Frejon (From Feijão, which is the Portuguese word for beans) is a coconut bean soup which is eaten especially during Holy Week by a selection of Christians, mostly Catholics, across the world. Countries where Frejon is popular include Brazil and Nigeria (especially among Yoruba who returned to Nigeria from Brazil at the abolition of the slave trade, and settled in what is known as the “Brazilian Quarters” in Lagos Island), and also Sierra Leone on Good Friday, or for functions such as weddings. Because dairy foods and flesh meat (beef, pork, goat) are strictly forbidden on Good Friday, this dish is a suitable accompaniment to non-dairy foods such as fried fish and peppered snail.
The frejons consumed in Nigeria and West Africa are puddings made of black beans cooked slowly overnight over a wood or charcoal fire, and then mixed with coconut milk to form a thick, sweet, smooth pudding. In certain countries the dish is flavoured with cocoa. The beans are boiled to a thick soft paste and blended with coconut milk. Frejon is often served with fish stew, peppered snail and Garri lebu.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup onions, chopped
- ½ cup green peppers, chopped
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup fresh tomato, seeded and cut into chunks
- 2½ cups canned kidney beans with liquid (or black-eyed peas)
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup cooked rice
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the onions until softened.
- Add green peppers, curry powder, salt, pepper, butter or margarine, and tomato, and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the kidney beans with their liquid, the coconut milk, and water.
- Simmer gently for 10 minutes, Stir in the cooked rice and heat for about 2 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut, and serve.
Sweet frejon may also be achieved by adding sugar. It may also be chilled until it hardens, or thinned to make a drink which is served with biscuits.