15 Nigerian Recipes Everyone Needs To Try

Nigeria has one of the best cuisines and Nigerian dishes are known as one of the tastiest foods in the world. They contain different spices and herbs alongside palm or groundnut oil with an enticing aroma and deep flavours that will take your taste buds on a sweet ride. 

Whether you like savoury, sweet, peppery or whatever your choice may be, you will find at least one Nigerian dish that is suited to your preference. Whether you want to surprise your family with a new dish you haven’t prepared before or you want to try Nigerian food for the first time, these are some of the classic Nigerian dishes you should try out.

Nigerian Recipes

Jollof Rice

Rice is consumed in every part of the world but in Nigeria, we have our famous and favourite Jollof. It is made with tomatoes, scotch bonnets, onions and chilli peppers. You can use any variation you like or add other ingredients but these five ingredients are usually constant in every Nigerian Jollof. It is usually cooked and eaten at parties. It is sometimes served with vegetables, fried plantain, chicken, beef and/or fried fish. It is so highly rated and it is one of the Nigerian favourites. Any party without Jollof Rice is not complete. This is one dish everyone should try

Pounded yam

This is another favourite of Nigerians. It is mostly eaten by the people of Western Nigeria (Yorubas) but the people of Eastern Nigeria (Igbo) also enjoy this delicacy. It is also eaten by Tiv people in Benue, Taraba and Nassarawa. Pounded yam is simply boiled yam that has been crushed or stirred into a creamy, dough-like consistency. It is mostly prepared using Mortar and pestle, but there are other options like using a blender or hand mixer. It can be enjoyed with Nigerian soups like Okra, Egusi, Vegetable, Ogbono, Banga and Afang.

Suya

Suya is simply nicely cut beef that is spiced and grilled over an open flame. It is usually served with fresh cabbage, onions and tomatoes. It is usually wrapped with old newspapers or aluminium foil and eaten during the evening or night. Before grilling, it is usually marinated with a combination of peanuts, cayenne pepper, salt and some extra spices like ginger powder. After grilling it is sprayed with Yaji, a special kind of Northern spice mix of pepper and salt. It is a delicacy enjoyed by all Nigerians and visitors from all over the world. 

Egusi Soup

This is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. It is a soup that gets its name from the protein-rich melon seeds that are ground and boiled to make Egusi, which is what the Yorubas call it.  It has a velvety, creamy texture with a rich flavour. It can be eaten with any of the famous Nigerian swallows like eba, pounded yam and amala. It is usually cooked with ingredients like stockfish, crayfish, red oil, vegetables, seafood, onions and other condiments. It can be prepared with beef, goat meat, fish or even shellfish.

Garri

This is undoubtedly the popular food eaten in Nigeria. It is consumed by households irrespective of their region or ethnicity. Garri is prepared from cassava. The cassava is peeled, washed and ground. It is then drained of water, starch and hydrocyanic acid before it is sieved and fried in a hot pan. The result is called garri. Some Nigerians love to drink it with water and groundnut or fried fish. Others prefer to use it to prepare Eba which is Garri and hot water. Eba can be eaten with different soups like Afang, Banga, Egusi, Vegetable Soup and Okro Soup.

Akara

Every Nigerian family will know the famous Akara used to drink pap or garri. It is made with black-eyed peas or beans. It is also called Fried bean cakes or Kosai as it is called in the Northern parts of the country. They are usually crunchy and sometimes spicy. It is prepared by deep-frying the bean cake in either groundnut or palm oil. The beans are first soaked in water to remove their skin and then ground to a mash which is then deep-fried. 

Moi Moi

This is also made with the blended or ground mash of beans. Moi Moi is the boiled version.  It is one Nigerian delicacy that will keep you asking for more especially when it is garnished with fish, crayfish and egg. The basic ingredients are oil, tomatoes, pepper, salt, some spices and the bean mash. It can be eaten alone or with pap, custard or soaked garri.

Pepper Soup

This is a common delicacy enjoyed by Nigerians in every part of the country. It usually contains a lot of goat meat, beef, chicken, mutton or fresh fish like catfish. Some like to use cow offal to prepare it. It is loved for its spicy nature. It is usually sold in bars accompanied by chilled beer or juice. Its classic seasoning mix is made up of spices like alligator pepper, uda and gbafilo. If you don’t know where to get all these, just buy the ready-made spice mix and make your pepper soup. It is very healthy due to the natural spices used to prepare it. It is very spicy, delicious and has a nice inviting aroma. Nigerians love to eat pepper soup during cold periods.

Efo Riro

It is also called Vegetable Soup. “Efo Riro,” which roughly translates to “stirred leafy vegetable,” can be made with your meat or fish of choice, and traditionally attains its layered flavour from iru (locust bean) and ground crayfish. This recipe, as with many West African recipes, calls for palm oil, a crop that is native to the region. Some people like to add other vegetables like Water Leaf (Gbure), Fluted pumpkin (Ugwu) and Scent leaves (Efinrin). It is considered a blood tonic because of the varieties of vegetables used in preparing it.

Ofada stew

This is one of my personal favourites. It is made with spicy scotch bonnets, smoked dried shrimp and locust beans. It can also be prepared using chopped beef or cow offal. This is one of the Nigerian dishes that inspire appetite with just a glance or a taste. It is so rich in flavours and it is usually paired with ordinary white rice or ofada rice. Some like it spicy and others don’t.

Ewa Agoyin

This is a delicacy common among the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria. Ewa agoyin is cooked and mashed beans are eaten with pepper sauce. The sauce does not just contain pepper. It also has onions, tomatoes, crayfish and some spices. It is made with honey beans. The sauce is rich in flavour. It is usually eaten with bread, plantains or yam.

Nkwobi

This is one dish common in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Nkwobi is prepared from cow feet. It is mostly a traditional dessert that is usually garnished with utazi leaves and palm oil. It is served and eaten at special social events. It is enjoyed by people from different parts of the country. It can be cooked using goat meat, cow’s tail and/or chicken. People of the olden days used to enjoy Nkwobi with bush meat such as rabbits or even antelopes.

Abacha and Ugba

Abacha is also called the African salad. This delicious delicacy is prepared with cassava , which is first properly cooked, then grated before being sun dried. The sun-dried cassava flakes are used in preparing The African Salad. It earned the name ‘African Salad’ because of the fresh vegetables used in garnishing it. It also contains Ugba (oil bean seed). It is mostly served with fried fish and ponmo (cowskin) and eaten as a dessert. 

Ewedu

Ewedu is a very delicious soup mostly associated with the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria. It is a popular delicacy in the country. It is made from Jute leaves. It is usually blended and then boiled. It is usually garnished with a lot of ponmo and beef or cow offal. It is usually served with Amala. A tomato-pepper sauce can be added to the Ewedu soup to accommodate the slight bitterness of the Jute plant leaves.

Banga Soup

This delicious soup is very popular in Nigeria. It is loved and eaten by Nigerians from different parts of the country. It is a Delta/Urhobo favourite. It is prepared with ripe palm fruit. It is prepared by crushing the palm fruit and cooking with the product. Adequately garnished with meats, fish and other special ingredients, it has a unique aroma and taste that is just traditional and amazing. It is mostly eaten with starch and sometimes white rice.

Conclusion

With our urban lifestyles today and the temptation of fast foods like burgers and the rest, we miss out on the benefits of the traditional dishes we grew up with. These dishes are not only delicious but they are also a part of our heritage and culture. Also, our Nigerian dishes are healthy because they often contain a lot of vegetables and protein.

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