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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
roasted ripe plantain and is very tasty when taken with groundnut, it is truly
a delectable popular snack for Nigerians
9. 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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.