Cowpea fritters a new delicacy with N2Africa farmers in Zimbabwe

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Through N2Africa, farmers in Zimbabwe have perfected the agronomy of grain legumes, and they are now perfecting their grain legumes processing skills. Over the years, the N2Africa team in Zimbabwe has worked with farming communities to perfect the art of processing soyabean into different nutritious products. We have seen this bearing fruit as farmers now grow soyabean, irrespective of the availability of a ready external market.

Cowpea fritters

For other grain legumes, however, local consumption can suffer from ‘monotony of same food products’. For cowpea for example, the traditional boiling/cooking process resulted always in non-inspiring ready to eat products. This has changed now. Farmers’ innovations are no longer limited to soyabean processing. With some simple value addition training through the Cluster Agricultural Development Services (CADS), an important NGO N2Africa partner disseminating N2Africa technologies, farmers came up with interesting innovations of their own. Here is the recipe for cowpea fritters:


  • 1 kg cowpea grain
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 2 large and ripe tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • May add spices (green pepper, chilli, etc)


  • Cook cowpeas until tenderly done
  • Put them in a dish to cool
  • Grate tomato, onion and green pepper into cowpeas.
  • Add egg, salt, spices and mix and add self-raising flour and mix until it becomes thick dough for frying.
  • Heat cooking oil
  • Use a spoon to drop mixed dough in pan and fry until golden brown colour is achieved
  • Can be served with juices, tea or as a snack

Not just for women

During 2014, at least 10 N2Africa nutrition campaigns were held across the 5 districts where N2Africa is implementing activities. Both men and women (Photo 1) participated in these value addition activities. Through these activities, N2Africa is dismantling the tradition that grain legumes are for women.

Photo 1: Both men and women participating

Photo 2 ... and the cowpea fritters are really delicious

Photo 3: Men and women participate in N2Africa nutrition activities

In search of more innovations

We are now approaching the harvest season in Southern Africa. As from June, we will work again with old and new farmer groups to reach out to thousands of farmers with new innovations on local level processing and value addition of grain legumes.

Regis Chikowo