Top 10 Popular Nigerian Foods


With over 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria is blessed with a unique culture. Each ethnic group has its own traditional food and cuisines associated with their culture. The foods, which have been transferred down from generation to generation have undergone a shuffling pattern and transferred among different ethnic groups. This is why it is common to see Igbos consuming meals that originally came from the Yorubas and vice versa.

Nigeria has a vast history, customs and culinary traditions. This is why the country is never in want of delicious meals. These meals have been in existence for a long time and has stood against all odds including civilization. They are prepared through the most surprising manner to give rise to delicious dishes that can make you bite your tongue if care is not taken.

Nigerians love spicy meals. This is why it is very common to see lot of spices added to their meals. Don’t worry, you will love them as that is one of the things that make Nigerian dishes unique. For the record we have a detailed article on the top ten most popular soups in Nigeria, ten best Yoruba foods and ten best Igbo foods.

Top 10 Popular Nigerian Foods

Being a West African country, Nigerian food share similarities with other west African countries like Ghana, Benin and Cameroon. Nigerian meals specifically contain different kinds of flavours, colours and nutrients which all add up to give it a vibrant appeal and tantalizing aroma. If you planning on visiting Nigeria, here are ten most popular and delicious meals you must try.

10. Yam Porridge

Yam porridge is a popular meal which originated from the Yoruba people in the south western part of Nigeria. The meal has since gained access into homes, restaurants menu, party menu among others, across the country. It is made from yam, which is marched with tomato, pepper, palm oil, onion, vegetable, pieces of fish, among others. It is one of the most beloved meals in Nigeria. Yam porridge is very rich and nutritious. It is also popular with vegetarians and can be mixed with beans to make the food completely balanced.

9. Boiled White Rice

Who doesn’t know white rice in Nigeria? Then you are probably not from this country. A very staple diet in virtually all homes. It is the food every Nigerian grew up to know. The meal is prepared by boiling parboiled rice in water and adding salt with taste. It is sometimes prepared with beans to give it a better taste. The prepared rice can then be eaten with any kind of Nigerian soup.

8. Pounded Yam

Regarded by the Yorubas as a food for kings, pounded yam is another popular food among Nigerians. It is a swallow meal that is filled with a rich delight. The meal is prepared by mashing previously boiled yam in a mortar with a pestle, blender or mixer until it forms a smooth texture that can be moulded. Pounded yam is usually consumed with egusi soup, but can also be enjoyed with efo riro or any other delicious vegetable soup.

7. Moin Moin

Moin moin is another popular food in Nigeria. It is basically steamed bean pudding. It is also very rich in protein, vitamin, oil, and mineral salts. It is prepared with pepper, onion, carrot, black eyed beans, pieces of fish, hard boiled egg or minced meat and steamed together with a mold or leaf. Every extra ingredient in moin moin is referred to as soul. So it is very common to hear remarks like “moin moin with one, three or seven souls”. Moin moin is a versatile meal and can be eaten alone or with bread, pap, soaked garri, dodo or any other food as wished.

6. Bread And Akara

Also recognized to be a very popular street food, bread and akara is a staple Nigerian diet. Being a balanced diet on its own with the bread as carbohydrate, akara as protein containing fat and oil, vitamins and mineral salts, it is a food that you must try if you haven’t. Originally, akara originated from the Yorubas who made the balls from fried beans paste. Apart from bread, akara can also be consumed with pap/Akamu.

5. Beans and Plantain

It is believed that any food item combined with beans is the most delicious meal to consume. This is why Nigerians combine beans with any meal that comes to mind. Beans and plantain is also a delicious and popular food among Nigerians. The plantain can be fried or boiled. The aroma of a fried plantain is enough to make you salivate and the flavour on a plate of beans can make you bite your tongue. This explains how delicious the meal is. If you’ve never tried this meal combination, you are probably not a Nigerian and you have to try it because you are missing a lot.

4. Bread and Beans

Known to be a food to quench hunger and fill ones stomach, bread and beans is a “hunger battler”. No matter how hungry one can ever be, a combination of bread and beans will send the hunger spiralling to the oblivion. The beans is prepared by boiling beans and adding pepper, onion, palm oil, salt and other ingredients to taste. Bread and beans can also be bought in bukas and food sellers shop around the neighbourhood.

3. Fufu

Fufu or foofoo is another popular swallow food in Nigeria. It is called swallow because it is believed that it shouldn’t be chewed, but swallowed directly. Fufu is made from fermented cassava and prepared by turning the fermented paste in hot water. The dish is popular among the Yorubas and Igbos. Fufu is often taken along with egusi soup although any other soup is considered good for the dish.

2. Eba

Eba is a swallow meal made from cassava. The cassava is peeled, washed, ground, dried and fried to produce cassava flakes popularly called garri. The Igbo people loved adding palm oil to theirs to give it a yellow hue. The garri is then mixed with hot water and turned until soft. Eba is very versatile because it can be taken with any soup available.

1. Jollof Rice

Is there anyone in Nigeria that doesn’t know jollof rice? Such person is probably not from this part of the world. It is recognized everywhere in the country and also a popular dish served in parties. The tantalizing taste of party jollof rice is one thing Nigerians can never miss. This is why it is a common sight to see people rushing to get served and even pack some as takeaway. It is usually prepared with a lot of condiments such as; onion, meat/chicken stock, pepper, tomato, thyme, carrot, green peas, curry and a host of others which contributes to give it the unique taste which can be derived from no other food. Jollof rice can also be eaten with fried plantains, salad or moin moin. In fact, due to its delicious taste, there have been competitions among Nigerians and Ghanaians on who cook the most delicious jollof rice. Jollof rice is the most popular Nigerian food ever!

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