Nigerian cuisine has some of the mouthwatering, tastiest dishes from around the globe. They use some
of the commonly available ingredients around the World to make some of the unique dishes which you
could crave about all your life. The west African cuisines predominantly use herbs and spices to create
tasteful and aromatic dishes, and Nigerian is no exception. The common forms of dishes include soups
and rice/ meat that is intensely flavored. Let’s have a look at some of the best Nigerian recipes.
- Jollof rice:
Jollof rice is the most popular dish in Nigeria. It is not only famous in the country but also across
Ghana and other West African countries. Jollof rice is famous across every part of Nigeria, and to
our surprise, the dish doesn’t use rare and fancy ingredients but the most common items you
can find in almost every kitchen around the globe. The components required in preparing jollof
rice are rice, onions, tomatoes, and spices such as pepper. While some people serve it with
chicken, fried fish, or beef, this dish can also be simply served with vegetables, for an easy and
straightforward vegetarian option.
Garri is also known as Eba and is a dish made from ground cassava. This dish is, without any
doubt, the staple food of Nigeria. The households of various ethnic groups and a regional
population of Nigeria consider Garri as a part of their regular meals. The process of preparing
this dish starts with peeling off the skin from the harvested cassava, washing and grinding this
root vegetable. Later, you will have to drain off the water wholly, add hydrocyanic acid and little
starch to it, and then the mixture is sieved and fried in a hot pan. Garri is ready to be served.
- Pounded yam:
Nigeria is one of the top producers of yam in the world, and hence, undoubtedly serves as the
home to the best recipes of yam. Pounded yams are soft fufu recipes, usually served with stews
and soups. Their physical resemblance is to mashed potatoes; however, the texture is stretchy.
The preparation process begins with peeling and washing the yam. Then, boil the yam and mash
until it turns into a soft dough-like texture. Yorubas, a native group to Western Nigeria, enjoy
pounded yam the most, and it is also popular amongst the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria.
Akara is a bean cake, deep-fried in vegetable oil. It is usually a breakfast item, however, can also
be taken as a snack, anytime throughout the day. Beans are rich in proteins, and hence, this dish
is nutritious and at the same time, snacky. The majority of the people use peeled brown beans to
make this recipe. These peeled beans are then ground and mixed along with onions and spices.
Such a mixture is deep-fried in vegetable oil, and it’s ready to be served. It is said to be enjoyed
better with Agege bread, which is a bread typical to African countries.
Boli is the simplest of the snacks and popular street food in Nigeria. The main ingredient is the
plantain fruit. The plantains are roasted, salt added to taste, and served with peanuts. Some
enjoy boli with grilled fish, too. If you wish to make the dish more fancy and flavorful, you may
include a sprinkle of paprika, pepper sauce, and also a few minced jalapenos in the recipe.
Suya is meat skewers perfectly grilled in an open flame. The traditional recipe includes beef,
with a spicy peanut seasoning. Suya is one of the famous street foods of Nigeria and more
favorite of the Hausa community of Northern Nigeria. It is a tasty snack item that derives its
flavor from the Suya sauce, made from cayenne pepper, peanuts, salt, and other variety of
seasonings. This suya sauce is steeped into the meat, before grilling, thus giving it a rich, spicy
flavor that forever, stays in your tongue.
Zobi is a refreshing drink from a plant native to Western Africa. It uses Roselle, which is a
therapeutic plant and is a part of the Hibiscus family. The drink uses the flowers of this plant. It
is a non- alcoholic drink that best suits a hot day or a hectic day of work. This drink can be highly
customized. The drink has a sweet and tangy flavor, and you can add any fruit of your choice to
this drink. You can also add some chilies, lemonade, or even some sparkling water and enjoy the
- Ogbono soup:
Ogbono is also known as African mango. The ogbono soup consists of ground Ogbono seeds,
added to stock, spices and palm oil. It is effortless to cook and has a lot of variations. Based on
preferences of tastes, one can include vegetables, fish, meat or only okras or melon seeds. It has
a slippery texture and is a perfect combination to fufu or pounded yam.
- Moin Moin:
It is easily one of the favorites for the vegan people. Moin Moin is a steamed bean cake that
can be either consumed as a side dish or as a part of the main dish itself. It has a nutty texture
and contains peeled brown beans, which is typical of Nigeria. These peeled beans are ground
together with bell peppers and onions, a variety of spices, and palm oil. Traditionally, the
procedure is to steam them on banana leaves. However, regular vessels are used for the same
nowadays. If you aren’t vegan, you can explore the flavors of this dish by adding hard-boiled
eggs, flakes of fish or even ground beef and enjoy the delicious recipe.
Dodo is a special dish in terms of a variety of reasons. One can never go wrong in preparing a
dodo. It is the easiest of the recipe and has no specific procedure to make it. Dodo is plantains
cut into slices and deep-fried in oil. Some people prefer to cut the plantains into circles, some
into diagonal slices and some as cubes. Depending on personal taste buds, people can either
choose to add salt or not. Dodo is a full meal, by itself, or it can be had as a side dish or even as a
snack. Such a versatile recipe is commonly a part of a party menu.
- Edikang Ikong:
Edikangikong is a native dish to Nigeria’s Cross River region. It is a dry vegetable soup made out
of iron-rich green, leafy vegetables. The ingredients included in this dish are gbure, which is also
known as waterleaf, and ugwu, which is fluted pumpkin leaf. In case these vegetables are not
available, people sometimes substitute them with spinach, which is also leafy, green and is rich
in iron content. The other variations of this dish did add meat or fish to the soup mixture and
- Puff puff:
These are simply dough balls that are deep-fried in oil. Puff puff is a type of doughnut and is a
traditional snack in Western Africa. People in certain parts of Western Africa also make a
variation of this dish, known as mandazi. The dough consists of flour, eggs, butter, yeast, sugar
and water. Then roll this dough into small balls and deep fry in vegetable oil, to make soft dough
- Chin chin:
For all the sweet tooth people, Chin Chin is the best tea time pastry that gives a mouthwatering
experience. The ingredients are butter and sugar. Cut into cube shapes or slices; this is a butter-
based pastry deep-fried and also coated with high levels of sugar.
- Obe egusi:
Obe egusi is a variety of stew made from melon seeds. Egusi is a type of melon seed that is
typical to Nigerian land. The recipe involves grinding egusi and cooking it in palm oil. Then you
add a variety of items to the cooked egusi, such as meat, leafy greens, locust beans, and ground
crayfish. There are ample types of variations to this basic recipe. Some people use seafood
instead of meat. As far as the leafy greens are concerned, an authentic method includes ugwu
and ewuro. But many people substitute these greens with only spinach, the reason being the
former are difficult to source, these days. There are differences in the way people cook egusi.
Some fry egusi, some add an egg to the stew, and some prefer not to clump the egusi. You can
serve this dish with pounded yam, ebu, or amla.
- Pepper soup:
It is a drinking soup that has a thin consistency and has a spicy taste to it. Pepper soup is highly
customizable. The recipe is as simple as adding any amount of chunks of meat or seafood to the
soup and enjoying a great sip. Some of the shared preferences of ingredients are catfish, goat
meat, and boiled plantains or yam and not to forget a dash of palm oil.
Banga is typical to the Urhobo community and is a soup based on palm fruit. Though it is
authentic to and commonly consumed across the Delta region, there are variations of this recipe
that exist across Western Africa and even beyond that. People tend to try this soup based on
ingredients commonly available around their place. Such components include assorted meat,
fish and other seafood, and not to forget their regional spices. The combination of palm fruit,
meat, and shellfish creates a delicious taste and offers a unique texture, which makes it a
favorite amongst many people. Many prefer to have this soup with eba.
Igbin is a recipe for peppered land snails. The taste of Nigerian land snails is unique and hard to
explain. However, the general opinion is that they have a fantastic texture and flavor to them.
A basic igbin recipe involves taking deshelled land snails and cooking them in pepper sauce and
adding some onions to it. There are other variations to this dish, where some people also add
fried plantains and tomato sauce to the basic recipe. Such additives bring in a variety of flavors
to the plate and make it more interesting.
- Efo rice:
Efo rice is a classic dish of the Yoruba community of Nigeria, and they are said to be the best at
stew recipes. Efo rice translates to “mixed greens” in their language. It is such a versatile dish,
which you can have with absolutely anything, and it can be customised based on your taste
preferences. However, certain ingredients cannot miss out on a traditional recipe. Efinrin, the
African spinach and efo soko, the Lagos spinach are mandatory in an authentic recipe. They also
prohibit tomatoes from being added to this dish since it creates a sogginess that is not suitable
for the plate. Some people also include bell peppers, locust beans, blended scotch bonnets and
onions to this recipe, to make it even more fragrant and rich in flavour.
- Ekpang nkukwo:
Ekpang nkukwo is a type of porridge typical to Nigeria. The origin roots back to the Efik
community of Nigeria and prepared during special occasions. The main ingredient is the
cocoyam. First, you will have to take cocoyams leaves to wrap the cocoyams, and then cook it
along with greens, periwinkle, and palm oil. This recipe is so rich in flavor and has a creamy
consistency, which feels like heaven to the tastebuds.
- Ewa Agoyin:
Ewa Agoyin is one of the famous street foods of Nigeria, having its origin to one of the native
communities of Nigeria. Ewa translates to “beans” in the Yoruba language, and Agoyin refers to
the Beninoice community in Nigeria; those people originated the dish, and hence it is named
after them. Ewa Agoyin is a snack that uses white or brown beans. Firstly, you will have to smash
the beans and cook until it turns soft. Then add palm oil sauce to the beans. An authentic palm
oil sauce would be smoky and highly pigmented, which adds a unique flavor to the recipe.
Later, add onions and dried peppers to infuse the spice to the dish and serve it hot. Some
people prefer to include grounded crayfish to this recipe, and the taste still comes out well.
It is time to take your tastebuds on a fun trip and enjoy the authentic, tasty dishes of the Nigerian land.