Nigeria is a diverse country located on the West side of Africa. She is known especially for her variety of culture and dishes, it is almost impossible to pick one favorite food when in Nigeria due to its plenteous food choices from different tribes, ethnicity, and cultural diversity. However, after thorough research and scrutiny, we bring to you 10 delicious foods in Nigeria and their recipes. These foods and their methods of preparation will not only awaken your taste buds but also provide you with those nutritional benefits, you need.
Below are the10 delicious foods in Nigeria and their recipes;
1. Jollof Rice
Topping our list today is one of the prominent foods in Nigeria. It is mostly cooked at parties of different types and enjoyed by many. It is not particularly from any tribe in the country and is known by various names, “Party Jollof”, “Jollof rice” etc. Although there are many ways to make this dish, the secret is the love and attention one pays to the sauce which is usually characterized by tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, red ball pepper, salt, and spices.
- 5 medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 medium sized onion also chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped as well
- 2 habanero pepper or scotch bonnet pepper
- 1/4 cup of groundnut oil
- 3 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2 cups of parboiled rice
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder
- 1/2 tablespoon of thyme
- 1 tablespoon of all purpose seasoning
- 1 knorr cube
- 3 bay leaves
1. Blend the red pepper, tomatoes, and scotch bonnet pepper in a blender for some seconds while making sure everything is well blended.
2. Heat your groundnut oil in a medium-sized pot under medium heat, add the chopped onions and fry until it turns golden brown. Add the tomato paste and fry for 2-3 minutes, add the blended tomato mixture and fry with the tomato paste and onions for about 20 minutes. Stir consistently to avoid burning.
3. After 20 minutes, add the chicken stock and your seasonings ( curry, thyme, all-purpose seasoning, and the knorr cubes). Continue to boil for about 10 minutes.
4. Add the parboiled rice and mix very well with the tomato stew/sauce. Add the bay leaves, cover the pot and cook on medium to low heat for 15 minutes.
5. Check if the rice is soft enough (if it isn’t, add some water). When the rice is soft enough, turn the heat off, mix thoroughly and your jollof rice is ready!
2. Moi Moi
This is another delicious meal that mainly consists of ground beans or black-eyed peas, onions, and freshly ground peppers such as chili peppers or scotch bonnet. It is usually served with jollof rice, fried plantains, or akamu.
- Black-eyed peas or brown beans
- Red bell pepper
- Habanero scotch bonnet peppers
- 3/4 cup diced onions
- 2 tablespoon of crayfish
- Chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 mackerel fish
- Hard boiled eggs
1. Soak the beans in water for 10 minutes then peel off the brown covering. Wash thoroughly, making sure that there is no piece of brown covering.
2. Blend the beans with the habanero and scotch bonnet peppers with onions and crayfish.
3. After blending, season the batter with salt, chicken bouillon cubes, and any other seasoning.
4. Portion inside a heat-safe container while adding chunks of the mackerel fish and eggs into each portion.
5. Steam for 30-45 minutes (Always check when the Moi Moi becomes smooth and firm).
Suya is a delicacy sold by Nigerian street vendors and is conceived to originate from the Hausa tribe of the country. It is a popular street food that consists of beef, peanuts, ginger, cayenne pepper, and some others, it is very flavourful, nutty, and extremely tasty. The steaks are cut into thin strips, marinated in suya pepper after which it is threaded in skewers and finally grilled. It is made by Northern Men from Nigeria called Mai Suyas and they can be found in any corner of the country. Suya has several variations aside from beef suya, there are chicken, pork, and ram suyas too.
Sharp Knife for cutting the meat
Brush for brushing oil on the meat
Oven rack for grilling
- Boneless steak
- Suya Spice or Yaji
- Vegetable oil
- Stock cube (Knorr or Maggi)
- Cabbage or tomatoes (optional)
1. Cut the steak into thin strips
2. Add the stock cube, salt, and suya spice (yaji) to the thin strips. Mix thoroughly and cover with cling film then leave in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Bring out the marinated beef and thread them on the skewers. Apply more suya spice then brush some oil onto the beef.
4. Arrange the skewered beef on an oven rack and grill in the oven for 20 minutes at a temperature of 175°C.
5. Turn the beef to the other side and grill for 10 minutes more.
6. Take them out of the oven, remove the skewers from the beef, add more suya spice and serve with sliced onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers or cabbage.
4. Egusi Soup
Another name for this wonderful soup is Melon soup, it is abundantly rich in protein and fat and is one of the popular soups prepared by most tribes in Nigeria. It contains melon seeds, leafy vegetables, and other seasoning ingredients that make this dish stand out.
- 1 cup blended onions
- 4 cups of ground melon seeds (Egusi)
- 1 cup palm oil
- 2 teaspoon fresh locust beans
- Salt and cube stocks
- Ground crayfish
- 7-8 cups of stock
- Cooked meat and fish
- 2 cups cut pumpkin leaves (ugu)
- 1 cup waterleaf (optional)
- 3 tablespoon bitter leafs (washed)
1. Prepare the egusi paste by blending egusi seeds and onion mixture.
2. Heat the palm oil on medium in a large pot and then, add the locust beans.
3. Scoop teaspoon size of egusi paste into the oil mixture and fry for 3 minutes
4. Slowly add the stock and reduce heat to simmer then add seasoning, pepper, and cube stocks.
5. Leave to simmer for at least 20 minutes so the balls of egusi can cook
6. Add the meat and fish then slowly sprinkle the waterleaf and cut up pumpkin leaves.
7. Stir and put a lid on the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes until the leaves wilt.
8. Add the bitter leaf as well and allow to cook for three minutes.
9. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly
Your delicious egusi soup is ready! You can enjoy it with pounded yam, fufu, wheat, or garri popularly known as eba.
5. Fried Plantains (Dodo)
This is one of the most simple foods to make that still spells a great deal of deliciousness and hits the taste spots! Plantains are grown mostly in the Western, Eastern, and Southern parts of Nigeria which makes them almost easy to find. This food recipe does not require any other exotic ingredients nor does it involve complicated methods of preparation.
- Good plantain
- Vegetable cooking oil
- Salt for taste
1. Peel and cut your plantains in any desired shape and size, add salt and shake generously to even the salt taste.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat.
3. Put the cut plantains in batches and fry for 2-3 minutes then turn to the other side and fry for a lesser amount of time. Keep turning until they gradually become soft in a deep golden brown color.
4. Remove them and place them on a plate and enjoy!
You can enjoy it with a plate of Jollof rice, akamu, or any desired food.
6. Edikang Ikong Soup
This is also called vegetable soup and it is native to the Efiks, these are people from some parts of the southern part of Nigeria, particularly from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. Made with mostly vegetables, edikang Ikong soup is a very nutritious food with a generous amount of pumpkin and water leaves.
- 1kg pumpkin leaves
- 500g water leaves
- 600g beef, kanda, shaki and Dry fish
- Pepper, salt and ground crayfish
- 200ml palm oil
- 1 cup of periwinkle
- 2 medium onions
- 2-3 stock cubes
1. Wash the pumpkin thoroughly and water leaves then cut into tiny pieces. Drain out all the water as much as you can in separate sieves
2. Cut the Kanda into small pieces and cook with the beef and dry fish while adding stock cubes and Onions. (Water added should be minimal)
3. When the meat is cooked, add a generous amount of palm oil, the crayfish, and pepper. Leave to boil for about 10 minutes.
4. Add the periwinkle and water leaves to cook for another 5 minutes or less.
5. Add the pumpkin leaves and salt to taste. Stir the contents of the pot well and turn off the heat and your soup is ready.
Enjoy with any swallow of your choice.
7. Ofada Stew
Ofada rice and sauce is another delicacy that Nigerians find both appealing to the taste buds and quite enthralling too. The combination of meats and peppers adds a variety of flavors that keeps everyone wanting more. It is also easy to prepare and its ingredients are both affordable and easily accessible.
- 1/4 cup palm oil
- 1 tbsp. Iru (Locust Beans)
- 1 kg assorted meat (Shaki, Kpomo, Liver) – already cooked
- 600 g cooked chicken
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Salt and stock cubes
- Habanero pepper
- Green pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tbsp. crayfish
- Green tomatoes
1. Blend green tomatoes, the different types of pepper, and onions then place in a pot. Allow boiling for 15 minutes.
2. Heat a pot and add palm oil, a bleach for 10 minutes then allow to cool for a bit.
3. Add chopped onions then add the boiled tomato mixture. Add salt, iru, or locust beans, assorted meat, and crayfish. Cover and allow to cook until oil floats to the top.
4. Add chicken stock, taste, and add stock cubes if you so desire. Add the cooked chicken as well.
5. Allow to cook for 5 more minutes and your Ofada stew is ready!
Note: The Ofada rice is a special kind of rice that is normally boiled like the usual rice.
Another name for this is bean cake or black-eyed peas frittata. It is a delicious meal enjoyed with bread, akamu, and any other desired food. Akara is rich in protein and fat with a crispy golden look that spells tasty to the eyes. It should be noted that this is a vegetarian-friendly meal eaten in most parts of West Africa, Nigeria inclusive, and Brazil.
- 2 cups of brown beans or black-eyed peas
- Habanero pepper
- 1 cup of crayfish
- Salt for taste
- Bouillon stock cubes
- 1 ball of medium sized onions
- Groundnut oil
1. Soak beans in clean water for about 30 minutes or until the skin swells and peel off the skin.
2. Blend the peeled beans with peppers, crayfish, and bouillon stock cubes.
3. Whisk the batter continuously until it is fluffy and airy then stir in the diced onions.
4. Pre-heat the oil in a pan and scoop the mixture into the oil.
5. Fry until it turns golden brown on each side.
9. African Salad (Abacha)
This is one of the foods native to the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. It is commonly made with cassava flakes, palm oil, crayfish, ugba, and some other spices. One special thing about this meal is its delicious taste and the fact that in some parts of Igboland, it is a reputable meal served to guests and used during occasions like traditional marriages, new yam festival, etc
- 6 to 8 cups of Abacha
- Ehu 3 seeds (optional)
- 2 cups Of Ugba
- half cup of crayfish
- 1 seasoning cube
- 150ml of palm oil
- Edible powdered potash(1 teaspoon)
- salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 medium sized onion
1. Filter the dissolved potash into a mortar then add about 100ml of palm oil and stir to form a yellow paste. Soak Abacha in warm water.
2. Add the ground crayfish, seasoning cube, salt, and pepper then stir, you can also add the ground ehu seed at this point.
3. It is time for ugba to be added, this is a special ingredient that makes your African salad very whole. Filter the water off the Abacha and add into the mixture, stir and check for salt.
4. Serve with fried fish or meat and a few slices of onions.
10. Pepper Soup
As the name implies, this is a soup that is stuffed with the best of spices – especially pepper. It is particularly served at bars, restaurants, and even parties. This soup also has varieties which include, fish pepper soup, chicken pepper soup, assorted meat pepper soup, catfish pepper soup, etc. They all have the same method of preparation with the only difference being the choice of protein. Let’s have a look at how to prepare assorted meat pepper soup;
- 600g Assorted Meats
- 2-4 Scotch Bonnet thinly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Pepper Soup Spice
- 3 Cloves Garlic (optional)
- 1/2 Inch Ginger Root (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Ata gun gun)
- 3 Tablespoons Dry or fresh Efinrin leaves OR Utazi Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 3 Knorr cubes
- Salt to taste
1. Wash meat thoroughly then transfer into a pot. Add onions, garlic, ginger, some knorr cubes, and salt to taste.
2. Place on medium heat and allow the meat to bring out its moisture and absorb the spices and onions, 15 minutes is fine.
3. Add enough water to cook the meat and leave until it is soft. You will need to have at least five cups of meat stock by the time the meats are cooked.
4. Add the chopped or blended scotch pepper, cayenne and black pepper then cook for two minutes.
5. Add the pepper soup spice then taste for seasoning. (Only add more water if the taste is too concentrated)
6. Add the chopped firing or utazi leaves then switch the heat off, and allow to simmer with residual heat for 2 minutes.
Your pepper soup is ready to be eaten with either rice, agidi (eko) or alone.
I believe after going through these 10 delicious foods in Nigeria and their recipes, the urge to try one or even all of them out is imminent. While trying out these dishes, ensure that you strictly follow the directions especially if it is your first time. Nigeria aside from being blessed in other spheres of life has other foods that are still very much mouth-watering, so many that we would need a journal for all of them. What are you waiting for to try out any of these 10 delicious foods in Nigeria and their recipes?
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