Frejon: The Good Friday Meal


I grew up eating Frejon on good Fridays. I used to ask myself what was good about the Fridays when we are focusing on the death of someone; albeit that he is God. As I grew I came to understand that it is awesome to have someone sacrifice everything for you; so unconditional; so good.

Frejon is meal made from Beans called ‘Ewa Ibeji’. I do not know the English name but they are dark –brown and very hard legumes that look like Pigeon Peas. These types of beans have good protein and fibre content, minerals and other nutrients. Some beans such as these have shown to have medicinal properties.

Other important ingredients used to make Frejon include: Coconuts, sugar, cloves, and nutmeg.

To prepare Frejon, you boil your beans. I used a pressure cooker to cook about one Derica of the beans for about 30 minutes and it was soft. I allowed it to cool.

I grated 2 medium coconuts and extracted the milk using a Muslin cloth. I used the coconut milk to blend the beans with my stick blender until it became smooth and thick. In the past, my Mother would blend the beans in the market and then sieve the beans to remove the shaft. She later realized that she was throwing away a lot of good nutrients and started using her own blender to puree it. So, the traditional way was to sieve the beans but it is best to just blend smooth.

I put the blended Beans and coconut milk into a pot and on low heat so that it would boil gently and not burn.

I grated one medium nutmeg into the puree. For the cloves, my mother used to put them in a tiny muslin cloth, tie and drop them into the cooking puree. Later she taught me to do a rough blend and extract the juice which I then poured into the pot.

I added a little salt to improve the taste and sugar to my taste. I must admit that the added sugar is the downside to this great meal but then it is only eaten once a year. You can try to be stingy with the sugar.

Allow the meal to boil until it forms a thick pudding and it is done.

It is usually served with pepper stew and fish as meat and other blood-containing proteins are abstained from on good Friday. It can be served with Garri which you can sprinkle on the pudding or add in generous amount. It is up to you. You can also drink the Garri on the side.

The pudding is a sweet one and foreign to many people but it is worth trying. If you want to try it and you do not find the Ewa Ibeji, the darker variety of pigeon peas will do.

I have prepared this ahead of the D-day and will put it in the freezer till then. It still tastes great when thawed and eaten.

As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, may our lives be transformed tremendously for good.

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