Buyers Guide

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
Buying beans in Nigeria
Buying beans in Nigeria
Buying beans in Nigeria

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)