Do you want to take your taste buds on a spectacular journey? If your answer is ‘yes’, then you need to visit Nigeria. As a West African country with a wide variety of ethnic communities, Nigeria has a varied and rich culinary tradition.
They have a myriad delicacies depending on what part of the country a person is. Numerous ingredients and staples cut across state borders as well.
Nigeria has one of the best cuisines in the world, which comprises dishes or food items obtained from the numerous ethnic group that makes up the country. Nigerian cuisine like those of other West African countries such as Ghana and the Benin Republic contains spices and herbs alongside palm or groundnut oil to produce deeply-flavored sauces and soups with an enticing aroma.
Rice is consumed in every part of the country either prepared as coconut rice, jollof rice, and fried rice or processed into the traditional dish Pate, which is a combination of rice with ground dry corn, spinach, tomatoes, onion, peppers, garden eggs, locust beans, groundnuts, biscuit bones, and minced meat.
Pate is commonly eaten in northwestern Nigerian states such as Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Plateau.
Some of the top soups consumed in the various regions of the country include Banga soup, Miyan Kuka, Okro soup, Ewedu soup, Pepper soup, Egusi soup, Afang, and Edikan Ikon soup. The ingredients used to prepare these soups range from local condiments such as processed locust beans (Iru), to vegetables such as spinach, waterleaf, bitter leaf, and pumpkin leaves.
These soups are generally eaten with ‘swallow’, starchy foods such as fufu, Eba, amala, starch, pounded yam, etc. Due to international influence in the Nigerian food culture by Portuguese, British, Dutch, and other European traders in the early days, spices such as Thyme, Curry, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Habanero pepper, and Scotch Bonnet are used.
Nigerian dishes never run out of protein. Various meats such as beef, mutton, and chicken and different species of fish are often used to garnish it to your relish. Also common in the southern regions of the country is the use of seafood such as prawns, periwinkles, clams, snails, and crabs for preparing soups and stews. These dishes will blow your taste buds!
1. Jollof Rice
This is one of the most popular foods in Nigeria and is eaten in every part of the country. You may wonder what it is that can be so highly rated and it will shock you to know that it is simply rice prepared with tomato, onion, pepper, and some other spices.
It is sometimes served with vegetables, chicken or beef and fried fish. This dish is not only popular in Nigeria but also in some other West African countries such as Ghana.
This is undoubtedly the popular staple food eaten in Nigeria. It is consumed in the majority of the households in Nigeria, irrespective of region or ethnicity. Garri is prepared from cassava. The cassava is first harvested, peeled, washed, and ground.
The grounded cassava is drained of water, some starch and hydrocyanic acid before it is sieved and fried in a hot pan. The result of this process is called garri.
Garri can then be used to prepare Eba simply by adding hot water into a bowl containing the desired quantity of garri granules. Eba can be eaten with any Nigerian soup such as Egusi soup, Okro soup, Banga soup, Afang soup, etc.