Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries. Each ethnic group in Nigeria has its own regional special customs and traditions that make them unique.
Nigeria is also blessed with bountiful food delicacies, most of which can be largely tied to the region and their culture. However, there are certain food items that seem to break these restrictive barriers and every Nigerian can relate with them no matter the tribe or culture.
These foods are tasty, colorful and are favorite household go-to meals for all classes of Nigerians From deeply flavored home-cooked meals, to lush mouthwatering street chow, here are some notable Nigerian food the world should know. This list is nowhere exhaustive, but a good place to start.
Nigerian Jollof is popular for obvious reasons (it’s the best). If any country wants a fight to the death right now, all they need to do is claim their Jollof is better than Nigerian Jollof.
In truth, Nigerian Jollof is purely made in heaven. It has a unique taste and aroma that makes your taste buds quiver. No owambe party would be complete without Jollof rice, I can’t even imagine it.
Jollof’s basic ingredient is rice – then other condiments like; tomato, pepper, groundnut oil/or palm oil – depending on the type you are cooking, seasoning, meat/fish. Enjoy with hot dodo (fried plantain) and a chilled bottle of coke.
This is a Nigerian dish made from peeled bean pudding grounded together with – pepper, onions, and other spices, wrapped in banana leaves or oiled tin cans and steamed in small water. You can customize moi-moi with added supplementary – sardine, slices of egg, fish etc. You can eat it with rice, soaked garri (fermented cassava) or pap.
Popularly called dodo, fried plantain is simply sliced plantain deep-fried in oil. You cut it in slim slices, cubes or circles and then sprinkle some salt, and fry – be careful while adding the salt though so as not to over-salt it, most are naturally tasty.
Have I mentioned that dodo is a blessing to mankind? Because they are. It could be eaten as just an appetizer, side dish or main meal. It goes with about any food you can think of – it’s incredible.
Ok, let’s take a minute to also recognize this amazing food. After the buzz with jollof rice, this should be the first runner-up. What makes it special is its unique peppery flavor, spice, and aroma.
“Ewa” is “beans” in Yoruba and “Agoyin” is a reference to the Beninoise people who originated this dish. The beans is cooked until soft (can be mashed too), with smoky sauce and a palm oil base, onions, and pepper. A very tasty meal that can be enjoyed with bread.
Akara (bean Cake)
This is a light, delicious protein-packed fritter. Could be ideal for breakfast or dinner, or just as a snack. Akara goes nicely with freshly made pap or soft bread.
This particular barbecued kebab can only be found in Nigeria. They are usually spiced cuts of meat, grilled to perfection over an open flame. Served with pepper, raw chopped onions, and wrapped in newspapers. There is no definition for the kind of feeling or sensation you get when you take hot Suya, especially when it is soaked in Yaji (Suya Spice). This delicacy is super Yum.
Nigerians are crazy in love with this delicacy- including me. The plantain is peeled then roasted whole. It gives a spicy taste when taken with peppered fish ( just the best), or groundnuts. Having this appetizing meal as many times as possible in a day can never feel wrong.
Popular with any soup, this festive meal is a high brow delight any day.
This delicious dish is made by boiling yam and pounding it until it’s smooth and gummy. It’s a very enjoyable meal.
Amala and ewedu Abula soup
This meal is mostly eaten by the Yoruba tribe, however, still well acknowledged by other tribes. It’s prepared with the leaves of jute plants, cooked and blended. Best taken with fish stew because of the slightly bitter taste of the leaves, Ewedu is still the Yoruba go-to meal.
Beans And Plantain Pottage
This combination is divine and loved by many Nigerians. It’s a mix of the taste of nuttiness of beans with the natural sweetness of plantain. Basic ingredients are pepper, onions, and seasonings. To get a rich flavoury taste add smoked fish.
Abacha And Ugba
Known as ‘African salad,’ it’s a dish from the eastern part of Nigeria but still well-known among Nigerians. Abacha is made from sliced cassava, dried under the sun, mixed with a number of spices. It’s quite popular even outside of the Nigerian shores.
Nkwobi is spicy cow foot dish served in a thick palm oil-based sauce in a wooden bowl. This meal is best enjoyed when you’re hanging out with friends at local joints. To get the slightly bitter taste, add utazi leaves and palm oil.