Favourite Food Recipes in Nigeria
Behind every memorable trip is a memorable meal. Unique dishes can be found the world over, but there’s nowhere quite like Nigeria when it comes to wonderful and interesting food.
Whether you are new to Nigerian foods or you are just looking to improve your menu, you are at the right place.
Nigerian food reflects its history and culture as well as its natural resources. The following delicacies may be an acquired taste, but they’re certainly worth trying on your next trip…if only for the bragging rights.
1. Edikang Ikong Soup
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.
2. Ogbono Soup
A soup made from ground ogbono (African mango) seeds plus palm oil, stock and spices. It’s usually eaten with staples like eba, fufu, pounded yam or amala.
Awesome fact is that it “draws”, that wonderful slippery texture that helps the fufu go down easier. There are many variations on it, too: cooked alone, with vegetables, with or without meat or fish, with okra, or even with added melon seeds (egusi). It’s super-quick to cook, and a perfect introduction to the many soups of Nigerian cuisine.
3. Pepper soup.
Very spicy “drinking soup” or broth, chock-full of assorted cuts of meat or fish and scented leaves of Uziza.
Why it’s awesome: 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 that catfish pepper soup is the definitive soup, while others claim that 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.
4. Banga Soup
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.
Deshelled African land snails, usually cooked in onion and pepper sauce.
Awesome fact: The taste and texture of African land snails is hard to describe to those who have not had a taste, but a good number of people think it is just excellent. They are a popular party snack, skewered on little toothpicks.
6. Efo Riro
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.
Why it’s awesome: It goes with everything. Purists insist authentic Efo riro must have efinrin (African spinach) and efo soko (Lagos spinach).
7. Ekpang Nkukwo
Grated cocoyams wrapped in cocoyam leaves and cooked with periwinkles, greens, and palm oil.
Why it’s awesome: This is a dish from the Efik ethnic group, and part of the Nigerian family of porridges . This is really something – I’ve only ever eaten it on special occasions partly because it can be a little finicky to cook, but it’s so worth it: creamy, flavoursome comfort food at its best.
Spicy cow leg served in a thick palm oil-based sauce.
Why it’s awesome: Listen, “cow leg” may not sound like a delicacy, but you’ll just have to take it on a trust that it is basis. For that authentic taste, you must use Utazi leaves and palm oil.
9. Pounded yam and White Soup
Pounded yam happens to be one of the most popular fufu dish varieties that accompanies numerous of Nigerian delicious stews and soups. Fufu is a dish prepared by boiling starchy vegetables such as yams, plantains and cassava, and then pounding them into a dough-like mass.
10. Afang Soup
Afang soup is now enjoyed all over the country and in the diaspora. The soup uses Afang leaves and water leaves together with meat, dried fish and snails for seasoning. The meal takes about an hour to prepare, and is often served with fufu or Garri.
11. Egusi Soup
This is a Nigerian delicacy that utilizes melon seeds to make the soup thick. Other ingredients include sea food, red meat, fermented beans and onions. Egusi soup is usually served with pounded yam, fufu and Garri.
This fried bean cake is served across the country. It is called Akara in the south and Kosai in the north. It is often eaten as a snack or together with pap or custard for breakfast.
13. Jollof Rice
The dish consists of rice, tomatoes and tomato paste, onions, salt, spices (such as nutmeg, ginger, Scotch bonnet, and cumin) and chili peppers; optional ingredients can be added such as vegetables, meats, or fish. Due to the tomato paste and palm oil, the dish is always red in colour.
There’s always a constant debate though on which is better between Nigerian Jollof and Ghanian Jollof.
There are so wonderful Nigerian meals. Too numerous to mention. Here are some more meals you can try.
14. Moi Moi
15. GOAT MEAT IN VEGGIE SAUCE & COUSCOUS
16. Corned beef stew
17. Yam porridge