a few seconds until a thick batter is formed.
  6. Heat a heavy based frying pan, then, when the pan is hot, add about a teaspoon of oil and heat.
  7. Using a ladle place about 70ml of batter onto the oil and swirl it with the ladle until it makes a circular pancake shape.
  8. Cook on one side for 2 minutes until brown. Then flip and cook on the other side for 2 minutes.
  9. Serve as an appetiser with an accompaniment such as stir-fried vegetables or nyimo bean humus.

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