Choosing popular Nigerian meals is difficult because of the nation’s population and different ethnic groups and traditions.
The wide variety of Ethnic communities found in Nigeria presupposes the fact that the nation can confidently boast of a varied and rich culinary tradition. Nigeria is home to several fabulously delicious delicacies. From the east, west, north, and south to every corner of Nigeria, the people of Nigeria prepare enticing and mind-blowing meals.
Holding its place as Africa’s most populated country and ‘The giant of Africa, ’ Nigeria’s uniqueness is also spread by the various delicious delicacies of its ethnic groups and tribes.
Boasting of over 200 ethnic groups, it would be next to impossible to consider every meal of every tribe in Nigeria. Instead, we have made a list of ten of the most popular Nigerian meals the people consume.
Popular Nigerian Meals
Here are the most popular Nigerian meals:
1. Jollof Rice
You must have heard of the Jollof rice war between Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal, and you must also know that Nigeria has been winning for so long.
The Nigerian Jollof is arguably the most popular dish in the country, everyone in the country eats it irrespective of tribe, age group, and social class. So whether you are one of Nigeria’s elites, middle class, old or young, you must have had Nigerian Jollof at least twice in your life. Nigerian Jollof is a popular celebration meal, often serve as Sunday lunch, in wedding ceremonies, birthdays, social events, Christmas meals.
You can serve your Jollof rice with chicken, fish, salad and a cold drink to keep it cool.
2. Egusi Soup
Melon seed is used in preparing the Nigerian Egusi soup by all tribes in Nigeria. It has different names in different languages; ‘Miyan Gushi’ in Hausa, Ofe Egusi in Igbo, and Efo Elegusi in Yoruba.
Egusi generally is a West Africa name for the seeds of plants like squash, melons, and gourds that, when adequately dried, become a staple ingredient in many West African dishes. Particularly in Nigerian culture, egusi is popular with pounder yam. These seeds, according to research, are rich in fat and protein and add these essential nutrients to West Africa cuisine.
Ground melon seeds, thicken the soup and contains leafy and other vegetables.
The common ingredients needed to make the soup are melon seeds, onions, palm oil, locust beans, slat, crayfish to taste, pumpkin leaves, and a host of others.
3. White rice and Tomato Stew
Unarguably, Nigeria’s most common meal, rice and stew is next on our list of popular Nigerian meals. Rice is a staple food in Nigeria, and many of the country’s cuisine is often using rice as the main ingredient for the meal. So if you love rice, then you must also enjoy eating a plate of rice and stew.
Making rice and vegetable soup can be a perfect idea for a tasty, nourishing, and healthy meal. Trying it out will leave no doubt in you.
You can boil your white rice the usual way and separately, depending on how you like it, then prepare the vegetables with pieces of meat or fish by steaming them all together or separately. Serve a bit of the rice, plus vegetable on a plate, add a piece of cooked fish or meat, and your unique Nigerian dinner is ready.
4. Edikaikong Soup
Surprisingly, the food is just as delicious as the name sounds. Edikaikong is a nutritious recipe small leafy vegetables, dried fish, and assorted meat are ingredients used in preparing it.
It is one of the native soup of the Efik people of South-Eastern Nigeria states; Cross-river state and Akwa-Ibom state.
Edikaikong is popularly known as the ‘soup of the wealthy’ owing to the variety of ingredients used in preparing it. But not anymore, as ingredients can be gotten quickly and without stress. This then gives access to anyone to enjoy the soup.
It is cooked as a combination of two different vegetables, which are ‘ikong ubong/ugwu leaves ‘fluted pumpkin leaves’ and water leaves. If both leaves are absent, one could use spinach and lamb lettuce/mache ‘Valerianella Locusta’.
Common ingredients in preparing Edikaikong are pumpkin leaves (ugwu), water leaves, assorted meal, stick fish, smoked fish, palm oil, crayfish, onion, and more.
5. Ogbono Soup
Ogbono is a Nigerian soup from ground Ogbono seeds, ‘Wild African Mango.’ Ground Ogbono seeds, thicken and give the soup a brownish coloration.
One of the most popular soups in Nigeria, Ogbono is a side used in eating either ‘fufu’ or with pounded yam. Ogbono soup has a gummy texture similar to okro soup, that’s why it is sometimes called ‘draw soup.’
Ingredients to make Ogbono soup includes; assorted meat, Ogbono seeds, stockfish head, medium size dry catfish, some cups of crayfish, fluted pumpkin, palm oil and salt to taste.
6. Pepper Soup
Imagine a soup you have without a side, pepper soup is that soup. It implies that it must be pleasing to taste. It’s a hot and spicy chicken broth recipe in Africa as a whole but mostly prepared in Nigeria.
It is such a versatile recipe, you can prepare it with different types of meat and fish. There’s chicken pepper soup, catfish pepper soup (point and kill), goat meat pepper soup, cow foot pepper soup and assorted beef pepper soup.
Whoa! What a long list. Its versatility doesn’t mean they aren’t all serving the same purpose. They provide the same nutrients, but some might offer more than the other depending on what they come with.
Pepper soup is a popular meal in many Nigerian restaurants and bars. Many people believe the soups contain secret ingredients and only the restaurant cooks are conversant with. What a myth!
Ingredients used include chicken, cow foot or assorted beef, ehu or ariwo or calabash nutmeg, chili pepper to taste, onions, salt, stock cubes, thyme and many more.
7. Pounded Yam
Literally, pieces of yam pounded into a mould. Pounded yam is a staple in many West African homes. Still, it is definitely not eaten alone, people eat pounded yam with many delicious African soups, and stews. These include; egusi, okra soup, jute leaves soup commonly called ‘ewedu,’ or stewed spinach, widely called ‘Efo riro.’
A special kind of yam used in preparing pounded yam is commonly called ‘puna yam, true yam, or African yam’. It usually has a dark brown rough skin with off-white flesh.
You can choose to prepare your pounded yam by stirring yam flour in hot water. You can also boil and pound yam pieces using a mortar and pestle. The advancement of technology, one doesn’t have to go through that stress of pounding, the use of blender or hand mixer. Still, many people argue that using these appliances might not make the fluffy swallow as fluffy as you might want.
Suya is a spicy meat skewer, which is a popular food item from the northern part of Nigeria but has been generally embraced by all Nigerians. Skewered beef, ram, or chicken are meats for preparing suya.
There is no standard recipe for the production of the sophisticated moisture of species and additives that make up suya. The ingredients may vary according to persons and preferences.
9. Tuwo Shinkafa
Tuwo Shinkafa is a Nigerian dish common in Northern Nigeria, particularly among the Hausa. Non-parboiled white rice is the main ingredient for its preparation, and it boils until it becomes soft and sticky. Thus allowing for the mashing of the rice easily to create the tuwo mass.
Northern Nigerian soups like Miyan kuka, Miyan tuashe, and lot more are sides to this meal. The main ingredient in making out Tuwo is your rice and water.
Tuwo could be a perfect substitute for eba and fufu if you are watching your cholesterol or gluten intake.
Amala is a staple food in Nigeria, especially among the Yorubas. It holds its place as one of the prime Yoruba delicacies among the Oyo state people.
Cassava flour (amala lafun) or yam flour (yam flour) are the main ingredients for Amala. The yam flour is also known as ‘elubo’ is also made by processing peeled, dried yams. It is sometimes dark in color, and that’s because the yam has turned brown after being thoroughly dried.
You can choose to eat amala with either egusi soup, ewedu soup, okra soup, and many more.
For more information on how to prepare the meals, a visit to YouTube will help, type in the name of the meal you would like to know how to prepare. These popular Nigerian meals on our list are popular meals everyone in the country eats, irrespective of tribe and ethnicity. They are sumptuous, delicious meals and foreigners can also eat these meals.
They also possess the necessary nutrients needed by the body. Leave us a comment to let us know which of these popular Nigerian foods you love most. Don’t forget to tell us why you love it.
Also, here are some resturants in Ibadan that serve these delicacies.