Easter is a time people often look forward to with so much joy and planning. For Christians around the world, Easter symbolizes the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion. The oldest holiday claimed by Christians is preceded by the season of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and repentance, followed by a 50-day Easter season that runs from Easter to Pentecost.
Easter is now filled with local traditions both religious and secular. For Christians, before the resurrection of Christ, it is Good Friday, which marks his crucifixion and the sacrifice of his life for the good of all. And in the Brazilian district of Lagos in Nigeria, Good Friday is equivalent to frejon.
It’s their traditional Easter meal made with beans and coconut milk. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, frejon is a bean and coconut pudding that mainly accompanies grilled garri and fish stew.
Frejon was invented by enslaved West Africans who were taken to Brazil. History says that Brazil’s sugar economy grew explosively at the time through forced labor. Brazilian slaves produced not only sugar, but also corn, grain and cattle, while extracting gold from inland mines and managing the docks of Brazilian ports.
Today, a large Afro-Brazilian population lives in the country. However, some Brazilians of West African descent returned to Nigeria after the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888. Many of them, called Agudas, settled on the island of Lagos, now known like the Brazilian quarter of the city, according to Atlas Obscura. They brought with them the super delicious Easter recipe, frejon.
Here’s how to prepare the unique Good Friday cuisine, according to Allure Vanguard.
- Coconut milk
- Sugar (optional)
- Fish (any fish of your choice)
- Vegetable oil
- Scottish pepper
- seasoning dice
- Salt to taste
- In a large saucepan, wash the beans and boil them (without salt) until softened. Let cool.
- Transfer the beans to a blender, add coconut milk and blend.
- Transfer the mixture to the saucepan, add the sugar and boil for about 5 minutes to thicken a little.
Fish sauce cooking method
- In a frying pan, heat a little vegetable oil over low heat.
- Add chopped onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Cook the fish for about 5 minutes, let cool and then mash it.
- Add the fish puree to the contents of the pan, salt and season (to taste). Fry for about 5 minutes.
The fish sauce is ready.
Serve the Frejon with the fish sauce and sprinkle the Garri on top.