Stewed Bambara Beans


Rate this recipe

Preparation info

  • Makes

    6 to 8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

The Ewe people are found in parts of Togo and Benin and especially in the Volta Region in Ghana. Stewed Bambara Beans is a simple, everyday kind of dish that the Ewe and other Ghanaians enjoy. It is called azinogoe bobɔ in Ewe, a version of “aboboe” in Twi and Ga. It is also known simply as stewed beans, boiled beans, or bobo.

The “beans” here are bambara beans or bambara groundnuts (Vigna subterranean) indigenous to West Africa. They lend themselves easily to crockpot cooking.


  • 2 cups (a little less than 1 pound) dried bambara beans or garbanzo beans
  • 1 onion or 2 shallots
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 fresh tomato
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried ground red pepper, or 1 small seeded jalapeno (mild); or 1 green cayenne, seeds and membranes removed (hotter); or ½ green or red habanero (hottest)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup dry gari for serving (optional)



  1. Rinse and pick over the bambara or garbanzo beans. Put them in a slow cooker (crockpot) with 6 cups of water. Peel the onion or shallots and add them whole, along with the tomato paste, whole tomato, and dried ground red pepper or whole fresh chili. Cover and cook for several hours on high or overnight on low. Check occasionally and add additional water if necessary as the beans cook.
  2. Half an hour before serving, remove the whole vegetables with a slotted spoon and grind them in an electric blender or asanka. If using a whole chili pepper, add it a little at a time to the other blended vegetables until you have desired heat. Add the salt and adjust the other seasonings as well. Stir the mixture back into the beans.
  3. The stew should be thick. Remove the cover on the slow cooker if there is too much liquid remaining and let it cook down.

To serve

The beans are good simply served with a couple of tablespoons of dry gari sprinkled over the top. They are the traditional accompaniment to Savory Plantain Pancakes (Tatale). They also go well with Fried or Grilled Ripe Plantain or Spicy Plantain Balls (Kaklo).