Nigeria is a large country made up of so many distinct ethnic groups and different cultures. It is not just Africa’s most populous country, but it also has great Nigerian supper dishes that will keep any family satisfied and pleased.
It’s no surprise that they have so many diverse delicacies that are available to them. Nigeria hosts the best cuisines in the world because it has dishes or food items originating from the country’s diverse ethnic groups. Spices and herbs, as well as palm oil or groundnut oil, are used in Nigerian cuisine to produce richly flavored sauces and soups with appealing aromas.
Many of these delicacies can be found in practically every area of Nigeria, from the west to the east, south to north. Local dishes in Nigeria are, in general, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many.
The most popular local delicacies in Nigeria will be discussed in this article. So, let’s have a look at some of the most popular and delectable meal that originated from Nigeria and eaten by almost all in Nigerians.
1. Pounded Yam and Egusi
The first on our list is Pounded yam and Egusi soup. This is because the two Nigerian specialties that need little or no introduction. It is so popular that it was recently voted the national meal of Nigeria in a CNN poll. Because it is not ethnically specific, over 80% of Nigerians enjoy this particular Nigerian dish.
After boiling yam is pounded in a mortar to make pounded yam, while melon seeds are used to make Egusi soup. Let’s look at the recipe on how to prepare this delicious Nigerian dish.
Palm Oil, Beef, Grinded Pepper, Grinded Melon Seeds, Ugwu (Fluted Pumpkin Leaves), Dry Fish/Stock Fish/Crayfish, Stock Cubes, Iru (Fermented Locust Beans), Yam, and Water.
▪To begin with, peel the yam, then boil it in a pot. Reduce the heat to a medium setting.
▪Next, cook the meat in a pot with the spices and seasoning cubes until it is tender.
▪Place the palm oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil has become translucent, add the egusi and stir until everything is yellow.
▪Cook it for about ten minutes in a stir-fry pan.
▪Stir in the meat stock while continuing to stir the soup until it reaches the desired consistency.
▪Cook, covered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will burn if it is not stirred.
▪Combine the Ugwu (Fluted Pumpkin Leaves), ground crayfish, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
▪Give it a good stir and set it aside to simmer.
▪The yam should be ready by now, so put it in a mortar and pound it.
▪Mould it, chill it, and set it aside.
▪And that’s it! Your Egusi and Pounded Yam Soup is ready to be enjoyed.
Ponded Yam and Egusi Photo credit: http://www.Shutterstock.com
2. Afang Soup
Anyone interested in exploring Nigerian food must definitely taste Afang soup. Native to the Efik people of Cross River and Akwa-Ibom State, this delicious and healthy dish would leave you salivating.
Made with Ukazi vegetable, this highly nutritious Nigerian food is filled with fibre that helps in the functioning of the body cells. It is also a great meal choice for weight-watchers.
Grounded Afang Leaves, Water leaves, Dry Fish/Beef, Ukazi Leave, Extracted Periwinkles, Stockfish, Seasoning Cubes/Salt, Palm Oil, Fresh Pepper
▪Wash the meat/stockfish and cook till it’s soft.
▪Use the stock to cook the periwinkles and stockfish for about 8 minutes
▪Add palm oil, seasoning cubes, ground pepper and cook for five minutes.
▪Also, add your water leave and stir properly
▪After that, put the Ukazi leaves and stir it thoroughly while allowing the soup to simmer.
▪Leave it for about 10 minutes, and your soup is ready.
▪Then serve it with any swallow of your choice.
Afang Soup Photo credit: http:www.//pinterest.com
3. Amala, Ewedu and Gbegiri
The combination of Amala, Ewedu, and Gbegiri is a traditional Nigerian dish popular among Yorubas, particularly in Ibadan, Oyo State. This delectable slippery dish is a perennial favorite, especially among children.
The smoothness of the amala as it flows smoothly down the throat is what makes it so appealing. Follow the simple steps in the recipe below to prepare this savory Nigerian dish.
Elubo (Yam Flour), beans, Ewedu (Jute Leaves), Ground Pepper, Iru (Fermented Locust Beans), Palm Oil, Kaun/Akaunwu (Potassium), Crayfish, and Seasoning Cubes/Salt.
▪Soak the beans for 25-30 minutes, then rub them between your palms to remove the coat.
▪Place the beans in a pot and cook until they are very soft.
▪Combine the beans and mash them together until the mixture is creamy.
▪Stir in a pinch of ground pepper, salt, and seasoning cubes until you achieve the desired paste consistency. After that, put it aside.
▪Separate the leaves from the stalk and thoroughly wash the Ewedu (Jute Leaves).
▪Bring the Ewedu (Jute Leaves), Kaun/Akaunwu (Potassium), locust beans, and salt to a boil in water.
▪Once the Ewedu (Jute Leaves) have become slippery, place them in a mixer and blend until the desired consistency is achieved.
▪To make the amala, bring a pot of water to a boil and stir in the Elubo (Yam Flour). With a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture is very soft.
▪The amala should be ready by now. Serve it with Gbegiri and Ewedu and any stew of your choice.
Amala, Ewedu and Gbegiri. Photo Credit: http://www.steamit.com
4. Starch and Banga Soup
Banga soup is a famous Nigerian dish among Delta and Edo state residents. Banga (a native of the Igbos) and starch are used to make it. Eba or Fufu could also be added to the soup. It is really simple to prepare, taking about an hour or less to complete.
Banga, Dry Pepper, Banga Spices, Crayfish, Onion, Fresh Fish, Starch, Salt/Seasoning Cubes, Beef/Fish, Stock Fish, and Water Ingredients: Banga, Dry Pepper, Banga Spices, Crayfish, Onion, Fresh Fish, Starch, Salt/Seasoning Cubes, Beef/Fish, Stock Fish, and Water
▪Thoroughly wash the banga and cook it for 30 minutes to soften it.
▪Wash the banga again after mashing it with hot water.
▪Drain the banga and place it in a medium-sized pot.
▪Cook for 10 minutes after adding the dry pepper, banga spices, and onions.
▪Wash the fresh fish and add it to the pot. Cook for 25 minutes.
▪Place a portion of it in a native pot and steam for 10 minutes.
▪Pour palm oil into a pan to make the starch.
▪Then, on low heat, add the starch and stir thoroughly.
▪Continue to stir vigorously until the mixture solidifies.
▪Put it on a plate and savor the deliciousness.
Banga Soup and Starch: Photo Credit: http://www.cookpad.com
Edikaikong is a popular Nigerian dish that is peculiar to Nigerians from the south-east. This nutritious meal is composed with fluted pumpkin leaves (Ugwu), which may be eaten with any swallow.
Crayfish/Stockfish/Shrimps, Onions, Ground Pepper, Chopped Pumpkin Leaves (Ugwu), Waterleaves, Beef/Ponmo/Saki (Cow Skin/Cow Stripes)
▪Combine the kpomo, beef, and shaki in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook until the meat is soft.
▪ Add the palm oil, stockfish, crayfish, and shrimps when it’s ready.
▪Stir in the palm oil for 10 minutes
▪Cook for about 8 minutes, then add the Pumpkin Leaves (Ugwu). To keep it from burning, stir it every now and again.
▪Garnish with a swallow of your choice.
Edikaikong Soup. Photo Credit: http:www.//pinterest.com
6. Efo Riro
In Nigeria, Efo Riro is one of the most popular and healthy native cuisines. Meats such as offal, smoked fish, chicken, and green pumpkin leaves are used to make the dish. Furthermore, this is a Yoruba delicacy that originated in western Nigeria. Green vegetables like pumpkin and water leaves are also used, and spinach is sometimes added to the mix.
3-4 efo tete bunches (Efo tete can be replaced with shoko or spinach), tatashe red bell peppers, scotch bonnet chilies, onions, palm oil, Iru woro (locust beans), grinded crayfish, cleaned and diced ponmo, beef and seasoning.
▪Heat palm oil in a pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, but don’t bleach it.
▪Fry for 2 minutes with iru woro and chopped onions
▪Add the blended pepper to the palm oil and whisk to mix, then add the remaining locust beans after about 3 minutes.
▪Cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat with the diced ponmo and ground crayfish.
▪Season with bouillon cubes or stock and a pinch of salt.
▪Boil enough water to cover the vegetable while you wait for the sauce to cook. Once the water has to a boil, pour it over the vegetables and cover for 5 minutes. Remove the extra water from the vegetable with a strainer and a squeezer.
▪Cook until the oil floats to the top of the sauce, then add half of the smoked salmon and mix to blend. Add the vegetables to the sauce and stir until well combined.
▪Incorporate the remaining smoked mackerel into the vegetable with care. Cook for another 4 minutes after checking for salt.
▪Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside. Serve with your favorite swallow or rice, or enjoy it.
Efo Riro: Photo Credit: http://dreamslife.com
7. Ogbono soup
Ground ogbono seeds are used to make Ogbono soup, which has a lot of regional variety. Ogbono seeds are primarily used as a thickening and to give the soup a pleasing brownish color.
It also contains meat, seasonings such as leafy greens, chili pepper, and other related veggies, in addition to the seeds, palm oil, and water. Celosia and bitter leaf are two common leaf vegetables. Okra and tomatoes are among common vegetables seen in this dish.
Ogbono or wild mango seed, stock meat (beef or chicken), stock fish Season with salt and pepper to taste, ground crayfish, Ugwu Kale or Collard Greens, periwinkle and palm oil
▪Rinse the steak and place it in a saucepan. Salt and bullion powder are used to season the dish (or stock cubes).
▪Add the diced onions and red chili flakes, and mix well. Allow the beef to boil for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how tender you want it.
▪Add the stockfish when the meat is almost done and simmer for 5 minutes, or until soft.
▪Blend the Ogbono seeds with the boiling meat, making sure there is enough liquid in the pot. To begin, you’ll need around four cups of stock. Stir until the Ogbono is completely dissolved in the stock.
▪Cook for another 5 minutes after adding the periwinkles, crayfish, and Palm Oil.
▪Reduce the heat to low and add the leafy greens. Allow for another 2 to 3 minutes of simmering.
▪Serve with your favorite swallow, like as Eba, Amala, or Pounded Yam. ENJOY!
Ogbono Soup: Photo Credit: http://www. Shutterstock.com
8. Pepper soup (Cat Fish, Assorted meat or Goat meat)
One of Nigeria best dish is Peppersoup. In Nigeria, this type of dish is widely consumed. Chicken, fresh fish, beef, or chicken are used to make this dish. Pepper is also offered on streets, taverns with alcohol, and other locations. Because it’s made with natural spices, this soup is both delicious and nutritious. A single taste of pepper soup on the tongue will produce an indelible impression, leaving people wanting more. You’ll appreciate how tasty, spicy, and fragrant the soup is.
Assorted meat or Catfish or goat meat, pepper (or more), peppersoup spices, onion, seasoning, scent leave and water
▪To remove the sliminess, wash, clean, and gut the fish in lime/lemon juice. Set aside after seasoning with a pinch of salt. Preparation of the remaining ingredients is also required.
▪Bring 1 litre of water, pepper soup mix, cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, onions, seasoning, and vegetable oil to a boil in a skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes. It’s important to avoid overcooking it.
▪Cook for 5 minutes after adding the catfish chunks to the sauce. Salt and seasoning levels should be checked.
To avoid breaking the fish, do not overcook it and only stir lightly.
▪ Add the chopped scent leave
▪Enjoy while still hot or warm.
Peppersoup: Photo Credit: http://www. Sisimmeyie.com
9. OKRO SOUP
Whatever you call it: okro soup, okra soup, Lady’s finger soup, or gumbo, this soup is excellent. It’s mucilaginous (slimy in a nice way), cheap, and eaten all over Nigeria, from the north, where dried okro is utilized, to the south, where fresh okro is served. As a result, it is considered a Nigerian national cuisine.
Okro, Goat meat or beef, pepper, stock fish smoked fish, crayfish, periwinkle, locust beans, onion and seasoning cube
▪Place the goat meat or beef in a large pot after washing it.
▪ Half an onion should be chopped, and salt, black pepper, and bouillon powder should be added, cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. When done, the meat should be tender but not too soft.
▪Soak the smoked catfish and locust bean separately in boiling water for about 5 minutes, if applicable. Remove the bones from the smoked catfish by breaking it apart.
▪Trim the okra’s ends, wash it, and pat it dry.
▪In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour the palm oil.
▪Stir in the onions for 2 minutes, or until they are just starting to brown.
▪Stir the okra into the palm oil for about 5 minutes.
▪Pour in the meat stock that has been left over after the meat has been cooked. If you don’t have any, you can use water, although the spices may need to be increased.
▪Bring to a boil the pork, shrimp, bell pepper, smoked catfish, and locust bean. You are free to add or remove anything from this list; just make it your own!
Combine the black pepper, ground pepper, ground crayfish, bouillon powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Allow for a 5-minute simmer if you prefer a coarser grain, or a few minutes longer if you prefer a finer texture.
▪ Serve with low-carb fufu and enjoy!
Okro Soup: Photo Credit: http://www.tpc.com
10. OHA SOUP
Oha Soup, also known as Ofe Oha among the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria, is a delectable traditional soup recipe. Because the major ingredient, Oha leaves, is seasonal, Oha soup isn’t really a go-to type of soup. The leaves are traditionally shredded by hand, rather than using a knife or other sharp tool, because it is said that chopping the leaves with a knife will make the soup bitter. Cocoyam is typically used to thicken Oha Soup, however Achi or Ofor can also be utilized.
Oha leaves, smoked fish, cocoyam tubers, uncooked (taro), ogiri (fermented locust bean seasoning), craffish, meat (beef steak or roast, goat meat, or turkey, palm oil, salt and seasoning.
▪Put cocoyam tubers in a pot after rinsing them to eliminate any dirt or sand. Turn the burner to high heat and pour in enough water to completely cover the cocoyam. To soften the cocoyam, boil it for 10 to 20 minutes.
▪Let the cocoyam cool and peel it. Drain the water from the pot and set aside until the cocoyams are cool enough to handle. Peel each cocoyam using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Remove the peels and throw them away.
▪Remove the oha leaves from the stems after rinsing them. Remove any dirt or debris from 1 bunch of oha leaves by rinsing them under cool water. Also, pull the leaves from the stalks with your fingers. The stems should be discarded.
▪Over medium-low heat, cook the stockfish for 1 hour. In a pot, place stockfish that has been sliced into 4 pieces. Fill the container with enough water to completely submerge the fish. To soften the stockfish, cover the pot and boil it for 1 hour over medium-low heat. Turn off the fire and drain the water from the pot.
▪For the soup, choose and cut the meat. You can use any combination of meats. In a large mixing bowl, combine the smoked fish, dried shrimp, spices, and palm oil, deboned smoked fish, ground dried red bell pepper, ogiri or fermented locust bean spice, stock cubes, and grounded crayfish
▪Cook the soup for 10 minutes on low heat. Reduce the heat to medium and gently bubble the liquid. Cook the soup, stirring occasionally to dissolve the ingredients and prevent the soup from sticking to the pot.
▪Combine the cocoyam paste and palm oil in a mixing bowl. Add the cocoyam paste in spoonfuls to the pot, allowing it to dissolve before adding more. To color the soup, add palm oil and whisk it in.
▪Cover and cook the soup until it reaches your desired thickness. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the liquid to a boil. Cook the soup until the cocoyam paste has thickened it to your liking. Cook for 5 minutes after adding the oha leaves.
Oha soup. Photo Credit: http://www. Shutterstock.com
The Hausa people of Northern Nigeria are known for this favorite cuisine. Tuwo Shinkafa translates to “mashed rice.” It’s made by boiling rice until it’s cooked, then crushing it into a semi-solid consistency. It’s typically served with Miyan Kuka, Miyan Kardashi, or ven bean soup. Also, it’s best served during lunch or dinner.
11. Tuwo Shinkafa
The soft rice variety is used in Tuwo Shinkafa, a northern Nigerian fufu recipe. It’s frequently served with Miyan Kuka, Miyan Taushe, and other Northern Nigerian soups. It combines nicely with a variety of Nigerian soups.
Soft rice, short/medium grain, water (enough quantity to cook the rice till very soft and sticky)
▪Pour just enough water to cover the rice and set the temperature to medium.
▪Check the rice by mashing it between your fingers after the initial dosage of water has dried up. If the rice grains show even a smidgeon of resistance when pressed, it has to be cooked a little longer.
▪Reduce the heat to low, add a little more water, and cook until the water has evaporated.
▪Repeat the process until the rice is soft enough to dissolve when pressed.
▪When you’re satisfied, mash the rice with a wooden spatula by pushing little amounts of rice from the far end of the pot to your side.
▪Fold the tuwo mound again and again until all of the rice grains have become a tuwo mass.
▪Cover and steam for approximately 2 minutes.
▪Mix well, then portion out servings onto a thin plastic film and wrap them up. The tuwo will not dry out because of this wrapping.
As demonstrated in the image above, you can also serve them in smaller balls.
Tuwo Shinkafa; Photo credit: https://www.steamit.com/
12. Ofe Nsala Soup (White Soup)
Ofe Nsala – White Soup is a dish exclusive to the Nigerian Igbo ethnicity, particularly the residents of Anambra state. It’s a hearty fresh fish soup made using Catfish in the traditional way. The Efik have their own version of White Soup called Afia Efere.
Unlike other traditional soups, Ofe Nsala is known as white soup because it is made without palm oil. The cat fish is a key element in Nsala Soup, giving it a distinct flavor.
Pounded yam is the best thickening for Ofe Nsala, but if you can’t find fresh yam, you can use Achi, yam flour, or Cocoyam instead. If you’re going to use Cocoyam, keep in mind that it has a slimy texture that will impact the consistency of your soup.
Assorted Meat or Chicken, fresh Catfish, panla/stockfish, smoked fish of medium size, Crayfish, Dry Ground Pepper, Ogiri, Uziza Leaves, Utazi, Nutmeg seeds from calabash (Ehuru), Uda, Uziza seeds, yam slices, salt and seasoning
▪In a dry grinder, pound/grind the Uziza seeds, Ehuru, and Uda until smooth, then set aside.
▪Wash and slice your Utazi and Uziza, then soak them to remove dirt and revive them a little if you’re using dry leaves.
▪Place a pot on the stovetop over medium heat and add the stockfish (or tough meats if using) and enough water to cover the stockfish. Add Knorr cube, grounded pepper, the crayfish, and season with salt and pepper to taste If using fresh yellow Atarodo, finely mix before adding. Cook until the stockfish is cooked through.
▪Boil the yam till tender while that is cooking. Pulverize in a mortar or in a blender or food processor, then set aside.
▪When it’s tender, add the ground Uziza seeds, Uda, and Ehuru (Pepper Soup Spice), as well as the rest of the Crayfish, dissolve the Ogiri/ Dawadawa in water, and add…
▪Now add the fresh fish and smoked fish that has been cleaned. Reduce to a low heat and cook for 7-10 minutes.
▪Also, add the pounded yam or thickener of your choice. If you’re using Achi, mix it with some water before adding it to the soup to avoid lumps. Give the items a thorough swirl and boil for 8-10 minutes, or until the yam is totally dissolved..
▪Return the fresh fish to the saucepan and gently rock the pot to mix, being careful not to break the fish with a spoon. The washed Utazi or Uziza, or both, should now be included.
▪When using Utazi, be cautious because it is highly bitter; too much will make your soup harsh and inedible.
▪Turn off the heat and leave the pot to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Enjoy with your favorite swallow or by itself, just like a fresh fish pepper soup.
Ofe Nsala ( White Soup). Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com
In Nigeria, we have varieties of soups that are popular in Nigeria, where they’re eaten with swallows like Eba, Amala, Fufu, and Semo. Also, we have an inexhaustible supply of delectable soups in Nigeria. So, this article can help you familiarize with the most popular local delicacies (soups) in Nigeria.