Most Popular Nigerian Food
Nigerian foods are some of the best foods in Africa and the world. Most popular Nigerian foods are identified in the post.
Nigeria, also known as the Giant of Africa is better known for its economic prowess, music, and footballing ability. But what many people don’t know is a love all Nigerians share; food.
We Nigerians love a good meal and experience better satisfaction if it is one of our local meals. Yes, we hold our local food in high esteem.
In fact, in Nigeria, if you see five restaurants on your way out I can bet three of them are buka or food canteens buzzing with people ordering eba, amala, iyan, shaki, fuku and all sorts of local delicacies.
We love our food and we are proud of it. You can even enjoy this video of Anglo-Nigerian heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua preparing eba for himself at home.
This is why it pains me that so many of my brothers and sisters in the diaspora don’t get the chance to experience the goodness our people experience back home.
I am unsure where to lay the blame on, scarce resources or inadequate know-how.
I’m hoping I can help change that somewhat with this article. That is why I am dividing this article into four sections:
- Some of the most popular Nigerian foods and soup
- Some of the most popular drinks/beverages in Nigeria
- Some of the most popular Nigerian sauce/spices
- Where you can get Nigerian foods online and offline in the UK
Table of Contents
18 Most Popular Nigerian foods
‘Swallow’ foods in Nigeria are generally starchy foods that can be taken with soups.
The term ‘swallow’ is also used because most of these starchy foods are swallowed as a small bolus and not chewed.
You simply take a small bolus, scoop some soup with it and swallow.
Nigerians prefer to eat swallow with our bare fingers, we believe it makes the food sweeter.
Some of the most popular swallows in Nigeria are amala, eba, pounded yam, semo, tuwo shinkafa, fufu and more.
They are usually accompanied with soups like efo riro, egusi, gbegiri, oha soup, okra soup and the likes.
Garri which is cassava flour is the main ingredients for making eba. Garri is available on Amazon.
I’m sure you’ve seen an argument or two about Nigerian Jollof and Ghanaian Jollof online.
This is because we Nigerians love our Jollof rice. In fact, we believe a party is not finished if you haven’t been served a plate of Jollof rice.
Jollof rice like many Nigerian foods can be eaten with any type of fish or meat and complimented with plantain, Moi Moi and coleslaw.
Good rice for making Nigeria Jollof Rice is available on Amazon.
Beans and Plantain
Plantain has to be one of the most popular food accompaniments in Nigeria. Such is its popularity.
The magic a well-fried plantain can do in any food is similar to a well-seasoned soup.
The magic it creates when paired with palm oil beans will even rival the almighty Jollof rice. I will explain to you why I said palm oil beans in a bit. Keep reading.
Akara is fried bean cakes. It has grown in popularity over the past decade in Nigeria.
It has always been popular but it has gone mainstream now.
It is now very common to see it get served at various events. Akara is mostly taken as breakfast and you can either get it from a roadside vendor or just prepare one yourself.
Nkwobi is originally an Ibo delicacy but its popularity has spread all over the West.
This popular delicacy is made from spiced cow leg soaked in a richly flavoured sauce of Utazi leaves and palm oil.
Nkwobi works well as an appetizer and you can get it in most Ibo kitchens.
Another Ibo dish that rivals Nkwobi is Isiewu (goat’s head).
Remember when I mentioned ‘palm oil beans’?
Well, that is because there is another popular beans delicacy and it’s called ‘Ewa Aganyin’.
If you are a beans lover, chances are that you are crazy about Ewa Aganyin.
It is prepared with cooked beans and pepper sauce. But unlike the other beans dish, you do not use palm oil in preparing the beans and the sauce is prepared separately. You can serve it with bread, plantain, ponmo and more. I
It is almost a guaranty that the soft feel and tasty sauce will have you yearning for more.
Oh, I love Abacha. The bland taste leaves much to dislike but such is the magic that you will ask for more.
The leave is somewhat bitter but the sauce makes up for that with. Abacha is also known as African Salad.
You can take Abacha as a stand-alone meal or as a snack.
Garri and Groundnut
There is a popular saying in the West that ‘Garri does not need advertisement’.
Such is the popularity of this simple yet heavenly drink.
Garri served with groundnut and chilled water during a hot afternoon can be very satisfying.
People especially enjoy taking ‘Ijebu garri’. It’s a type of Garri but with finer grains. You can take garri with groundnut, smoked fish, suya, kilishi or any appetizer.
Boli and Peanut
There isn’t much to say about Boli and groundnut as the advertisement is in the taste.
Boli is made from roasted plantain. It is often sold with groundnut as it sweetens the taste remarkably.
Boli is only taken as a snack and you can get it from various roadside sellers.
Originally a Hausa food that originated from the North, Suya is very popular throughout Nigeria.
Suya is prepared by barbecuing meat doused with unique spices.
Some of these spices include dried onions, peanuts, ginger, and more. People prefer to eat Suya in the evening.
Moi Moi is a very versatile food accompaniment in Nigeria and originated from the South West.
It is made from steamed beans pudding. You can garnish Moi Moi with crayfish, corned beef, egg, smoked fish, and sardine to spice up the taste.
It is very popular to see families eating Moi Moi with pap (ogi or akamu) during the weekends when everyone is home.
Another way to dish Moi Moi is to serve it with other Nigerian dishes like rice or as a stand-alone snack.
Pepper is the life of any evening hangout in Nigeria. Its popularity is as a result of its extremely spicy soup and the variety of meat, chicken and fish it can be paired with. It is very rich in pepper, ginger, garlic, spices and onions.
Egusi soup is very popular in Nigeria. Its unique taste given to it by melon seeds makes it people’s favourite to be served alongside Pounded yam, Garri, fufu and amala. Some of the ingredients used in preparing Egusi soup are meat, seafood, melon seeds, vegetables, onions, and fermented beans.
Efo Riro to me is the perfect stew for eating amala. It first originated from the Yorubas but is now widely eaten around the country. Efo Riro is a mixture of green vegetables, meat and fish.
Afang soup originated from the South-southern part of Nigeria but the delicacy is now enjoyed nationwide. The soup is prepared with water leaves and Afang leaves and spiced up with meat, dried fish, snails and seasonings. The delicacy can be accompanied by any type of swallow.
Ogbono soup is one of the tastiest soups to originate from the western part of Nigeria. It is a mixture of ground Ogbono seeds, palm oil, meat, seasons like chilli pepper, vegetables and sometimes tomatoes and okra. Like most soups in Nigeria, it can be eaten with any type of swallow and even rice.
Indomie is one of the most popular food in every Nigerian household.
The popularity comes not only from its delightful taste but its easiness to cook.
Spaghetti is another food like Indomie that is quite easy to cook.
The starchy white pasta is made from milled wheat and flour.
You can cook your Spaghetti in any form but most Nigerians love it boiled or cooked as Jollof.
You can serve Spaghetti with stew, stew sauce, meat, fish, and even tomato.
7 Most Popular Drinks in Nigeria
1. Hibiscus Tea (Zobo)
Zobo is one of the most popular drinks in Nigeria and it’s very healthy.
It is made from dried red calyces and sepals of Roselle leaves; a type of hibiscus flower. Zobo can be taken either sweetened or unsweetened.
One of the things I love about Zobo is the fact that it is highly customizable.
You can mix it up with ginger, pineapple, apple, garlic, or any fruit of your choice. Zobo like most drinks is best served chilled.
Kunu is a very healthy Nigerian drink of Northern origin.
The sweet and spicy nutty flavour is probably unrivalled by any other drink in Nigeria.
Kunu is prepared from Tiger nuts. Just like Zobo, you can also spice up Kunu with fruits like date, garlic, or ginger.
It also has some health benefits like
- curing indigestion
- lowering the risks associated with diabetes
- soothing of cold and coughs
- great for pregnant and nursing women
3. Palm Wine
If there’s one way to describe Palm wine, it is ‘the father of all local drinks’.
Palm wine is made from various the saps of palm tree species like coconut palms, Palmyra, and date palms.
This cloudy, whitish beverage can be served as an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. To serve alcoholically, you must preserve and let it ferment for a couple of hours or more.
The freshly tapped palm wine is the non-alcoholic drink and can be served as juice and it has so many health benefits like
- helping to improve eyesight
- acting as an antioxidant against cancer-causing agents
- preventing various cardiovascular diseases
- increasing milk production in lactating moms
- maintaining a healthy skin
4. Fura De Nunu
Fura De Nunu is a popular gruel in the northern part of Nigeria but has also found roots in the western part of the country.
Fura De Nunu is made from milk and millet gruel which is where it got its name from. Fura De Nunu means milk and millet gruel in English.
This local yoghurt with thick lumps is gotten from the fermentation of cow milk which has been separated from its lipid component better known as Man Shanu or Cow oil.
The fura balls are produced from millet flour spiced with cloves, ginger and even pepper.
Fura De Nunu like most popular Nigerian drinks also has its health benefits. Some of them are that it helps:
- with mitigating migraines and heart attacks
- with fat metabolism and repair of body tissue
- in lowering of cholesterol in the body
- to prevent gallstones
- prevent constipation
- protect against breast cancer and type 2 diabetes
5. Malt Drink
Malt is a common beverage in Nigeria and it’s known for its sweet flavour and refreshing taste.
What differentiates Malt drinks from other soft drinks like Pepsi, Fanta, Coke and others is the Malt ingredient itself.
What most people don’t know is that Malt itself is the key ingredient.
Malt is an ingredient in brewing beer but when it doesn’t undergo the complete process, it’s a non-alcoholic drink.
Popular brands of Malt include Hi-Malt, Malta Guinness, beta malt, Maltina and others.
6. Chocolate Drink
A lot of Nigerians were not raised on beverages like coffee, yellow tea and the likes.
One of the most popular drinks in Nigerian homes is the chocolate drinks made from cocoa.
There are various types of chocolate drinks, some examples are dark chocolate, white chocolate, and milk chocolate.
On a hot day, this drink is best served chilled and best served hot on a sunny day.
The most popular brands of chocolate drinks include Milo, Bournvita, Cowbell chocolate.
7. Milk Drink
Very rarely will you see a Nigerian take chocolate drink without adding milk.
But milk can be served alone itself. Some of the most popular ways to pair milk are with coffee, tea, chocolate drinks, garri, golden morn, and cornflakes.
Low-fat milk, whole milk, and fat-free milk are some of the most popular kinds of milk we have. The most popular Nigerian brands are Peak milk, Dano Milk, and Cowbell milk.
10 Most Popular Food Spices In A Nigerian’s Home
Salt needs no introduction has it gives taste to our meals.
Curry Powder adds that nice aroma and flavour to our stew. It is also what gives Nigerian Fried Rice its green/lime colour.
Thyme is used in seasoning stews and gives it a natural seasoned flavour.
Examples of stock cubes are Maggi cubes, Knorr cubes and Royco cubes. They are used to add flavour to food.
Onions are one of those spices that you just can’t do without when preparing a Nigerian meal. They enhance the natural flavour of food and soups.
A Nigerian meal is not complete without the spicy taste of pepper.
We have different types such as Habanero pepper, Cameroon pepper, chilli powder, black pepper, alligator pepper and so on.
Locust beans are made from carob seeds. This pungent fermented salty condiment is an important requirement of traditional stews and soups.
These leaves are used to add special aroma to food and it has medical benefits.
Garlic can be blended with other ingredients to prepare soups, spices, and marinades.
Ginger can be used the same way as garlic to make soups, spices and marinades.
Places You Can Buy Nigerian Foods And Seasons Online/Offline in The UK
Where to buy Nigerian Foods Online
The best place to find Nigeria Foods online is on Amazon. There are a lot of other websites where you will be able to buy Nigerian foods.
Nigerian Restaurants in UK
- Enish Nigerian Restaurant Lewisham
Address: 228 Lewisham High St, Lewisham, London SE13 6JU, United Kingdom
- Mama Cass Nigerian Restaurant
Address: 160-164 Old Kent Rd, London SE1 5TY, United Kingdom
- Mama Africa Nigerian Restaurant
Address: 194-196 Burnt Oak Broadway, London HA8 0AS, United Kingdom
- Presidential Suya Nigerian Restaurant
Address: 25-27 Watford Way, Hendon, London NW4 3JH, United Kingdom
- Wazobia Nigerian Restaurant
Address: 670-672 Old Kent Rd, London SE15 1JF, United Kingdom
- Eko Kitchen – African Restaurant
Address: UK, 8 Norfolk St, Cambridge CB1 2LF, United Kingdom
- Lekki Kitchen Nigerian Restaurant
Address: 86 Watling Ave, Burnt Oak, Edgware HA8 0LU, United Kingdom
- Tummy Kom4ort
Address: 8 Princes Parade, Golders Green Road, London NW11 9PS, United Kingdom