Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds

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.

Nigerian Market
Food market; Photo credit: Andrew Moore

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.

Baked Jollof Rice
Baked Jollof Rice; Photo Credit: Pearlsa

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.

Goat egusi soup with fufu
Goat egusi soup with fufu; Photo credit: H. C.

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.

2. Garri

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.

3. Pounded Yam

This is a very soft food served in several Nigerian homes and restaurants. It can be enjoyed with a variety of soups such as Ogbono, Egusi, vegetable, and Afang soups. The prepare Pounded Yam, the desired quantity of yam is peeled, washed thoroughly, and boiled to tenderness.



This boiled yam is then pounded in a mortar until a soft mash is formed. The people of Western Nigeria, called the Yorubas, are known to be very fond of pounded yam, but it is also eaten among the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria.

4. Egusi Soup

This is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. It is consumed in several homes especially during celebrations. Its unique texture and fluffiness are some of the qualities that make this soup a special Nigerian delicacy.


The Egusi soup is prepared from processed melon seed using ingredients like stockfish, red oil, meat, stockfish, vegetables, seafood, onions, and other condiments. The soup is served with pounded yam, garri, amala, etc.

5. Suya

This is simply nicely cut beef that is spiced and grilled over an open flame. It is served with fresh cabbage, tomatoes, and onions. It is usually wrapped with old newspapers or aluminum foil and eaten during the evening.

This spicy delicacy is a specialty of the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria. A special kind of spice mix called Yaji is usually added to the meat before grilling.



the author
I am currently studying B.Sc Business Administration at Bayero University and am a guy with taste for success. My personal goal is improving lives. The right thing needs to be put in place for better a achievement, So I believe in making things right. Am a writer and a web designer. They call me Essential because of my good efforts in teamwork.

Leave a Reply