Magni Magni

Ark of taste
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Pâte de cotylédons de niébé

Magni magni is a traditional product made from a steamed paste of seasoned, ground black-eyed peas. Black-eyed peas are shelled and ground, then seasoned with onions, red palm oil, ginger, salt, pepper and chili. The mixture is shaped into balls and steamed. For best results, the pot should be sealed tight, and the water should not evaporate completely. Magni magni is usually served with akassa, a fermented, boiled byproduct of corn start. The balls can also be eaten on their own or with bread. They are tasty and rich in vitamins and proteins.   The invention of magni magni shows the cleverness of the local population in enhancing black-eyed peas, a pulse that thrives in tropical areas such as Benin. Magni magni are an example of one of many black-eyed pea-based products such as abobo, sankpiti, beignets, however these more popular preparations are not at risk of being lost. Magni magni has its origins in the southeastern region of Ouémé, which is still its main production area today. It is mainly sold in rural areas, but can also be found in some cities, such as Porto-Novo, Parakou and Cotonou. It is also made in the home for family consumption.   The preparation of magni magni is very precise and requires attention as well as organization in the cooking process. It is a delicate preparation that requires a lot of small and careful steps. Many people today prefer products that are quicker to prepare, and there is a lack of interest for products requiring expertise without being particularly profitable. This means that widespread production of magni mangni has been confined to more rural areas, and the knowledge of its preparation method risks being lost by future generations.

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