15 Nigerian Foods You Absolutely Have To Try

July 25, 2021

Nigerian foods are top tier. From the East, West, North, and South, every tribe has a special meal you absolutely have to try! So, if you happen to visit Nigeria, expect to have your taste buds thrilled with the appetizing delicacies. Additionally, expect to taste a lot of spices, vegetables, meat, and other nutritious condiments that’ll have you smacking your lips.

Here are 15 Nigerian foods that should definitely be on your foodie radar.

1. Boli

This is prepared from plantain grilled over an open fire. The plantain can either be ripe or unripe, whichever works for you. It is perfect as an evening snack and is mostly sold by the roadside. You can pair it with fried fish, a sauce made from grounded pepper, or just peanuts.

Boli Nigerian foods

2. Ofada rice

Rice is a staple meal in Nigeria, and one of the varieties is Ofada. It is a must-have at events like wedding parties or birthdays and is usually prepared with a mix of different grains of rice. Ofada rice is best served with a special sauce called Ayamase or Obe Ata (pepper stew). Most people like to eat it straight from leaves called Uma, and this gives it an extra touch of uniqueness.

Ofada rice Nigerian foods

3. Tuwo Shinkafa

If you ever find yourself in Northern Nigeria, then you totally have to give this dish a try. Tuwo is prepared from boiled, mashed rice, and is usually served with special soups like Miyan Kuka or Taushe (spiced vegetables). You can also try pairing it with garden egg or Okra soup.

tuwo shinkafa Nigerian foods
Tuwo Shinkafa and Vegetable soup

4. Amala and Ewedu

This dish is as old as time itself is never missing in the home of the Yorubas in the Western part of Nigeria. It is prepared with Elubo (flour gotten from dried cassava, yam or unripe plantain). Worthy of note is that Ewedu (Jute leaves beaten with a special cooking broom) can be paired with other swallows like Fufu or Eba (but the best combination is with Amala.) Then there’s the delicious sauce prepared with blended tomatoes and pepper and garnished with different types of meat to keep your mouth busy.

amala and ewedu Nigerian foods
Amala and Ewedu

5. Jollof rice

You must have come across the debates on which African country has the best Jollof. Well, you’ll have to be the judge of that after having a taste of Nigerian Jollof. This food has a unique taste and no major Nigerian event is complete without it. Some ingredients used in the preparation include blended tomatoes, pepper a.k.a rodo, spices and topped with chunks of fried meat or chicken. With or without salad, you’re bound to ask for second and third helpings.

6. Akara

In most Nigerian homes, Akara is the go-to breakfast option. It is rich, satisfying, and easy to munch. Akara is made from beans ground with onions, tomatoes, and pepper then deep-fried in hot vegetable oil. It is best enjoyed straight out of the frying pan and eaten with pap, bread, Garri, or alone.

Akara and Pap

7. Soups

If you crave variety, this category of food has it all. Some Nigerian soups you have to try include Okra, Ogbono, Bitterleaf, Egusi, Oha, Groundnut, and Afang (a special delicacy among the Efik tribe). They’re not only delicious but nutritious as well (because vegetables are the major ingredients in them).

8. Ewa Agoyin

This is soft-boiled beans mashed to a pulp and eaten with a special type of palm oil sauce laced with fried fish or cow skin. It is a constant craving among the Yorubas and generally anyone who loves tasty beans. Oftentimes, Ewa Agoyin is paired with bread or fried plantains.

ewa agoyin Nigerian foods

9. Suya

If you are a big fan of finger foods, then you have to try this. In a nutshell, Suya is grilled beef garnished with onions, cabbage, tomatoes and Yaji spice. You’re more likely to come across it on evening strolls around busy streets in Nigeria. Be warned it can be quite spicy, so get some water handy.

suya Nigerian foods

10. Swallows

Swallows are usually very filling and eaten with the fingers. Just like soups, Nigerian foods that fall under the category of swallows are numerous. Here are some you should know: Fufu, Eba (Garri), Semo, Pounded Yam, Wheat, and Oje Abacha (popular among Kogi people in North-central Nigeria). Most of these swallows are prepared from either cassava or corn flour and eaten with any soup of choice.

11. Banga and Starch

Let it be known that the Urhobo people of Southern Nigeria do not joke with this food, particularly those from Delta state. The soup is made from palm fruits and garnished with fish, cow skin, meat, and other tasty proteins. The starch is natively known as Usi, and it requires great skill to prepare due to its starchy nature.

banga and starch Nigerian foods
Banga soup and Usi

12. Peppersoup

There’s nothing like a bowl of spicy Nigerian pepper soup to get your system healthy. There are varieties to choose from like catfish, goat meat, chicken, beef, and even crab. To get a good taste of this, locate bars near you and don’t forget to keep some water nearby due to how spicy it can be. Some people swear pepper soups help with nasal congestion and healing sore gums. Well, give it a try!

Nigerian peppersoup

13. Moi-Moi

Just like Akara, another food made from beans that you’d come across in Nigeria is Moi-Moi. It is prepared by applying heat to blended beans so it becomes just like a pudding. Most people like to add fish, eggs and corned beef to the mix for extra richness. It’s best served with pap, custard, Hausa koko, with rice or alone.

14. Ukwa

Ukwa or breadfruit pottage is a special Nigerian delicacy popular with the Igbos. The ukwa is usually gotten from a big tree from which it falls and the ukwa seeds get extracted. It is quite expensive and is mostly served at parties, weddings, burials or a typical Igbo household. Some people like it boiled, eaten plain, or toasted. Whichever one you choose, you’re still bound to enjoy every bite. Apparently, it is also very healthy, so go figure.

Ukwa (breadfruit pottage)

15. Abacha

This is also popular with the Igbos in Nigeria. In fact, you can call it a thing of tribal pride. It is made with oil bean seeds (Ugba), dried cassava, palm oil, fried fish, vegetables, cow skin (Ponmo), stock fish, and garnished with fresh onions. If you ever hear of the term “African salad”, this is the food being referred to, and it’s delicious!

RECOMMENDED: 17 African Dishes You Should Try Out

african foods you should try

Nigerian foods

Nigerian foods

Susan Nwaobiala

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

April 14, 2020

Every friend group consists of very different and specific characters — from the parent to the fun one — and it can be a little tough figuring out where you fall. So, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know exactly what kind of friend you are. Take to find out:

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

More from Chopist

August 27, 2021

Pepper Soup is a watery dish made in different parts of the world with different techniques and ingredients. Countries and cultures around the world have their different version of it. Peppersoup has a lot of nutritional and health benefits. Nigerian pepper soup comes in different forms. There is the goat meat pepper soup, fish pepper […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.