If you’re ever visiting Nigeria, you’ll quickly get familiarized with the local food that is comprised of many ancient recipes that have merged together from various ethnic groups and is full of color and flavor. Not only will your tastebuds thank you, but all of your senses will be engaged with this beautiful an hearty cuisine. Here are some of the most delicious traditional foods you absolutely must have.
Jollof rice is popular in many West African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia, Mali, Togo, Gambia, and Cote d’Ivoire. Interestingly, there’s something of a rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana over which country has the better version of the dish. The base ingredients are rice, tomato, and pepper, which is usually found in all the variants. Toppings can include carrots, onions, shrimp, butter, and green peas.
Iyan is comprised on pounded yam and dates back many centuries ago. It is a predominantly Yoruba dish and is usually made by pounding yams with a mortar and pestle until the yam has formed a smooth and sticky dough. It is usually served with stews and soups and is part of a hearty meal, which is why it is commonly served at lunch or for an early dinner.
This delicacy is most commonly found in the southwestern region of Nigeria. The three varieties are made of different flours: yam, cassava, or plantain. These different àmàlà are often eaten with soups like egusi melon seed soup, ewedu cochurus leaf soup, efo riro vegetable meat soup, or Ogbono soup.
Ogbono soup is made of ogbono seeds, which are grown in southern Nigeria. These give the soup its signature dark color. Other ingredients in the soup include water, parl oil, meat or fish seasonings like chili pepper and leaf vegetables. It is often eaten with fufu or iyan.
Puff puff is a traditional African snack that is made of flour, yeast, sugar, butter, salt, water, and eggs that are turned into a batter that is then fried in vegetable oil. The puffs are later rolled in sugar, and other flavorings like cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg are sometimes added. They can also be served with dips like raspberry or strawberry.