Foods in Nigeria: 10 Traditional Nigerian Foods

nigerian food bole and fish
Bole and fish | © Bole Festival

Nigerian cuisine is a fusion of spices and flavoursThe list of foods in Nigeria is endless, and the culinary style in the country varies from region to region, and can be an excellent insight into a country’s diverse history and culture. Before you head to Nigeria, here are 10 Nigerian traditional foods you need to know, and try them on your next trip.

Egusi soup

Egusi Soup Recipe
Nigerian egusi soup. © foodace/instagram

Perhaps nothing is more synonymous with Nigerian food than egusi soup and swallow. Made with ground melon (egusi) seeds and other Nigerian leafy vegetables, seasonings, and assorted meat, preferably. Egusi soup is served dishes like ebaamala, pounded yam (iyan), fufu, etc. And almost always available in eateries and restaurants all over the country. View full egusi soup recipe details 

Jollof rice

easy jollof rice recipe
Nigerian jollof rice

A wholesome and classic Nigerian dish, Jollof rice is deeply rooted in Nigerian and many West African cuisines, and is primarily made from rice with tomato and pepper-based stew. Many families will make this dish using meat stock. View full Nigerian jollof rice recipe details 

Suya

how to make suya
Beef Suya – © @zyzyyslifestyle/instagram

Although it may have Northern Nigerian roots – this tasty grilled meat coated with ground chili pepper, peanut powder, and other local spices is considered one of the country’s most popular dishes and sold by Nigerian street food vendors. View full suya recipe details 

Ewedu soup

how to cook ewedu soup
Ewedu Soup – © @chef_kofo/instagram

Ewedu is a traditional Nigerian food that is particularly popular amongst the Yoruba ethnic group (south-western Nigeria). However, it is appreciated by other Nigerian ethnic groups. 

Dodo (Fried plantain)

dodo nigerian fried plantain
Dodo (fried plantain) | © Debziesdelight

Dodo is preferably ripe plantain fried in vegetable or palm oil. This side dish (small chops) of plantains is very popular in mainstream Nigeria. View full dodo recipe details 

Bole

nigerian food bole and fish
Bole and fish | © Bole Festival

Bole is the most popular roasted dish in Nigeria. Roasted plantain (bole) can be served and eaten with groundnuts or eaten with smoked fish and pepper sauce. Nowadays, bole festival is the biggest food festival Southern and Eastern Nigeria. View full bole recipe details 

Peppersoup

Oxtail Pepper Soup recipe
Nigerian oxtail peppersoup | © Foodace/Instagram

A light soup full of meat and local herbs and spices. Nigerian peppersoup can be made with goat meat, chicken, beef or fish, and sometimes combinations of meat can be used (assorted meat peppersoup). This hearty comfort food is popular all over Nigeria and is often consumed as appetizer at social gatherings but also a resident order at restaurants and events. It is also one of the few Nigerian soups that can be eaten alone and not used as a sauce for main dishes such as pounded yam, rice or fufu. View full Nigerian oxtail peppersoup recipe details 

Yam porridge (Asaro)

Yam pottage/Yam Porridge (Asaro recipe)
Yam porrdige (asaro) | © sisijemimah

Asaro or porridge yam or yam porridge is a traditional Nigerian yam dish made spices with palm oil to create deeply flavored sauces that is thickened by the yam chunks as they cook till soft. A popular Nigerian dish common in the eastern and western region. View full yam porridge recipe details 

Ofada rice

Nigerian Cuisine: Top 10 Yoruba Foods_Ofada Rice
Ofada rice | © meedahs_relish

The perfect treat on a chilled day, ofada rice is a traditional food made with varieties of rice (local rice). A south-west Nigerian heritage that is now popular dish all over the country. 

Tuwo shinkafa

tuwo Shinkafa and miyan kuka
Tuwo Shinkafa & Miyan Kuka – © @sugadelights/instagram

Tuwo shinkafa is a northern Nigerian traditional dish that is prepared with the rice pudding variety, and usually eaten with miyan kuka.

We also recommend our guide to the top 10 Ghanaian food you have to try. 

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