Cowpea in Wolof, Soso in Mandinka, also known as black-eyed pea or cowpea, is a very common bean variety in sub-Saharan Africa. Its nutritional qualities make it an ingredient of choice in the fight against famine. Cowpea can even be substituted for meat because of its high protein content.

Its protein value varies between 20 to 25%, more than double that of most conventional cereals. It is rich in folic acid, an important element in the fight against foetal malformation, but also rich in iron, zinc and calcium. In Senegal, it is often cooked in stew with a good tomato sauce accompanied by meat.

I propose you a simple and delicious recipe with accessible products; a ragout of cowpea with fish and moringa

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 250g of cowpeas
  • 2 large onions
  • ½ jar of tomato flesh
  • 1 kg of grouper or other
  • 1 vegetarian pepper
  • A dozen dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of moringa powder
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ bunch of cilantro
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium-sized lemon
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey


  1. In a bowl, soak the cowpeas with boiling water for 1 hour (Sion soak them the day before in cold water).
  2. After one hour, cook the cowpea in the double of its volume during 30min.
  3. In the bowl of the blender, put the fish meat cut in pieces, half of the coriander, two cloves of garlic, the chilli, the dried tomatoes, the pepper and the moringa powder. Blend everything together and form regular balls.
  4. In a stewpot, brown the diced onions. Let it brown then add the tomato, salt and the rest of the chopped garlic. After 3 minutes of cooking, add 800ml of water. Cover and let simmer.
  5. When the mixture starts to boil, add the fish balls, the cubed carrots and the cowpea. Let the stew simmer until the sauce thickens. Add pepper, paprika, honey, lemon and a teaspoon of moringa (optional). Adjust the seasoning. Serve with bread or fried potatoes.

Cowpea is rich in protein. Its percentage varies between 20 to 25%, that is to say more than double of the majority of the traditional cereals. Rich in folic acid, an important element to fight against malformation in the fetus, but also rich in iron, zinc and calcium. The recipe can be made without VEGGIE fish or the fish can be replaced by chicken or meat.