In Nigeria, cooking is an art form. The different ethnic groups contribute different cooking practices and dishes to make Nigerian cuisine among the best in the world.
Nigerians seek to bring their cuisine with them wherever they go in the world.
Nigerian food you should try
The following dishes are very popular in Nigeria and are the ones you will be most likely to find in a Nigerian restaurant outside of Nigeria.
Try one out for yourself and who knows, you may discover your new favorite meal!
The Pepper Soup is one of the tastiest dishes in Nigerian cuisine. The mouthwatering smell that the pepper soup gives off comes from the assortment of spices, garlic, pepper and onion that go in the pot.
The pepper soup can be prepared with different kinds of meat. If you do not like chicken then you can have the goat meat pepper pot soup or the beef pepper pot soup. Prepare it your way.
The Puff Puff is a Nigerian deep fried goodness. Nutmeg and sugar are some of the ingredients that make the puff puff a delectable treat and something that every visitor to Nigeria has to try.
Some flour, some yeast, a little sugar and a little spice make the Puff Puff so nice.
Deep-fried Battered Yams
Next delectable dish in Nigerian cuisine is deep fried battered yam. The deep fried battered yam is served with Nigerian stews and sauces. You can prepare this snack at home.
Get some white puna yams, vegetable oil and salt. Next step is to fry it in your frying pan it so that the outside is crispy and the inside is moist. With this dish, you are on your way to Nigeria.
The next mouthwatering dish in the Nigerian cuisine is Ogbono soup. Nigerians make this dish with ogbono seeds. Ogobon seeds make the soup thick and just right to eat with pounded yam.
Spices and vegetable must be in a dish of Ogbono soup. Chilli pepper, bitter leaf, tomatoes, onions, iru are among the spices and vegetable included in this, did I say mouthwatering, dish.
Wipe that bit of drool from your mouth and get ready for Gari Gari, a very popular and tasty dish in Nigerian cuisine.
The process to create gari gari includes grating cassava to create a mash, fermenting the mash then pounding the by-product in to fine flour.
Finally, we can mix gari gari with hot water and eat it as a snack or with stews and soups. Mix with sugar, honey or peanut for added sweetness.
What is Moin Moin though? Moin Moin is a steamed bean pudding.
The ingredients that go into baking this pudding include washed and peeled black-eyed peas, onion and ground peppers to add some spice.
Nigerians also add sardine, egg or crayfish to the moin moin to make it even more sumptuous.
You can have the Nigerian Moin Moin by itself or with dishes like jollof rice, fried rice and fried plantain. Serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Yes the moin moin is such an essential part of Nigerian cuisine that they will eat it at any given time.
Nigerians at home and abroad salivate when they think about suya. Suya is a Nigerian delicacy; pieces of skewered beef, lamb, pork or chicken dipped in suya pepper spice then roasted.
The end result is succulent pieces of spicy meat for you to feast on. The suya pepper spice consists of deep fried groundnut, ground ginger, pepper flakes, stock cubes and salt.
If you are in Nigeria, stop at a mai suya (suya seller) and treat yourself to a suya. I can already smell it roasting.
The egusi soup is one of the most popular dishes in Nigerian cuisine. It is prepared with the seeds of the egusi (melon), various types of meat, vegetables, seafood, fermented beans, onions and spices.
These ingredients give the egusi soup its mouthwatering taste.
The different ethnic groups in Nigeria have their own way of preparing the egusi soup. The taste may differ from group to group but the deliciousness of the egusi soup never changes.
Drop by a Nigerian’s house around breakfast time, Akara served with ogi or fried yam will be on the menu. Akara is a popular breakfast dish in Nigerian cuisine.
Bean paste, onion, salt and of course a little chilli pepper are the ingredients that go into making this mouth-watering breakfast meal.
The akara is so popular and so tasty that you will even find persons selling it on the street. So if you cannot get an invite to a Nigerian’s house, purchase some ankaras on the street.
They will be just as good. Okay maybe not just as a good as the ones my mother will make but close enough.
The jollof rice is really at the center of Nigerian cuisine. If you want to make a Nigerian angry, just say Ghana’s jollof rice is better than Nigeria’s jollof.
Though it can be very funny, the question is what makes the jollof so special that it has the power to start wars?
The jollof rice is a one pot meal. Its main ingredients are rice, tomato paste, spices and chilli pepper.
This is not all though, Nigerian mothers add a secret ingredient to the jollof to make it taste even better than that of all other African countries.
Final say on Nigerian cuisine
Nigeria has a lot to offer when it comes to food, and Nigerians take their food pretty darn seriously! You won’t have to look far to see or hear an argument about the origins of, or who makes the best joloff rice.
But trying the food of other cultures is what life is all about, getting together as one people and showing each other the creations and traditions, teaching, learning, growing as a people.
For some, Nigerian food is an acquired taste; for others it’s one of those things they didn’t know they needed in their life up until now. Which one will you be?
Another interesting read: Ultimate Guide to Jollof Rice (Learn How to Make Good Jollof!)