Nigerian Kitchen Tips: Plantain And Egg Plant

How To Shop For Good Plantain And Egg Plant

Unripe plantain and eggplant
Plantains are best bought unripe. I love ripe plantains and bought them a lot before I discovered the sellers force them ripe with corrosive chemicals. 

Cobalt that is used in forcing those plantains ripe is a chemical that is considered to be slightly toxic by skin contact and moderately toxic by ingestion.

I can't remember when last I bought a ripe plantain. Although these chemicals are washed off the ripe plantains before they are sold. How clean is the washing? Only
God knows. I buy unripe, leave  in a warm area until they get ripe.

 Most times, we finish cooking even before they start showing signs of ripening cos yours truly is trying her best to make her family like unripe plantain. 
For me, I hated unripe plantain as a child, porridge in particular. But now prefer it to ripe, especially with this fast race I'm running from *sugar (Gives me little white spots on arms and legs).

To buy good plantain, select the ones that look very green and fresh. Those turning black may not be mature enough for  good enjoyment. 
  • Good and mature plantains are heavy when lifted.
  • The skin is fresh and like a bit shiny
  • Mature ones look darker than immature ones. Sometimes they are harvested prematurely because of the long trips to cities.
  • Very Mature ones get ripe while being conveyed and this is a big loss to farmers and traders. So, they buy pre mature plantain that can last a long time before beginning to ripen. 
  • Those harvested prematurely can be a headache when you want them ripe. Sometimes, rather than turn ripe, the skin begins to dry and turn black and difficult to peel. What I do is buy a bunch that has at least one finger that is ripe or beginning to show signs.  The remaining green fingers get ripe at home.
  • The heat from this chemical forces  plantain and bananas to ripen early. 
  • Even bananas should be properly washed before serving, if possible with soap. That powdery chemical makes the ripe bananas look bright and appetizing but who knows what they cause if ingested?
  • Even bananas, if possible, buy unripe. *Wey person wan take see unripe banana for Abuja or Lagos sef?* When kids see bananas, telling them to wait till they get home is like punishment. They want to devour immediately. May God save us from buyng chemical infested bananas o.
  • For purple eggplants, buy the ones that still have their short stalk. That stalk must also be green and not gray or brown. Fresh egg plants are easy to identify. They look so fresh.
  • Press firmly with fingers to be sure no part is beginning to rot. Those people at the supermarkets sef have sense o. They pack these eggplants in such a way that the bad part is placed on the plate and you can't see while picking items. You get to see the rotten part in your kitchen after peeling off their cling film. *SMH for them*
  • I don't know if purple eggplants are sold at the open market. If they are, then buying from the market will be more economical. You get to touch, feel and pick the good ones only.
How do you shop for your plantain or eggplants? Can you share?


  1. Anonymous6/15/2013

    Aunty Eya, was going thru ur plantain porridge recipes, the pictures aint showing? Pls wat is farmhouse plantain? Cudnt c the pix too. I'm not sure unripe plantain dsnt contain sugar.

    1. Everything cooked together. The beans and plantain all join. Even if it does, might not be as much sugar as ripe plantain. Pls Refresh the page so that they show.

    2. Anonymous6/15/2013

      Aunty Eya check google well, nutritional values and all, I did sm research so as to gv U values. My comment below.
      So its just the normal beans n plantain porridge? How farmhouse take enter na???

  2. Anonymous6/15/2013

    D problem with diabetes is sugar, everything we eat is eventually converted to sugar but not as much as the carbohydrate contained in our foods.
    Using my fitnesspal app, boiled unripe plantain contains 222calories with 12g of sugar and abt 31g of CHO, raw ripe plantain contains 13.8g of sugar, less calories, I think 112. One of the benefits of eating unripe plantain is a higher nutritional value.
    The myth abt diabetics eating unripe plantain has no scientific basis.

    1. Anonymous6/15/2013

      Sorry mixed up d fig with anoda app, 100g of raw ripe plantain, 13.9g of sugar, 122calories.
      100g of unripe plantain boiled, 14g of sugar, 116calories. Myfitnesspal.

  3. Anonymous6/15/2013

    Pls WC family.. I need to whiten my teeth. Pls any idea on how and where I can do it in lagos??

  4. wow, my first time of seeing a purple egg plant.visit my blog and read about the scandal in st luke @scandal in st luke

  5. Crest whitening stripes. Works like a charm. You can find it in big pharmaceutical stores. No meed to spend money on a procedure.# thank me later with a smile.

    1. Pls wat does the crest strips look like,just incase am to describe it.tanx.

  6. Anonymous6/15/2013

    congrats to kim and kan ye on the arrival of their baby girl today. :) :-) :-) :-) :) :-) :-) no need to thank me.

  7. Emerald6/15/2013

    I usually buy my eggplant in utako market from soma hausa guys that also sell cauliflower, celery sticks, daikon radish, beets, coriander, basil leaves, squash and other vegetables. I don't honestly know how to shop for good egg plant but iam one of their fave customers because they take their time to select good ones for me or probably because hausas are honest. This afternoon, I purchased small size eggplant(N50), daikon radish with leaves(N50) and sweet melon(N100). The leaves of daikon radish can be consumed during pregnancy.

  8. Anonymous6/16/2013

    Pls wat is eggplant used for?

  9. I live in ph n I hv neva seen dis type of egg plant b4

    1. Anonymous6/17/2013

      Check in supermarkets that sell food and vegetables


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