How to Peel beans for AKARA Or Moin Moin

Here are two options for peeling beans used in traditional recipes like moimoi, gbegiri and akara. Traditional beans peeling is done by hand or with a mortal.  I will be showing both machine method (food processor or blender) and traditional method in this recipe:

Machine method : peeling beans with a food processor or blender

I will advice that you peel lots of beans ahead of time and freeze it. Peeled beans will generally keep in the freezer for up to four months.

Traditional method: peeling beans by hand


  • 4 cups black eyed beans or red beans
  • Other: Large bowl and water.


  1. Soak the beans in lots of water for at least 4 hours (I soaked mine overnight). Clear the sink (you will need access to running water).
  2.  Start peeling the beans, by taking a hand full at a time and rubbing the beans in between both of your palms. Continue to do this until 50% of the beans is without skin
  3. Run the beans underneath some water, stir vigorously. The peeled skin will float in the water surface, pour the water through a colander. continue this step until you have removed all the separated skin.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until  the beans is without skin and cleaned.
  5. Individually pick out the left over unpeeled beans and peel them. Run the beans under some water again and remove the seperatedd skin.

6) Remove all the water left in the beans. Your beans is ready  for use at this point.

If you will like to freeze some beans, package them in some ziploc bags .Make sure to pack the beans into individual usable sizes,that way you only defrost what you need at a time.

To defrost  frozen beans, simply place it in a large bowl of warm water until defrosted.

Recipes Using peeled Beans : Gbegiri (Soup), Moin Moin, Akara


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Lose It Nigerian

By |January 20th, 2012|51 Comments


  1. maureen February 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Can i blend the beans and store it in the fridge9 overnight,?

  2. Ola March 17, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Can you use honey beans (“ewa oloyin”) for moimoi, akara or gbegiri? I have so much of it at home at the moment.

    Also do you let the peeled beans totally dry before freezing?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 20, 2016 at 7:38 am - Reply

      yes you can. No, i freeze the beans wet.

  3. amaranwakire March 4, 2016 at 4:13 am - Reply

    am a fan of moi moi no matter how stressful it is i always wash with my hands but learnt this your method on social media last year since then i can wake up and cook moi moi even at midnight thanks for the wonderful work you are doing.

  4. Natural Oils for Hair & Health June 27, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Ok. Was looking up some healthy recipes and came across this. I really really hate peeling the beans but I also really really want to eat moi moi so…….lol. I do have a small mortar and pestle though so I’ll try that.

  5. Toyin Akinwale June 26, 2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

    The best way is to peel the beans with the blender. It is the only way I can peel beans. I make moinmoin every week or fortnight. I wonder how I can do this without the blender. You soak for few minutes, you then switch the blender on and off for few times and you are ready to rinse. It is faster than soaking the already peeled beans for a while. My dear you will not think about making moinmoin or akara twice if you use this method. Have a good trial. Toyin

  6. Shola Davids March 15, 2015 at 12:14 am - Reply

    One of my friend taught me the easiest way to peel beans way back while I was in school,she is a crazy fan of moi moi,she said soaking the beans is an hard way for her,al she does is measure out the beans,add a little water dat will touch all d beans,and she starts the peeling immediately ,reason been dat,d beans are still hard on one another,so when she rubs it on her palm,d hard beans peels each other and in no time u done with the peeling process and you rinse out,I have tried it and it worked .

  7. Marlene January 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Great tips! I’m a Jamaican married to a Nigerian and trying to learn how to cook moi moi amongst other dishes as I love it, will def be trying the blender idea for peeling moi moi, thanks!

  8. Jodi dee April 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I actually bookmarked this page because I’ve been dying to make moi moi but I tried the hand method and I couldn’t do it well…I’m not Nigerian and when my hand started to burn me I gave up and thought this is too much work for food I will finish in minutes ( I love moi moi) now I’m seeing all these methods I will definately try again…I think the food processor will do the trick for me…

  9. Lola December 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Ngozi yes you can use brown beans to make moi moi and akara. That is what my mum used in Nigeria but now that I live in the US, I can’t imagine using brown beans when its not a common thing here. So I go for the black eyed peas ( white beans) since they are so cheap and they do the same thing. Any brown beans I have I keep for cooking regular beans.

  10. Ngozi December 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Also have anyone tried the fresh beans from walmart freezer. I am tempted to try it.

  11. Ngozi December 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Love the tips, but can you actually use the brown beans to make moin-moin and akara. I have always used the black eyed beans.

  12. adelarin October 16, 2013 at 1:05 am - Reply

    The blender worked like magic. Please note to put enough water while doing it though. You just need to do like 3-4 repetitions as mentioned. Thanks for Shari g this trick

  13. Opy April 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Its a lot easier using a blender. I choose the grate option and I just “blend” for like 20 seconds.
    I don’t even pre-soak the beans at all.

  14. Funmi July 26, 2012 at 8:38 am - Reply

    I will tell you the trick now. For the last 3yrs have not peel beans by hand. Okay, I learnt this from my trip to the State( thanks to my cousin wife)

    Anyhow, soak the beans for less than 5mins, put inside blender, add enough water( preferable to fill the beans) and use the pause button on the blender. Press the pause button upto 3time. This will separate the skin from the beans. Yea, Life make easy, pour in your bowl and drain until the skin is gone. You will achieve the same result as above. I now follow this method every time, save my hand from distress…lol. Enjoy!!!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 28, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

      Another method to try!! I will try this and let know know what I think :)….. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • cc April 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Ur God sent,used the blender, and it was like a miracle finished in 10 mins instead of an hour! Kai no more suffering

  15. foodie July 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    I remember doing it this way –until my mom introduced me to using the blender. Just soak the beans for 10 minutes or so. Then blend in short intervals on a low setting.


    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      I am yet to try this, I used the mortal last time and it worked magic.

  16. tynna27 April 30, 2012 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Well I love d tips,am just lukin for an easy way to teach my students how to make moin and akara.I tink this will help

  17. Manny April 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Hmmm I used to hate peeling beans maybe when I was like 10. But I eventually got the hang of it. What I do is soak the beans for about 30 mins, then DRAIN the water. The friction from rubbing the beans together without water makes it peel faster.
    For the stubborn ones, I just individually peel.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 7, 2012 at 7:02 am - Reply

      I will have to try it without the water, thanks for the tip.

  18. diamond February 23, 2012 at 2:34 am - Reply

    for me old fashion or no moi moi tried the frozen blended(know seasoning) taste and smell as freshly washed. guess will try the food processor. thanks beautiful people

  19. Oluwatosin February 3, 2012 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Wow! Tnx 4 ds timesaving tips. I neva knw i cld freeze peeled beans. God bless u! I use mortal 4 peeln nd its more easier 4 me than usin my hand. Now i cn peel more nd freeze fr 4 gud months.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 4, 2012 at 9:19 am - Reply

      It makes so much sense to just freeze them and save on time! you are welcome.

  20. kejel February 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    9jafoodie,God bless u 4 mch as i lik moinmoin,d peelin process alwayz put mi off.wit dis,i cn nw eat ma moinmoin evry week *wink

  21. Relentless Builder January 31, 2012 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    So many useful tips in one post. Of course, I am not complaining 🙂
    I did not think of peeling the beans and then freezing them. That’s definitely a time-saver. I like the step by step pictures. They reminded me of a makeover, except that this is food, not makeup. Random, I know 😀 Thanks for the tips.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      Yeiiii you are welcome. Maybe I should make all the recipe posts a little more illustrative with pictures.

  22. Missy Tee January 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Oh my daze. I peeled beans a couple of weeks back and I could feel my hands begging for mercy. Its sooo tiring even after I soaked it for a really long timmmme. What really gets me is when majority of the skin is off and you can only see a few of them sticking out with their skin still on. Grrrrr.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 19, 2012 at 10:12 am - Reply

      Sorry dear, I just pick the few stubborn once out.

  23. chic therapy January 26, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Peeling beans is one thing i hate doing!!Aargh!My friend actually showed me how to peel it with a blender.I a yet to try it

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      You should and let us know if it’s much easier.

  24. Biola January 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    The brown bean is easier to peel than the white. However, even with the white bean this is what I do: Soak beans for about 15 minutes in water (till the skin removes easily from the seed), then DRAIN off the water. I get a grater (the kind used for okra) and rub the bean seeds against the grater repeatedly. When a substantial amount of skin has been removed I do step 3 as detailed above but again DRAIN off the water and continue rubbing the bean seeds against the grater. I would then finish off by rubbing the beans between my hands…. The reason I drain off the water is to prevent the beans absorbing more water and getting tough again. So for those of you who soak overnight try this method and you will see the job gets done faster.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the tips Biola. So, do you peel the beans one at a time? or do you take a whole bunch an rub them on with your palms?

  25. Okeoghene January 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I made moin-moin last week and I have said no more moin-moin till next year.jk. Thanks for these tips. I will definately try the overnight soaking and see how it goes. And store peeled ones in the freezer.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 24, 2012 at 6:29 am - Reply

      No more? it’s only January…. lol. You are most welcome.

  26. Rhapsody January 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    lordy but that is time consuming but am sure well worth the effort, however just to be devil’s advocate if you kept it dry it will sustain just as long even longer.

    have a blessed week.
    oh when you get the chance, stop on by and pick up an award i left for you. click this link nd it will take you to the post in question

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 24, 2012 at 6:31 am - Reply

      Definitely. but if you cook with it once a month, it is easier to peel lots and freeze.

  27. Natural Nigerian January 23, 2012 at 10:03 am - Reply

    I still prefer old school hand method. I had no idea they could keep in the freezer for so long. Thanks for the tips!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome, yes!! just peel lots at a time and save for future use.

  28. Ginger January 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Darling! and this is the reason most gals prefer to buy the conveniently prepared one. As a child i break out in hives when my mom decides its moin moin day. I havent washed beans in yonks, but if i am going to, I would try the food processor one. I heard you just spin it for a short interval just to break the beans. the skin then comes off when washed.

    I never knew one could store peeled beans though. thanks for sharing!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 22, 2012 at 9:37 am - Reply

      You are welcome. I have heard the same thing about food processor, I will definitely try it soon.

  29. fedibengal January 20, 2012 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Well the lazy way is to buy it with the skin already removed or use a mortar. Dont know if they sell it like that in Nigeria.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 22, 2012 at 9:36 am - Reply

      I don’t like the pre- peeled beans because I do not understand the process. I feel like the beans goes through too many processes before it is finally consumed (Soaking, peeling, drying, re-soaking…) I have peeled beans with mortal in the past, it’s a lot faster.

      • Tea October 29, 2014 at 11:21 pm - Reply

        Yes the molta is lot faster, soak for 2mins, drain water out, pour beans in molta and pound softly till all the beans is peeled then begin the process of rinsing out the skin.

        • 9jafoodie
          9jafoodie October 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm - Reply

          The mortal works great when available.

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