Buying Beans in Nigeria

  • Types of beans
  • Differences
  • Storage
  • Duration of storage
  • Measuring unit

This is for those that enjoy moin-moin, akara and all of
those beans based recipes .

Making this dishes happen takes you picking the right kind
of beans for the bean based recipe you want to cook.

This is not a task you pick up on your first day at the
market buying beans.

Rather it takes a bit of experience to be able to make sure
that your choices, even though they are not restricted to a particular set of
options, can still meet up with popular cooking methods that most people enjoy and
are used to.

To start with, what 
common types of beans are available in the market?

  1. Oloyin beans (Maiduiguri and Niger variety)
  2. Olotu beans (Maiduiguri and Niger variety)
  3. Small Oloyin also called pelebe.
  4. White beans also called Iron beans (available in
    big and small variety)

Differences between the types of beans

The Oloyin beans from Maiduiguri takes less time to cook
than the oloyin beans from Niger, in other words, it softens quicker. Most
people say oloyin beans from Maiduguri has a sweeter taste than the Oloyin
beans from Niger.

The Oloyin beans from Maiduguri costs more than the Niger one.

For people who shy away from the extra sweet flavor of the
oloyin, the Olootu is a good alternative.

For people who are very particular, Olotu beans from Niger
is mostly preferred for moin moin, while most prefer the Olotu beans from
Maiduguri for beans porridge.

Ewa agoyin is usually made with the Oloyin beans from
maiduiguri or the pelebe (small oloyin) beans.

Buying beans in Nigeria
Olotu beans (Niger)
Buying beans in Nigeria
OLOYIN BEANS ( MAIDUGURI)
Buying beans in Nigeria
SMALL OLOYIN a.k.a PELEBE
Buying beans in Nigeria
WHITE BEANS a.k.a IRON BEANS(SMALL SEEDS)
Buying beans in Nigeria
WHITE BEANS a.k.a IRON BEANS (BIG SEEDS)

How to store Beans

Beans are highly susceptible to attack from insects. This
can take away from its nourishment, reducing it to powder, making it inedible.

The best bet would be to store it appropriately immediately
after purchase.

But before that, you need to make sure that the beans you
bought in the first place doesnot contain weevils.

You can go a step further by cleaning it to remove shafts
and dirt.

If you live in an area with stable power supply, put the
grains in an air-tight container and preserve in the freezer. This will get rid
of any weevils contained and prevent new ones from entering the beans.

Another option is to mix the beans with – local dried red
pepper/bay leaves/ a combination of ginger and garlic.

In a situation where you notice weevils in the beans at any
point in time, go ahead to sundry the beans.

Regardless of your chosen option, make sure you keep the
storage container away from heat and moisture.

How long can you store beans?

With constant power supply, you can store beans in the freezer
for up to 6months.

The other options would probably be good for 2 -3 months but
it would require regular checking to make sure that it Is yet to be infected in
any way.

As an extra, here are some tips for cooking beans

  1. Always allow your beans to soften enough for eating
    before adding salt. Doing otherwise would make your cooking period longer as
    salt affect the process.
  2. If possible, soak your beans for a period of
    time before cooking. This would help to reduce flatulence and bloating that
    might be experienced after eating beans.
  3. When available, opt for a pressure pot as it can
    reduce the cooking time of beans by as much as half the expected duration.

Seasons for beans in the market

You can get a good deal between November and April when most
farmers are harvesting.

Prices are cheaper and everyone get to have a beans-filled
day.

But once it’s past April, Farmers start putting out the stored
beans , it is usually drier than the newly harvested ones.

This beans that have been stored for the off-season are more
expensive.

During the off season, make sure you check your beans
properly as they are highly susceptible to weevils at this time due to dryness.

There are a few more uncommon types of beans in Nigeria not
mentioned in the earlier part of the article, they include

  • Ewa ibeji ( used for celebrating the birth of
    twins in Yoruba land)
  • Black beans ( the secret ingredients used for
    frejon – that easter meal you wonder what its made up of)
  • Raw kidney beans ( popular appearance is in the
    bowl of salad)