If you’re tired of the same old, let’s take a culinary journey to the west coast of Africa. Nigerian Food is aromatic, colorful, and full of flavor. Besides jollof rice and fufu, there are many delicious staples. From hearty and rich stews and soups to savory staples, you’ll enjoy every single bite of these traditional meals.
In the kitchen, Nigerians use lots of plant-based ingredients and are generous with herbs and spices. Western vegans and vegetarians have learned a lot from Nigerian recipes, which heavily feature plant-based foods like yam, rice, and cassava. For the meat lovers, there’s nothing quite like an expertly seasoned Nigerian meat pie or Suya.
If you’re new to West African cooking, get ready for your world to be rocked! These simple recipes are perfect for beginners who want to expand their gastronomic horizons. If you’re a Naija food pro, brush up on your skills with this comprehensive collection of all the best Nigerian dishes.
What is Nigeria’s Most Popular Food?
Besides music from Davido and WizKid, Jollof rice may be Nigeria’s most popular export. Naijas at home and in the diaspora are passionate about the flavorful rice dish for good reason – it’s absolutely delicious!
What Is a Typical Nigerian Meal?
Dinnertime is a special occasion in Nigerian homes. Even everyday weeknight meals are wholesome, satisfying and full of flavor. Rice dishes like jollof rice or tuwo shinkafa are eaten alongside savory bean-based entrees like Ewa Riro. For those craving meat, beef dishes like suya (grilled steak) and Nkwobi (spicy cow foot) are popular choices.
Traditional Staple Food
In Central and Western Africa, fufu is any variety of starchy food that has been mashed and shaped into balls and eaten as a staple.
Fufu can be made with yam, cassava or other ground provisions.
If you only try one recipe from this list, let it be Jollof rice.
If you like mashed potatoes, you’re sure to enjoy pounded yam.
This tasty staple is super filling and can be served with traditional African soups and stews.
If you’re new to Nigerian cuisine and want to start with an easier recipe, give Asaro a try.
Yam is cooked until it’s soft and tender, then seasoned with peppers and onions for a flavorful and savory porridge.
In Yoruba, it’s called Dodo and it’s served with everything from Jollof rice to savory stews.
If you love fried plantains (and who doesn’t?), you’ll definitely want to give Boli a try.
This popular Nigerian street food features sweet ripe plantains coated in olive oil, delicately seasoned and grilled to perfection.
This savory Nigerian dish is made with a tasty combination of black-eyed peas, onions, peppers and seasonings.
Looking for something new and wholesome to add to your breakfast menu? Garri is a Nigerian cereal made with cassava and milk.
Toppings like nuts and berries make this dish even tastier.
In eastern Nigeria, Nkwobi is served in popular restaurants and is considered a delicacy.
This spicy dish is made with cow foot, which is seasoned and pressure cooked until tender.
Yam flour is cooked until it forms a smooth, fluffy side dish that can be served with a variety of soups, such as the flavorful Ewudu.
Best of all, Àmàlà can be prepared in just a few minutes.
These homemade Nigerian dinner rolls are soft, fluffy and delicious.
Serve them with moin moin or on their own with a generous smothering of butter.
Tender strips of sirloin steak are skewered, generously seasoned and coated in finely chopped peanuts.
Grill until slightly charred for an irresistible appetizer.
This colorful salad is chock full of healthy ingredients like carrots, cucumbers and hard-boiled eggs.
Serve cold on its own or as a side.
If you’re a fan of Mexican empanadas, expand your palate by trying the Nigerian meat pie.
Ground beef is seasoned and cooked with diced potatoes and carrots, then stuffed inside a flaky, savory pastry.
Eba food is a traditional staple made from cassava. It can be paired with other tasty Nigerian dishes such as Okro soup or meat stew.
This Nigerian pudding has a custardy texture and a unique, tangy flavor. For many Nigerian babies, it’s their first introduction to solid food.
You’ve never had rice pudding quite like this! Rice is cooked until soft, then shaped into large balls.
Tuwo shinkafa can be served with soups and stews in lieu of dumplings.
These sweet buns are beyond tasty and are ready in only 15 minutes.
You’re sure to love the sweet, crunchy texture and rich vanilla flavor.
Nigerian Stews and Soups
For chilly winter nights, you’ll hardly find a more comforting dinner option. Nigerian chicken pepper soup is meaty, flavorful, and totally satisfying.
When you’re craving something meaty and satisfying, look no further than this spicy Nigerian stew.
This Nigerian spinach stew is like nothing you’ve ever tried before. With Efo Riro, you’ll get a healthy dose of leafy greens plus lots of meaty flavors.
Despite its name, this traditional African soup is made from the white seeds of pumpkins.
In many Yoruba households, Ofada stew is a delicacy saved for special occasions.
The delectable stew is made with goat meat, smoked shrimp and lots of seasonings.
Okra soup has a thick, viscous texture that takes full advantage of the abundance of seasonings added to the pot.
The afang is a dark green leafy vegetable that’s quite similar to spinach.
In this quintessential Nigerian dish, afang is transformed into a rich soup thanks to bone broth, palm oil, meats and seafood.
This thick soup is made from the seed of the Ogbono fruit, and not mangoes as the name implies.
This nourishing soup can also be found in East Asia and Virginia in the United States. A staple in many West African households, this flavorful soup is great with meat, seafood or veggies.
This one-pot bean stew sure comes in handy on lazy weeknights. Made with traditional Nigerian honey beans or black-eyed peas, this dish comes together quickly and cleanup is a cinch.
Puff puff is a simple yet satisfying Nigerian pastry that will remind you of donut holes. Enjoy these addictive balls as a snack or appetizer.
Sweetened dough is cut into squares and fried until golden and crispy.
Make a big batch of these sweet snacks because you simply won’t be able to stop munching on them!
This all-natural candy is made with only two ingredients – grated coconuts and brown sugar.
When baked in the oven, the coconut flakes become irresistibly crispy and caramelized.
This timeless pound cake has a rich flavor thanks to pure vanilla extract and nutmeg.
Once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll never go back to boxed cake mix!
Sometimes called bean fritters, these tasty snacks are super flavorful and vegan-approved.
Black-eyed peas are seasoned and blended into a smooth paste, then fried in hot oil.
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Popular Nigerian Food (Fufu Recipe and More)
- 1 pound cassava
- 1 pound plantains ripe
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the cassava and plantains with cold water. Peel the skin and cut them into chunks.
- In a large pot add water and bring it to boil.
- Add cassava and plantain pieces, and boil them for about 15-20 minutes until they’re soft. Test by piercing with a fork after 15 minutes.
- Transfer the pieces to a food processor or blender using a slotted spoon.
- Pulse to blend, adding water GRADUALLY, until it reaches your desired consistency. It’s important to add small amount of water each time.
- Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter, and take about 2 spoons of the mixture to the middle of the wrap. Shape it into balls. Repeat with the rest of the dough. You’ll get about 8-10 fufu balls. Serve them with stew or soup.