There’s no doubt that Nigerian food is some of the most delicious in the world. If you’re visiting Nigeria, or just looking for a taste of Nigerian cuisine, here are 31 Nigerian foods you have to try at least once your lifetime.
From spicy stews and soups to deliciously crispy chicken, there’s something for everyone in Nigerian cuisine! So get ready to enjoy some of the best food Nigeria has to offer.
Nigerian Main Dishes
Suya (Nigerian Grilled Kebab)
Nigeria is famous for Suya (shish kebab). It is one of the most popular street foods in the country.
Nigerian Suya is traditionally made of beef or chicken skewers brushed with groundnut oil, salt, and spices and grilled on charcoal fire.
Suya is usually served with peanut sauce, sliced raw onions, and pineapple on the side. But it also taste good with sweetened toasted bread.
You can find Suya sellers on almost every busy junction, especially during peak hours when there would be long queues to buy this delicacy.
Moin-Moin (Nigerian Steamed Bean Cakes)
Nigerian moin moin is a bean cake made from black-eyed pea flour mixed with palm oil and onion. Vegetables like spinach, spring onions, waterleaf, and eggplant can be also added for extra flavor
The name moin-moin comes from the Mandinka language and means “wrapped”. It is also known as Nkrumah cake or Benachin.
This versatile Nigerian food can be eaten for breakfast like a porridge with a hot sauce such as Nigerian pepper soup, fried meat, stewed meat, tripe, or grilled fish.
Moin Moin is also used as a base ingredient for lunch and dinner meals along with rice and other Nigerian foods such as jollof rice, fried plantain, or yam.
Nigerian Jollof Rice
Jollof Rice is with no doubt number one traditional food in Nigeria. Nigerian Jollof rice is made of long grain rice and flavored with rich local spices and oil to give it a unique taste.
Nigerian Jollof Rice is often served with any type of meat or fish, although the traditional method is cooking the rice in a stew that contains beef or chicken.
The flavor is very rich and the gooey sauce is well known for its unique taste.
It’s best enjoyed hot, like many Nigerian foods on this list.
Egusi (Melon Seed Soup)
Egusi is a famous Nigerian soup made from melon seeds and a variety of other ingredients to make a rich, spicy, thick soup. The dish incorporates lots of green vegetables and traditional Nigerian spices such as nutmeg, pepper, thyme, and cray.
Egusi is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. It’s a healthy and delicious staple Nigerian food that everyone enjoys.
It is served in almost every restaurant and eatery, especially for lunch, and is usually accompanied by Fufu for meals or snacks. It can also be served as an appetizer with any meal.
Nkwobi (Cow Feet Stew)
Nkwobi is a spicy, Nigerian dish that is made of cow feet (Not so appetizing right?).
Nkwobi takes hours to cook, so this makes it special especially when you have company over. It is normally served at parties and celebrations of all kinds.
Nkwobi is also mixed with Okro soup for another Nigerian favorite dish- Okroshka.
Like many other Nigerian dishes, the taste of Nkwobi leaves an indelible mark on your palate that keeps you coming back for more Nigerian food.
Just keep in mind that it should be eaten with the fingers because it has to be dipped into the pepper soup or palm oil to
Efo Riro dish is popular in the southeastern part of Nigeria. Efo Riro can be prepared with either fresh or dried leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, or water convolvulus.
Efo Riro is cooked with either meat or fish, two ingredients that are often used in a Christmas dinner dish in Nigeria.
This unique dish is served with staple foods like Amala (Garri) and Eba (Garri flour) which are both made from cassava.
Ofada Stew is made from palm oil and okra, spiced with peppers and fresh tomatoes.
It is popular in southwest Nigeria, especially among the Yoruba people.
Ofada stew is usually served with white rice or pounded yam.
Tuwo Shinkafa (Raw Rice Tufu)
Tuwo Shinkafa is a traditional Nigerian thick pudding made with rice and coconut milk.
It is sometimes called Nigerian Fufu because it’s made almost the same way as the traditional Nigerian staple food FuFu, but instead of plantain, it uses Shinkafa which is also known as tapioca pearls.
Tuwo Shinkafa can be eaten with pepper soup or Okra soup.
Afang Soup is another popular Nigerian food. The main ingredient of Afang Soup is the leaves from the dry herb called Apha (Afang) which grows in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.
Afang Soup is a very nutritious and healthy Nigerian dish because it contains a high level of calcium, iron, vitamins A & C, and potassium. IIn Nigeria, the soup is usually served with FuFu, Eba, or pounded yam.
It is definitely not an everyday dish but worth trying if you’re ever given the chance.
If you are looking for real comfort food in Nigeria, try Ewa Agoyin.
Ewa Agoyin is a Nigerian food that is made of beans and pepper sauce (pepper, onion, tomato, crayfish, and some spices) Oh so yummy!.
Similar to other Nigerian foods, Ewa Agoyin is prepared with lots of different variations. Some cooks use meat as protein while others may add more vegetables or spices for extra flavor.
Ewa Agoyin can be eaten at any time of the day and it’s a dish that you will find in every street market and roadside joint in Nigeria.
Eba is a popular Nigerian dish among the Yoruba people in Western Africa.
It is made by frying Garri (Cassava flour), hot water and some oil to make a dough that looks like Fufu or pounded yam.
Eba can be eaten alone or with soup such as Okra soup or Nigerian groundnut soup.
It can also be stuffed or rolled with vegetables such as spinach and bitter leaf, and meats such as chicken and beef to make different kinds of Nigerian dishes such as Jollof rice and Nigerian fried rice.
Asun (Roasted goat meat)
The traditional Nigerian dish Asun refers to a spicy roasted goat meat dish.
Asun is prepared by cutting the goat meat into small cubes and marinating it with spices like ginger, onions, and garlic. The goat meat is then roasted and served hot.
Asun is commonly prepared during Nigerian holidays like Christmas, Easter, and weddings but it can also be enjoyed at any time of the year.
Delicious Nigerian Soups
The famous Pepper Soup is used as a base for many Nigerian dishes. It’s a traditional Nigerian soup made from meat and other ingredients such as tonic vegetables.
The soup can be cooked with meats such as goat meat and fish. Some versions of pepper soup use cow foot, tripe, and snails to add flavor while others use beef and chicken for taste and texture variation.
It is also known as Ogbono soup or Efo Eiro or Edikang Iku, depending on the region of Nigeria where it is prepared.
Ewedu is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the spinach family. This vegetable forms part of the same plant as Celosia Argentea which grows in many parts of West and East Africa.
To make the delicious Edewu soup, Ewedu leaves need to be mashed and cooked with palm oil, crayfish, salt & pepper. The result is a yummy soup similar to an Okra soup.
Ogbono Soup is one of the best Nigerian foods that you must experience. It is made of Ogbono seeds, palm oil, and fish (other meats can be used). To add more flavor, other ingredients including pepper, onion, and thyme leaves are also added.
Ogbono seeds (sometimes spelled Ogboni seeds) are the kernel of a wild mango plant native to West Africa, where it thrives in the dense rainforest vegetation.
Nigerian foods like Ogbono soup are unique and deliciously interesting because they’re not always made in the same way. It always depends on the region and the type of ingredient used.
Like many Nigerian dishes, Ogbono is usually served with staple foods such as Fufu and pounded yam.
Banga Soup is a Nigerian soup that is commonly cooked and served in Nigeria. It’s also served at Nigerian parties and gatherings.
This soup dish is prepared using fresh palm fruit and meat (beef, goat, or oxtails).
Other ingredients needed to make this dish include onion, palm oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and ground crayfish.
Edikang Ikong (Nigerian vegetable soup)
Edikang Ikong Soup is one of the many Nigerian hearty soups. It consists of fish, vegetables, and spices.
The most notable ingredients are oil palm fruit, catfish fillet, crayfish, meat or poultry, seasoning cubes, onions, ginger, thyme leaves, pimento berries, and many more.
This Nigerian soup is considered a special occasions’ dish and is not very accessible to all Nigerian families as it is expensive to make.
Unique Nigerian Staples
Pounded yam is a popular and traditional African staple dish made from cassava, also known as yuca or manioc.
There are many different ways of making pounded Yam. Many regions of Nigeria add spices such as chili pepper, thyme leaves, and onions.
Pounded yam is eaten with many Nigerian dishes including soups and stews.
Nigerian Fried Plantain
Nigerian Fried Plantains are a popular Nigerian dish made of unripe plantains. Plantains are unripe bananas, usually eaten cooked rather than raw like most other fruits.
The Nigerian Fried Plantain is extremely easy to make and can be served with a variety of Nigerian dishes.
Plantains are low in fat, and high in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. They are also easy to digest making them ideal for babies and toddlers.
Nigerian Fried Plantain is healthy if prepared without frying the plantain with excess oil.
Boli (Roasted Plantains)
Boli is a Nigerian roasted plantain dish made of sliced plantains that are roasted on a flat iron griddle.
This dish is prepared by slicing semi-ripe or ripe plantains, removing the skin, and roasting them on a hot metal griddle.
The plantains are then split into two and served with a dipping sauce, such as melted palm oil or a vegetable stew.
It is often eaten as a snack.
Okpa is a Nigerian food made of a special type of bean (Bambara bean). The beans are grounded to make the Okba flour which is the first and main ingredient in preparing this unique Nigerian dish.
Okpa is somewhat similar to Mexican tofu or Indian paneer; however, it does not taste like either one of those foods.
It has a texture and consistency of Tofu (bean curd) and unlike many Nigerian dishes, Okpa tastes better cold than hot.
It can be eaten with Nigerian Moin Moin, rice, or ground yam. Another Nigerian delicacy that may be eaten with Okpa is Suya (The Nigerian Kebab.
Yummy Nigerian Snacks
Puff Puff is famous Nigerian street food. It is made from dough and can be stuffed with various savory fillings and it is often eaten for breakfast or as a light snack.
Puff-puff has many different names, depending on what part of Nigeria you are in. You may hear it called “Akara” or “Akamu.”
Nigerian Puff-puff is one of the most common foods that you will find when traveling around Nigeria
Akara (black-eyed pea fritters)
Akara is a Nigerian food made from ground beans. It is usually fried and eaten as a snack or side dish. Akara, also known as black-eyed pea fritters, is common Nigerian street food.
Where to find Akara in Nigeria? Akara can be found anywhere in Nigeria but it is a common street food often found in popular Nigerian markets across the country.
There are also some restaurants that serve Akara as a side dish or snack.
Nigerian Sausage Rolls
Sold by street vendors in most Nigerian cities, Sausage rolls are a delicious on-the-go snack.
Nigerian sausage rolls are made by loading a pastry dough with sausage meat (It can be pork or meat) and some authentic Nigerian spices and then baking them in the oven.
This Nigerian delicacy can be found in restaurants and cafes as well and it’s usually accompanied by a chilled drink or yogurt for an extra flavor.
Nigerian Meat Pie
The Nigerian meat pie is quite similar to the sausage rolls. The difference lies in the stuffings. The Nigerian meat pie is filled with a mix of ground beef, potatoes, and carrot.
Don’t be afraid of having this food any time of the day. Really no limitation whatsoever, you can have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a real comfort to the soul
Ponmo (or Nigerian Ponmo), also known as Kanda, is one of the Nigerian snack foods that are popular in various parts of the country.
Ponmo is the Nigerian term for meat that is prepared from cowhide and other parts of a cow’s skin.
The Nigerian Ponmo is prepared by separating the skin of the cow from its meat and muscle, boiled in water or milk to make it tender, and later chopped into pieces and sold in the markets.
It’s a traditional food in Nigeria and it can be used to replace meat in soups and stews or just as a snack.
Kilish (Nigerian Beef Jerkey)
Kilishi also Kilichi is another great example of the variety of foods that Nigeria offers.
Kilichi is a form of beef jerky, a spicy one. And it’s actually very similar in ingredients to Suya but the taste and texture are totally different.
This Algerian dish is prepared by spicing up the meat and drying it under the sun for a few days. The result is a great salty snack
Gizdodo is a Nigerian food that originated from the southeast region of Nigeria, particularly in Rivers State.
Gizdodo is basically a mix of boiled and deep-fried chicken gizzards, Dodo (fried plantains), pepper and tomato sauce.
This dish is usually served as a side dish to other Nigerian foods such as Jollof rice.
Abacha and Ugba
Abacha and Ugba are two Nigerian foods that make a great African salad.
Abacha is simply dried and shredded cassava while Ugba is a fermented that’s made of African oil bean seeds.
The African salad is called after the two main ingredients Abacha and Ugba but it contains a lot more than that, including palm oil, dried fish, Calabash Nutmeg, ground African crayfish, locust beans, and Ponmo.
Jaw-dropping Nigerian Sweets
Chin Chin is Nigerian snack food, which has become very popular in Nigeria. Its name is originally from the Ibo language of Nigeria and means “lick.”
Chin Chin is made up of fried dough that is cut into small pieces and then covered with sugar or other sweet flavorings.
The dough is traditionally made of butter, sugar, eggs and flour, and some sort of seasoning.
There are many variations depending on the region in Nigeria. For example, in the south West Chin Chin is deep-fried whereas in southern Igboland Chin Chin is shallow fried.
Chin Chin can be bought in any traditional market in Nigeria.
Nigerian Coconut Rice and Custard
Nigerian Coconut Rice and Custard is a dish of African origin. The coconut rice is made with long grain rice, coconut milk, nutmeg, and raisins.
The recipe includes cooking the long grain rice for 25 minutes and then adding grated coconut, nutmeg powder, raisins, and coconut milk.
Nigerian Coconut Rice and Custard dish is now seen in many Nigerian homes because it is easy to prepare dish while some people use Nigerian coconut rice and custard as wedding cakes.
It is usually served as dessert or a side dish.
Masa (Nigerian Rice Cake)
Masa is a Nigerian staple similar to a pan-fried rice cake, the recipes vary a little across households but the basic premise never changes.
The small chewy rice cakes are made with simple ingredients (rice, yeast, sugar, and salt). Masa is very popular in northern Nigeria and is made for special occasions such as weddings and parties.
Tempting Nigerian Drinks
Zobo drink (Hibiscus tea)
Zobo Drink a worldwide popular drink that is originated in Nigeria. It’s made from dried rosella leaves (Hibiscus Sabdariffa). A bit of ginger and pineapple are usually added as well.
Zobo is also known to be a very healthy drink and is often used as medicinal tea as it is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants and helps in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.
Fura De Nunu (Millet and Milk drink)
Another famous Nigerian drink is Fura da Nunu which literally translates to Millet and Milk. Nunu is locally fermented cow milk with a consistency that is thick but isn’t quite as thick as yogurt.
In Nigeria, the vendors traditionally mold the fura (millet) into a ball and it’s mashed into the milk just before serving.
Nigerian Food FAQs
What is special about Nigerian food?
Nigerian food is unique in its own way. Nigerian cuisine has no set standards of how the food should taste or look. Every meal has an abundance of flavors and spices that will have your taste buds going wild!
What is Nigerian food made of?
Most dishes served in Nigeria will consist of rice as a side dish, along with meat and vegetables in a sauce.
Depending on how it’s cooked, Nigerian food can have a lot of spices, which pair well with a local Nigerian drink called Acha.
The exceptional flavors of Nigerian food come from different spices that are usually imported from all over the world which include ginger, chili pepper, onions, thyme, and much more, making it truly unique from other cuisines.
The most common meats in a Nigerian dish are chicken and beef, but they also use seafood as well.
Vegetables and fruits are abundant in Nigeria. Thanks to this, many Nigerian foods are considered healthy when prepared properly.
What is Nigeria’s national food?
When it comes to Nigerian food, the most well-known national dish is Jollof rice. Bu they also have so many other dishes that can be considered national dishes in other parts of the country.
Nigerian Food Tasting Tours
Nigerian Food Cookbooks
- Beginner’s Guide to Nigerian Cooking
- Easy Recipes for 92 Traditional foods from Nigeria
- All Nigerian Recipes Cookbook
- Traditional Nigerian Recipes Made Easy
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