10 Traditional Dishes to try In Nigeria

Nigerian food is surprisingly hearty and tasty. From the interesting texture of pounded yam to the commonly eaten varieties of Nigerian soups like Ogbono soup, Egusi soup, and Afrang soup, Nigerian food will turn you into a fan of African food instantly. Do you need a little help selecting your Nigerian cuisine? Below are 20 Nigerian foods you must try. 

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1. Iyan (Pounded Yam)

Best Nigerian Food Pounded Yam

One of the world’s largest producers of yams is Nigeria, so it’s no surprise Iyan is one of those Nigerian foods that is loved so much. In fact, the saying, “yam is food and food is yam” is popular in many parts of the country. 

A popular method of preparing yams in the country is by pounding them into a somewhat solid paste. Depending on the ethnic group preparing the dish, the yams may be pounded slightly differently.  Once the yams are pounded out to create a smooth paste, they are then formed into balls. These pounded yam balls, Iyan, are part of a great group of foods called “swallows”.

It’s common to serve the pounded yam alongside some soup, such as a vegetable stew. Make it at home with this great recipe!

2. Ewa Riro (Beans Porridge)

Tons of food in Nigeria features beans due to the abundance of beans in the country. Ewa Riro is a popular dish because it packs addicting flavors and is cheap to make. 

The Yoruba-speaking area of Nigeria created and popularized this delicious dish. The beans are boiled until they’re soft and then they’re stewed with spices and palm oil. 

Special ingredients added to the stew depend on who’s making the dish. Some people enjoy adding crayfish while others add smoked fish. If you’re making the dish at home, add what satisfies your tastebuds. 

Do you want to add a tasty side dish to your Ewa Riro? Many people eat it with fried plantains or fresh bread. 

3. Jollof Rice

Nigerian Food Jollof rice

When traveling in Nigeria, you can’t leave the country without trying this classic dish that is served in many West African countries. But we have to warn you! Nigeria has a friendly rivalry with Ghana about who makes Jollof rice better, so be prepared to become involved in the competition.

The heart of the Nigerian Jollof rice dish includes rice, tomatoes, and peppers. Many people then add delicious mixtures of other add-ins such as prawns, peas, or onions. You’ll often see jollof rice served with juicy proteins such as minced meat or chicken. It might even come with a stew or plantains. Make sure to try it with a Nigerian pepper sauce for some heat.

We think this dish is so good that it deserves to be one of the worlds wonders 

4. Beef Suya (Thin Strips Of Seasoned, Grilled Beef)

Nigerian Food Beef Suya

Visitors will notice this street food plenty of times while exploring casual dining in Nigeria. Thin slices of beef are marinated in an array of spices- a combination that’ll ignite your mouth. Typical spices used include roaster peanut powder, cayenne, and ginger. 

Making the beef this way was popular with the Hausa and Fulani people. They were groups of nomads that had unique ways of preserving meats.

You won’t see this dish made much in a home, but you can get plenty from suya spots along many roads in the country. It’s often served with tomatoes and onions as well as pepper sauce. 

5. Dodo (Fried Plantain)

No matter the problem, plantains are the answer in Nigerian cuisine. It doesn’t matter if they’re fried, grilled, or dried. 

Did you know that the cut of the plantain determines where and how the ingredient is served at the table? When you see thick, long slices of this delicious food, it’s served as part of the main dish. 

Dodo features cubed pieces of plantains that are deep-fried and are commonly eaten all around the country. It is usually served as the appetizer of a meal or as a delicious snack. All that’s needed to make this dish is plantain and palm oil or vegetable oil if you want to cut the fat content down. It’s that simple. 

6. Egusi Soup (Ground Melon Vegetable Soup)

Nigerian Food Egusi Soup Ground Melon Soup

If you’re looking for something to warm your soul and fill your stomach, this soup is the dish for you. 

It’s a one-pot meal that’s easy to make and loved by all. When eating Egusi soup, you’ll typically eat it with popular swallows such as Fufu or Eba. Some people even serve it over rice. 

Instead of grounded melons, you may also notice Nigerians creating this soup with toasted pumpkin leaves. The seeds add a layer of warmth that’s perfect after a long day of exploring on your feet. It is commonly served with pounded yam. 

7. Nigerian Egg Rolls (It’s Not What You’re Thinking)

When we think of egg rolls, we think of the delicious Asian dish We don’t want to create any competition between the two, but you should definitely check out Nigerian egg rolls while on your trip. 

In Nigeria, this dish is much more literal. It’s a boiled chicken egg that’s been covered in batter and fried.

While simple but effective, you’ll love biting through the crisp batter and sinking your teeth into the soft yolk. It’s a delicious finger food that you’ll crave again and again. 

8. Puff Puff (Sweet Deep Fried Dough)

If you’re wanting another fried delicacy of Nigeria, check out Puff Puff. 

It’s nothing fancy, but it’ll sure make your mouth water.

To make this dish, all you’ll need to do is roll up and fry the sweetened dough. Top the snack off with a fine dusting of powdered sugar. Yummy!

9. Agege Bread

Traditional Nigerian foods Agege Bread

Served with tons of Nigerian dishes, this bread isn’t meant to steal the spotlight. Instead, it’s meant to be a versatile complement to delicious main courses. 

Agege bread is white bread but is much denser than what Americans use to make sandwiches. The name comes from a town named Agege, and this town used to be the only known site of a wholesale bakery that made and distributed this type of bread. 

Lagos has now taken over this small town, but you can still find this bread anywhere in the country. Because it’s so versatile, you can eat it with stew for dinner or in the morning with your eggs and fried plantain. 

10. Ogbono Soup (Mango Seed Soup)

Nigerian Foods Ogbono Soup Mango Seed Soup

This soup might surprise you with its texture, but we promise you’ll enjoy it. Ogbono soup is a slippery draw soup made with blended Ogbono seeds. Ogbono translates to mango!

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