Top Exotic Nigerian Dishes You Must Taste This Week

Nigerians, they say, love food; and maybe this is true as can be seen in the variety of dishes local to the country. There are over 350 tribes and languages in Nigeria, and each tribe and region has its own local delicacies carefully prepared from cassava, plantain, yam, cocoyam, millet, rice, beans, maize, and served with stew or soup of vegetables, fruits, seeds, spices and thickeners and enriched with assorted meats and fresh or dried fish.

Nigerians usually eat three times a day: breakfast between 7-9 am, lunch between 1-3 pm, and dinner between 8-10 pm. Here are some of the top local delicacies in Nigeria, and you must taste some of them to really appreciate the richness of the Nigerian staple meal:

1. Egusi soup and pounded yam: Although egusi soup and pounded yam is eaten in every part of Nigeria, it is most appreciated in the southwest or Yoruba-speaking part of the country. Egusi means “melon,” in Yoruba language, and its seeds are used to cook the delicious egusi soup. The egusi soup can be cooked whole or with fresh and dried vegetables, and it is usually enriched with fish and meat. Some of its ingredients are onions, vegetables, pepper, tomato, seasoning, and of course the ground egusi seeds. It can be eaten with pounded yam, eba, amala, fufu, semolina, starch, or any other prepared dough.

2. Banga soup and eba: Banga or red palm kernel soup is mostly eaten in the eastern or Igbo-speaking parts of Nigeria. The fresh and ripe palm kernel are plucked out and cooked and then gently pulverized in a mortar in order to squeeze out its thick red oil. This is cooked with ingredients such as crayfish, vegetables, pepper, seasoning, meat, and local herbs added to it. It can be eaten with coloured eba, fufu, pounded yam, starch, and semolina among others.

3. Tuwo shinkafa: Tuwo is largely eaten in the northern part or Hausa-speaking people of Nigeria. Tuwo shinkafa is made from ground rice, and tuwo masara can also be made from ground millet, dried maize, sorghum, and other kinds of corn. This food is made into a dough that can be eaten with local Hausa soups richly blended with local herbs, fish and meat among others.

4. Jollof rice: Jollof-rice is rice cooked with all ingredients and seasonings cooked into a broth in which the rice is cooked. Some of the ingredients used in cooking the broth in which Jollof rice is cooked are onions, tomato, pepper, curry powder, thyme, salt, green peas, baked beans, sweet corn, crayfish, meat, fish, and other desired vegetables. Jollof is usually served at parties and most social events in Nigeria, and it is eaten by both the rich and the poor on almost daily basis.

5. Yam porridge: Yam porridge is mostly eaten by peoples of eastern and southwestern Nigeria. The main component is cooked yam, which is then mashed with pepper, red oil, seasoning, local herbs, vegetables, crayfish, fish and meat added. This food is normally eaten as breakfast or during lunch, and it is a tasty menu desired by many people across the country.

6. Other dishes eaten in other ethnic tribes of the country are – Afang soup, bitter-leaf soup, edikang-ikong soup, okro soup, ewedu soup, gbegiri soup, ogbono soup, groundnut soup, atama soup, ofe nsala soup, ofe oha soup, gbagbaofofo, miyan kuka, miya kabewa, miya taushe, and pepper soup. There are also akara, moin-moin, akamu or ogi, and abacha ugba among others.