So you new to the country called Nigeria and you want to try out the foods or you are from a different tribe and would like to try another tribe food, or let’s say you visit a new state and you decide to try the cultural food. Well here are the list of some Nigerian foods and what to know about them.
1. Tuwo Shinkafa
Tuwo Shinkafa is translated from Hausa language meaning – Mashed Rice. It is the go-to-side-dish for many Northern soups such as Miyan Kuka, Miyan Karkashi and even Okra soup in many Hausa-speaking communities. It is usually served daily for lunch or dinner.
2. Pepper Soup
Nigerian pepper soup is among the nation’s favourite dishes due to its intensely spicy flavour and the variety of meat, fish or chicken that can be used to cook it. The broth is rich, with aromatic spices, pepper, ginger, garlic and onions to give it that unforgettable taste. It is a thin, very spicy “drinking soup” or broth, chock-full of assorted cuts of meat or fish and scented leaves of uziza.
If you believe in using the whole of the animal when it comes to meat, this is the dish for you – every single cut of meat finds its way into pepper soup, and adds to a rich, flavourful end product. Many people swear by catfish pepper soup as the definitive soup, while others claim goat meat makes the best version. You can add extras like chunks of boiled plantain or yam, as well as a dash of palm oil to serve. The spices used vary depending on the region; every ethnic group has its own unique take, making use of local scented leaves and spices.
Nkwobi is a popular Ibo delicacy prepared from spiced cow leg marinated in a richly flavoured sauce of Utazi leaves and palm oil. For people looking to have a nice outing, a meal you can take as the African equivalent of an appetizer would either be – pepper soup and a dessert could be Nkwobi. You’ll likely find them well served at Igbo kitchens in major Nigerian cities.
4. Ewa Aganyin
Ewa Aganyin is made up of cooked beans and pepper sauce. It is a delicious beans dish, well known for its softness and tasty sauce. Every Nigerian beans lover is crazy about Ewa Aganyin and it can be served with bread or yam.
5. Amala and Ewedu
Amala and Ewedu soup is a classic Nigerian food, mostly eaten by the Yoruba people, especially people from Oyo state, but it is appreciated by other ethinc groups.
The leaves of the jute plant(ewedu), cooked and blended.
Like okra, it’s mucilaginous when cooked, making it ideal as an accompaniment to the starchy staples like amala and fufu. The slight bitterness of the leaves makes for a harmonious blend with many tomato-and-pepper-based stews as an alternative to ila or apon, and there are so many ways to customise it to personal taste. Don’t forget to add kaun (potash) to help soften the leaves and thicken before blending
6. Abacha and Ugba
Abacha and Ugba are known as African Salad and it can be eaten as a meal or snack. Many people eat it as a meal because it fills up your stomach just like any other meal. This meal is well-known and very popular in the Eastern part of Nigeria, among the Igbos, and they love it.
7. Ijebu Garri and GrounDnut
Nothing is as soothing as taking Garri and Groundnut with chilled water during a hot afternoon. The combination gives a kind of fulfilment that only a true Nigerian can understand. Ijebu garri can be enjoyed with groundnut or smoked fish.
8. Boli and Groundnut
Boli is roasted ripe plantain and is very tasty when taken with groundnut, it is truly a delectable popular snack for Nigerians
9. Ogbono Soup
Ogbono soup is a popular Nigerian dish made with ground Ogbono seeds, with considerable local variation. The ground Ogbono seeds are used as a thickener and give the soup a brownish colouration. Besides the seeds, water and palm oil, it typically contains meat, seasonings such as chilli pepper, leafy vegetables and other vegetables. Typical leaf vegetables include bitter leaf and celosia. Typical other vegetables include tomatoes and okra. Some people add onions and iru. (Fermented locust beans) and this delicious soup can be eaten with pounded yam or with rice.
10. Ofada Rice
Brown rice ofada: Ofada Rice is produced locally in Nigeria. What makes it special is its unique flavour and aroma. Most Nigerians will jump with excitement at the sight of Ofada rice and stew.
Adalu is a combination of beans and corn, cooked together with various seasonings and spices. Most Nigerians ate lots of this delicious meal while growing up, and they have deep love for it.
12. Pounded Yam
Pounded yam is one of Nigeria’s most popular dishes that can be served with a variety of soups like Egusi, Ogbono, Vegetable and Okro soup. Yam, which is widely available, is boiled and pounded into a smooth mash. You’ll most likely find people eating pounded yam with Egusi, Banga, Ogbono or some other meal.
The Yoruba people are known to be fond of pounded yam, some other Nigerian Ethnic groups like the Ibos consume it especially during occasions such as the celebration of new yam festival.
Garri would pass as the king in the land of Nigerian dishes, as it is a household food in almost all Nigerian homes. Garri is prepared from cassava tubers that have been fermented, but the tubers must undergo peeling, washing and grating into a mash prior to being fermented. The product gotten from this is then locally dried (roasted) to form fine flour. Garri when mixed with hot water, becomes ‘Eba’, and can be served with almost all kinds of stews and soups. It can also be eaten with beans or as a snack.
14. Egusi Soup
This soup is widely consumed in Nigeria. Ingredients used in preparing the soup include melon seeds, red or any desired meat, seafood, fermented beans, a variety of green vegetables and onions. Egusi soup can be served alongside Garri, Pounded yam and fufu.
15. Jollof Rice
This colourful delicacy is food to many West African Countries, not just Nigeria. Ingredients of Jollof rice include rice, onions, tomatoes, chillies and a variety of spices. It can be served with vegetables and desired meat, chicken or fish. Jollof rice is commonly served on special occasions and at social events.
16. Efo Riro
Efo Riro is a mix of pumpkin green leaves, meat, like chicken and offal or smoked fish. Efo Riro is a Yoruba delicacy originating from Western Nigeria. Green vegetables like water leaves or pumpkin leaves are used in preparing the stew, spinach, can also be added to the ingredients.
It is a literal translation from the Yoruba is “mixed greens” and while they are the star of this rich, fragrant vegetable stew, there’s so much goodness besides: blended scotch bonnets, bell pepper, onions and locust beans. This is a classic Yoruba dish.
It goes with everything. Purists insist authentic efo riro must have efinrin (African spinach) and efo soko (Lagos spinach). Others say tomatoes are banned (to prevent sogginess). Some insist on palm oil over vegetable oil.
Akara is fried been cakes. Its popularity in Nigeria is quite obvious as many Nigerians opt for it for their breakfast. In the south, it is known as Akara while in the North it is called Kosai. It can be gotten very cheap from roadside food vendors. It can also be prepared at home for family and friends.
Suya is a very popular delicacy in Nigeria. Conventionally eaten in the evenings, this snack is made with fish or meat doused with spices and then barbequed on a skewer. The spices comprise ginger, peanuts, pepper, dried onions and various stock flavours.
19. Afang Soup
The soup is made with local Afang leaves and water leaves together with dried fish, meat and snails, as well as seasonings. Although it originated from South-southern Nigeria, Afang soup is now enjoyed across state borders in Nigeria and also in the diaspora. The meal takes about an hour to prepare, and is often served with Pounded yam, fufu and Garri.
20. Moi Moi
Moi Moi is a Nigerian steamed beans pudding which has its origin in South West Nigeria. It can be made with egg, crayfish, corned beef, onions, and sardine to give it that added taste. Moi Moi can be served with other Nigerian dishes or eaten alone as a snack.
It is made of peeled Nigerian brown beans ground together with onions, bell pepper, palm oil and spices, and steamed in banana leaves (or other vessels). You can add any combination of extra bits to it: flaked fish, slices of hard boiled eggs, ground beef.
It’s delicious and nutty, and is great as a side (try it with any rice dish) or part of a main dish with, for example, soaked garri
It is essentially, a “dry” leafy vegetable soup from the Cross River region of Nigeria. The (iron-rich) greens are a mixture of ugwu (a fluted pumpkin leaf) and gbure (waterleaf). In places where these leaves are unavailable, people substitute spinach. People also use a mix of meats and fish, and for authenticity, periwinkles. Served hot, with pounded yam or fufu, it’s a party in your mouth.
These are deep fried plantains (not bananas), cut in slim diagonal slices, circles or cubes (colloquially known as “party dodo”) and deep-dried. Some people like to sprinkle some salt on before frying, but that’s down to personal taste. It’s a snack, a side dish, a main meal, a blessing. It’s both a whole meal and a side dish. It is the best thing.
A palm fruit-based soup that is most commonly associated with the Delta region, and particularly the Urhobo ethnic group. There are variations across the country – and indeed west Africa and beyond – but they all include regional spices and all elevate fresh ingredients (fish and seafood, assorted meats, the palm fruit itself) above all things.
It tastes like no other Nigerian soup. The palm fruit, shellfish and meat create delicious textures and an explosion of taste, and it goes with anything.
It is called okra/okro soup. To be eaten with solid staples like pounded yam, amala, eba, fufu of all types. Okra’s viscid quality (“draw”) is a love-hate thing (but if you hate it your opinion is wrong) and this showcases it perfectly. This is an often piquant one-pot edition of two separate meal components (the okra, and the stew) and bolstered with lots of assorted cuts of meat and/or seafood.
25. Afang Stew
It is a leafy vegetable stew from the Efik people, cooked in palm oil with stock, cuts of meat and seafood. Afang is a rich (in nutrients and flavours) stew, and gets its name from the leaves used. You must use afang or okazi for it to qualify as afang stew. Afang leaves are more bitter and a little tougher than the waterleaves that are also a component of this dish, and when blended (or chopped finely) create a lovely texture and taste. It goes great with usi (cassava starch), pounded yam or eba.