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Hello everyone! Welcome! Learning something new every day is surely a good journey. So today, I was asked to make a meal for a friends 40th birthday party coming up this weekend and while on the ‘journey’ of getting set, I met a friend at the grinders’ place. She brought a bucket full of peeled soya beans to grind. I was left to wonder if she wanted to make soya milk for a whole village? Lol! Anyways, we got talking and I found out that she wasn’t planning on making soya milk but soya cheese. That is, the Nigerian cheese. (beske)
Wow, that got me, and of course, you know me now, I don’t let a new recipe pass me by. So I grabbed the recipe, tried it and I quickly rush down to share the joys of discovery with you.
So today, I’ll be taking you through its step by step process. I do hope you will follow till the end.
But before we get down to its making, let me acquaint you with some of the benefits of the soy beans.
The soya bean is the most widely grown and utilized legume worldwide. The key benefits of soya are its high protein content, vitamins, minerals and insoluble fibre. And it has been transformed into a number of popular soya based foods in which tofu/soya cheese/ Nigerian wara (beske) is inclusive
Its Nutritional facts
|100g (cooked) serving of soya beans contains*:|
|141kcal||7.3g fat||0.9g sat fat||14g protein||5.1g carbs||8.1g fibre|
*figures relate to dried soy beans, boiled in unsalted water, from McCance & Widdowson’s, ‘The Composition of Foods’, Seventh edition.
So, what is the Nigerian Cheese, beske?
Some people called it “wara soya” others called it “beske” or “Tofu”. Wara is a very healthy and tasty snack made from soy bean and a staple food found on the street of kwara state. Its origin is traced to the people of kwara.
Let us cook…
Ingredients of making Nigerian cheese (beske)
- 3 cups of peeled soybeans
- 75ml cup freshly squeezed lime/lemon juice**
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
**Lemon/lime juice is used as a coagulant (to separate solids from liquid).
Direction of Making Nigerian Cheese (beske)
- Soak the soybeans overnight. Drain and grind in a blender ( add about 3 cups of water while grinding)
- Strain soybeans through a musilin cloth/ sieve or any clean cotton cloth (This is locally known as “Ase” – it’s the same thing used for pap. Make sure you get the cloth kind)
- Pour the sieved milk into a big Pot, Boil the soy-milk on medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring frequently ( be careful, the milk has a tendency to boil over)
- Reduce the heat, add in lime juice (do not stir), watch as it starts to form. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, set aside for 1 hour
- Place the sieve (Ase) in a bowl or over the sink, pour the cheese in carefully, fold the sieve over and press out as much soy milk as possible
- Press down on the cheese bag with a tray and an heavy object (this is done, so as to remove all excess water from the cheese and allow it to set)
- Leave for 4-5 hours or overnight. Your cheese should be set and ready to serve.
The Nigerian cheese (beske) is good for consumption at this point, all you got to do is to season it with salt and pepper and serve.
But…. For my family and I, we love it processed further, just like its dairy counterpart, which we also process further. Its gives it a nicer flavor because you got to play around with spices of choice
- Cut the tofu into desired sizes and season with some salt, seasoning and pepper. Deep fry until golden brown.
Tofu/Beske serves as a great meat substitute and can be used in stir-fry, stews and sauces