Happy Independence day Nigerians!
Let the drums roll, sound the cymbals loud and clear, Nigeria is a year older!
There is so much to see, learn and enjoy in Nigeria and among Nigerians. Nigeria is known for a lot of things, one of which is the abundance of a variety of foods.
Nigeria is a country full of natural nutrients since our diversity breeds variety and you can see it in everything that makes us who we are.
Our local dishes are out of this world and I can’t wait to show you!
“Ofe Akwukwo”, translated as “leaf soup” in English is a delicacy known to the Igbo tribe, particularly the ‘Mbano’ people in Imo State. This very delicious soup is a variant of the popular okro soup and has a fine bitter-sweet taste. It is literally out of this world and you should definitely try it.
- “Ede Òkòrìkò”:
Ede means cocoyam in English. Ede Òkòrìkò is a species of cocoyam. It is not like the usual small cocoyam used as thickeners for soups. Ede Òkòrìkò is large in size and looks more like yam.
- “Ewu Iyan”:
This dish is gotten from leftover pounded yam, it is said to be the best part of. You can also intentionally set aside a bit of the pounded yam while pounding, right before adding water. In most cases, a small cast iron pot is used to heat up this leftover pounded yam.
- “Epa Iyan” with boiled Plantain:
This dish is gotten from sundried or ovendried pounded yam or yam boiled the previous day. The yam is usually cut into chips and dried.
- Boiled Yam Chips (Alawe):
This dish is mostly cooked with previous day yam that has been chipped, dried and crushed into crumbs. It is mostly consumed by the ‘Igbomina’ people.
- Beans Soup (Kotoo)
This dish is made from beans, specifically black-eyed beans.The beans are ground into a coarse powder, and then the husk is slightly removed.
- “Obe Alapa”:
This is another beans soup dish. The difference between Obe Alapa and Kotoo lies in the ingredients being used and method of preparation.
“Odudu” is a species of beans. Unlike the popular beans species, it takes a longer time to cook. It is cooked on a high heat. Some people like to add corn to it.
This is yet another species of beans. The seeds of “mkpokoro” is very flat but are rumoured to be more delicious. It cooks faster than the popular white beans, so one needs to be careful when cooking. “Mkpokoro” is eaten with the popular local food, “abacha”.
This is a dish prepared with “ukwa” (breadfruit) and either rice or beans.
This mouthwatering Middle Belt famous soup is made from dried okra and prepared in a very particular manner.
This is another dish prepared with the okro plant. It is served alongside boiled yam.
This Nigerian delicacy originates from the Middle Belt and has corn, beans, red oil, pepper, and catfish or stock fish as the main ingredients. It is suggested to use freshly cut corn,
“Sese” is a sweet and delicious Nigerian dish that takes some time to prepare. This tasty dish made from African Yam Beans is popular in Nigeria’s southeastern region. With culinary similarities to beans, the Yorubas gave it the name “sese” since they had to cook for lengthy periods with firewood.
This is one of the most popular Nigerian recipes prepared with sorghum and beans. This dual combination originated among the Yorubas.
This dish is a Southeastern delicacy prepared with milled black-eyed pea flour and it is one of the best local dishes in the region.
- “Obe Orun Ila” (Dried Okra Soup):
This dish is made from dried okra and is easy to prepare.
- “Obe Ishapa” (White Zobo Leaf Soup):
The English name for the leaf used to prepare this soup is “white zobo leaf.” To make this soup, you will need dry egusi (grounded), which is one of the main ingredients, along with ishapa leaf.
- “Obe Amukan”:
This dish is also prepared using ishapa leaf, with the only difference being that dry egusi is not added to this soup.
- “Eko Eda”:
I enjoyed this dish when I visited Offa in Kwara State. It is made from white maize or yellow maize ground into coarse powder, with the husk slightly removed.
- “Ekuru” (Known as Ofuloju among the Osun People):
For this dish, using black-eyed beans is more advisable. The difference between this dish and moi moi is that it is blended and cooked plain without adding pepper, salt, or seasoning.
- “Ewa Sagidi” (Bambara Nut):
Ewa Sagidi is a type of bean that is the same variety used to prepare “Okpa.” In Yoruba, it is known as “Ewa epa bowo” due to its longer cooking time and high filling qualities.
- “Fiofio” and “Achicha”:
This a local dish majorly prepared and consumed among Nsukka tribe in Enugu state. This meal is composed of two major ingredient: Fiofio (pigeon peas) and Achicha (dried cocoyam). Fiofio takes a long time to cook so to make it softer, it is soaked overnight. This reduces the cooking time and saves time.
- “Ayaraya Ji”:
“Ji” is the Igbo word for yam. This meal is prepared with fiofio (pigeon peas).
- “Ayaraya Oka”:
This meal is similar to the one mentioned above. However, for this meal, corn (oka) is used.
With Cucumber African Salad, you get to enjoy Nigerian Abacha while on a low carb diet. The classic taste is intact, you will not even notice that the Abacha has been replaced with cucumber. Serve with the onion rings, discs of garden eggs, stripes of garden egg leaves and the whole garden egg leaves. Throw in a chilled drink. Palm wine is the best for Abacha.
27.Almond Coconut Moi-Moi:
Almond Coconut Moi Moi is prepared with the gluten-free, low carb almond flour. You should be using almond flour to prepare your Moi Moi if you are on a low carb diet. It tastes like the classic Nigerian Moi Moi with a slight difference in texture. For best results, use ‘uma’ leaves to wrap the Almond Coconut Moi Moi. You can also use Aluminium Foil Bags or banana leaves.
- Cabbage Fufu:
Cabbage Fufu is a low carb keto-friendly fufu meal that every adult needs to add to his or her family menu today to reduce carbs.
- Carrot Fufu:
Carrot Fufu is a colourful, low carb fufu meal made from carrots. I love it because it does not have the sweet taste of carrots. As with all Nigerian fufu meals, Carrot Fufu is served with any Nigerian soup.
30.Garden Egg Fufu:
The process of making this is the same as carrot Fufu. You only need to use psyllium husk. This is low in carbohydrate as well.
Ikokore also known as Ifokore is almost like the savoury yam pottage, but unlike the classic yam pottage, Ikokore is made with another specie of yam called “Water yam”.
- “Apapa Anebira” ( Ebira Moi-Moi):
Unlike moi-moi, apapa is made with beans that are not peeled, which gives it a darker colour and a more earthy taste. Apapa is usually wrapped in uma leaves, which are large and glossy green leaves that impart a pleasant fragrance to the bean cake. Some people may use banana leaves or foil instead, but uma leaves are considered the best and most traditional option.
- “Ove” (Water Yam Moi-Moi):
Just the way beans can be used for moi moi, the same is applicable to water yam, called Evina in Ebira language can be used for moi moi. The end result is called Ọve an Ebira food. This is similar to the eastern okpa ogede.
- “Epeza” (Beans soup):
As the name implies, beans are a primary ingredient in making this delicious recipe.
Goribo (beniseed) soup is a rich, healthy, low carb soup eaten with Iya (pounded yam), eba or fufu and commonly eaten in Ebira land and other middle belt states in Nigeria. Beniseed soup is made from sesame seeds and that’s what gives it’s rich, nutty flavor.
35.”Ebatu” (Garden egg soup):
Ebatu is another Ebira soup served in various Ebira homes. It is made from garden-egg, also known as eggplant.
- “Ipapara Ati Ichakoro” Soup:
This is another Ebira delicacy that gives another look and taste to egusi soup. Icharakoro looks like uncolored red calyces(sepals) of the roselle plant used for sorrel drink. This is used in place of green leaf in egusi soup.
- “Akara Apapa”:
This can be made when you are craving for a taste that’s different from bean cake. It can be taken with pap or custard.
- “Gwote Acha” (Fonio):
Fonio is a tiny grain which is part of the millet family. It is similar in appearance to small couscous and is cultivated in parts of Nigeria. We have the white fonio and black fonio. The black is hard to find. Fonio sold locally tends to have a lot of sand because of the crude method of harvesting and processing – you need to wash these grains to separate the sand from the grains.
- “Masa” or “Waina”:
Masa or Waina is a rice cake that is from the northern part of Nigeria and is traditionally eaten by the Hausa tribe. It reminds me so much of the Japanese sushi and rice cakes that are incredibly sticky with rice being the main ingredient.
- “Miyan Zogale” (Moringa soup):
Miyan Zogale known as moringa soup is a popular and delectable delicacy in northern Nigeria. Perfect for weight loss, the medicinal properties of moringa are tremendous. Serve soup with eba, semo and waina.
- “Abacha” and “Akidi”:
Akidi is another species of beans. The abacha dish is very popular but few people know this wonderful combo. This can be enjoyed with or without “ngor”.
This dish is made from corn. Grind your corn so it is smooth. Add palm oil, salt, pepper, crayfish, seasoning and ugba.
- “Dan wake” :
Dan wake is made from bean flour, pepper, Kuka, and potash. It’s mainly eaten in northern Nigeria. It is usually served with ground peppers known as (Yaji); you can also select Suya peppers and vegetables.
- Abak Atama:
Abak Atama Soup is a delicious soup popular amongst the Ibibios of Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria. The name is derived from palm fruit concentrate (Abak) and atama leaves. The base palm fruit concentrate used in preparing abak atama makes it similar to the Banga soup of the Niger Delta origin and the Ofe Akwu of the Igbos but the difference is in the spices and vegetables used for each of these soups and stews.
Ukwa is a highly desired delicacy originating from the south-eastern region of Nigeria, made using matured breadfruit.
Achicha, a renowned Nigerian delicacy, is prepared using cocoyam. Popularly embraced in the south-eastern region.
- “Adu” (Aerial yam):
This is a species of yam very much unlike the normal yam. This yam grows and is plucked like fruit from its tree. It is prepared and eaten like every other species of yam.
Ahihiara is a leafy vegetable. It is slimy like okra and is used in preparing draw/slimy soups. Usually, it is used in making sauce for yam.
This is a leafy vegetable also. The seeds are also edible. This vegetable together with the seeds are poisonous when eaten raw. They must be properly cooked before consumption.
- “Mmiri oku ji” (Yam Pepper Soup):
This particular dish is prepared for nursing mothers, especially those who have just recently given birth. It is believed that the nutritional components of this food will help in the healing process and in breastfeeding.
Ujuju, a unique Nigerian soup originating from the southern region, features leaves that turn slimy when washed. They require meticulous cleaning and boiling to attain the desired tenderness.
- Onunu abun:
Onunu abun is a traditional dish unique to the southern region of Nigeria, specifically the south-south. The leaves are harvested from the tender part of the tree, and ground to a smooth consistency using a grinding stone.
Opaka, unique to Nigeria’s southern region, is a delicacy made from the seeds of the Opaka tree. The seeds are cooked for an extended period, giving it a tender texture, and then sun-dried. It complements dishes like abacha, meat sauce, or pepper soup, making it a culinary delight.
Opoka is peculiar to the southern part of Nigeria. It is a tasty dish made from freshly harvested corn, blended with onion, pepper, and protein sources like crayfish, and seasoned with red oil, resulting in a delicious and wholesome meal.
- Tuwo Masera and MiyanKuka:
Tuwo masera and miyan kuka are sumptuous traditional dishes prevalent in northern Nigeria. Tuwo preparation involves grinding corn to make a morsel-like meal.
Miyan on the other hand is made from dried baobab leaves processed into powder.
Egbogun, a traditional soup popular in Nigeria’s southern region, showcases a blend of bitter and sweet leaves.
- Tere (Gote):
Tere is a delightful and flavorsome dish peculiar to northern Nigeria. This tasty meal is prepared with green vegetables and maize.
- “Akpu Mmiri”:
“Akpu” or “ji akpu” is the Igbo name for cassava. This food is used mainly as a snack but it is very satisfying and refreshing to eat.
- “Egbo Ati Ewa”:
Egbo is a local dish made from maize, either white maize or yellow maize. It is dried and then rehydrated for use. This dish comes with its special sauce called Ata din din, which is used to complement the dish.
Adun is prepared using yellow maize. The maize is roasted in a way that prevents it from burning and popping. After roasting, set it aside and allow it to cool. Then, blend it with chili pepper into a powder.
Tanfiri is prepared in a similar way to Adun, with the corn roasted and blended with chili pepper into a powder. However, the key difference between tanfiri and adun is that sugar is added to tanfiri, and it does not contain oil.
- “Epiti Plantain”:
This is another delicious corn recipe. This dish is prepared with corn and ripe plantain.