Cooked to perfection with spices and brimming with delicious sauces, that’s the ultimate comfort food in Nigeria. Nigerian cuisine is a culinary delight that never fails to satisfy your palate. The fact that it is so homely and so comforting just adds to the entire experience. It has several delicacies, all of which, besides being finger-licking good, are made with delicate herbs and spices. The aroma that lingers in the air will make you drool while the flavors bursting in your mouth will tantalize your taste buds.
If you are on a mission to find the freshest produce for your loved ones and get groceries delivered in Nigeria or want to order groceries to whip up a Nigerian stew, Now Now Express is an ideal place where your quest can end. But before that, you must acquaint yourself with these simple, yet flavorful ingredients that swear to take any dish up a notch. Since Nigeria has around three hundred tribes, each tribe features unique dishes, but some ingredients are common to most Nigerian recipes. Here is a list of the top 13 essential Nigerian food ingredients that you must have in your pantry. Check them out!
1. Rock Salt:
Rock Salt is a pretty common ingredient that works well as a tenderizer. It works by making the meat really succulent, tender, and juicy while retaining the lovely flavors. Apart from being a handy ingredient, rock salt also has several health benefits. It improves the digestion and boosts the metabolism. One may even sprinkle it on some beets or bananas for some extra taste.
There are a handful of herbs that are a part of Nigerian cuisine. Thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, and Yoruba Efirin are some of the herbs which are frequently used as a seasoning for different kinds of meats. You can add these to stews and soups and make them more flavorful.
Herbs and spices go hand in hand in Nigerian food. Nutmeg, bay leaves, turmeric, suya spice, paprika, etc. are commonly used in the dishes. Nigerians definitely like their food spicy, so every meal hits you at a different spot. Isi Ewu, Suya, Asun, and Kilishi are some of the spiciest delicacies you should not miss.
Onions are often used as a base for several stews and soups. It adds a unique flavor to the dishes while also adding to the nutritive value. Plenty of traditional recipes call for caramelized onions. Fry them or caramelize them, they taste delicious whichever way you make them. In some meals, you can even use spring onions for a refreshing touch.
Flours, especially Cassava flour and Yam flour, are widely used in Nigerian cooking. Moin-Moin, Chin Chin, Amala, and Tuwon Garin Shinkafa are recipes that call for diverse kinds of flour. Nigerian meat pie can be a perfect choice if you want to make something mouthwatering and fulfilling. Plantain flour, beans flour, and rice flour are some variants of flour that can be used to create delectable dishes.
6. Stock Cubes
Stock cubes are a handy ingredient that you can simply toss in soups or any other dish. What makes them so unique is the fact that they are versatile and easy to use. Stock cubes are essentially solid, savory cubes of meat broth or vegetable broth that add a yummy flavor to any dish. They can be added to gravies, soups, stews, sauces – basically, any recipe that requires this savory goodness.
Yams are a staple in African countries, and rightly so, plenty of Nigerian recipes call for this nutrient-laden ingredient. In fact, you can successfully incorporate this ingredient in almost any dish or even have it as a side dish. Pounded yam is easy to make, and it goes excellently with soups.
This one is a common ingredient in Nigeria and one of the most crucial components of traditional Nigerian pepper soup. Alligator pepper that is also known as grains of paradise, has an alligator-like skin, which is where it got its name. It is used to add a lovely aroma and a hint of spice. Notes of this ingredient can be recognized in many soup recipes.
While plantains are members of the banana family, they are higher in starch and lower in sugar. Unlike bananas, they retain their shape during cooking. They are served with Jollof Rice and are sometimes added to stews for more flavor. Dodo or fried plantains are also a sumptuous snack
Dried crayfish powder is added to a bunch of dishes to have a kick of flavor. It is used as a seasoning, and it adds the authentic traditional taste to soups and gravies. If you’re new to Nigerian cooing, you can experiment with this unique ingredient by adding it to fried rice.
11. Palm Oil
Palm oil is a staple that is used in several recipes in Nigerian food. Toss it in stews or add it to Abacha (African salad). Palm oil is extremely versatile and can be added to almost any dish. Palm oil Jollof rice is a hearty, family meal that you can whip up with a handful of ingredients.
Nigerians love their beef, and it is a critical ingredient in a lot of flavorful recipes. It is added to stews for that meaty flavor and extra protein, plus it is loaded with nutrients. The Nigerian beef stew is a wholesome and inviting delicacy that goes well rice and fried plantains.
13. Parboiled Rice:
Parboiled rice can be used in any rice recipe. They are pre-cooked rice, which is comparatively healthier than regular white rice. What makes them great is that they are convenient and can be added instantly without much preparation. To add to that, they also absorb sauces or other ingredients without any fuss, resulting in a flavorful and delicious treat.
These were some popular ingredients that are widely used in Nigerian food. Find these ingredients on Now Now Express and easily send food to Nigeria while sitting anywhere in the world. You must consider including them in your meals to add more flavor and texture to them. The Nigerian cuisine is loaded with intensely flavored gravies and sauces, traditional herbs, and plenty of spices, and it will surely leave you amazed.