Discover the Top 30 Best Traditional Nigerian Foods: Quick Guide

As a food enthusiast, I have come to appreciate the rich and diverse cuisine that Nigeria has to offer. From street foods to traditional dishes, Nigerian cuisine is a fusion of various cultural influences from across the country.

These dishes are not only mouth-watering but also reflect the unique blend of spices and ingredients used in West African cuisine. So join me as we explore the world of top Nigerian foods!

Nigerian Foods

Jollof Rice

If you’re looking for a delicious and flavorful West African dish, you’ve got to try making Jollof Rice! This iconic Nigerian dish is made with long-grain parboiled rice cooked in a tomato and red pepper base with a unique blend of spices.

The art of making Jollof Rice is like a complex dance of timing, but the end result is worth it. Traditionally cooked over an open fire to add a uniquely irresistible smoky flavor, Jollof Rice can be served as a hearty entrée or as a side dish for any occasion from birthdays and holiday celebrations to casual weeknight dinners.


Fufu, a popular West African dish made from cassava, is a starchy and stretchy side that pairs perfectly with rich soups or stews. As one of the many swallow foods in Nigeria, fufu is easy to prepare by blending cassava into a smooth batter and shaping it into small balls.

The mild taste of fufu makes it perfect for soaking up the flavors of the soup or stew it’s served with without needing salt or seasoning. Fufu also provides significant amounts of carbs, some fats and protein, as well as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Whether made with plantains or not, fufu remains an easily accessible staple food for Nigerians everywhere.

Egusi Soup

To make Egusi Soup, you’ll need to blend together melon seeds, peppers, and leafy greens before adding in your choice of protein and cooking until everything is tender and flavorful.

Start by heating up some palm oil in a large pot, then sauté chopped onions until they’re translucent. Add in blended pepper mix (made from red bell peppers, scotch bonnets or habaneros), locust beans, and crayfish and cook for 5 minutes.

Next, add in the blended egusi slowly while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook for another 20-30 minutes until the mixture turns into a soft compact mass.

Stir in your choice of protein beef, dried fish, or crayfish. Then cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for another 5 minutes before adding spinach or other vegetables of your choosing.

Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve hot with fufu or rice.

Chin Chin (Fried Snack)

As one of the most beloved Nigerian dishes, Chin Chin is often associated with festive seasons, teatime, or movie nights.

This easy-to-prepare recipe includes ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, nutmeg or cinnamon, and eggs among others. The result is a super-soft or super-hard variation that can be customized to individual preferences.

Although it’s considered a sweet snack, it can also be made into savory versions which are very popular in Ghana. Traditionally, they are deep-fried but the oven-baked Chin Chin have become popular as well.

Boli (roasted plantain)

Indulge in the smoky and sweet flavors of boli, a popular West African street food made by roasting ripe plantains until they’re caramelized and tender.

Creating boli entails barbecuing ripe plantains over an open fire until the peel becomes charred and the interior turns tender and sugary. The result is a deliciously smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with groundnut (peanut) or spicy pepper sauce.

To make boli, you need to choose ripe yellow plantains that aren’t too hard or too soft. You then peel off the skin by making a slit down one side before grilling them over open flames until they’re cooked through. It’s important to keep turning them regularly so that they cook evenly and don’t burn.

Banana Puff Puff

Satisfy your sweet tooth with the delectable taste of banana puff puff, a mouth-watering variation of the classic West African fritter.

As a popular Nigerian food, banana puff puff is made by blending ripe bananas to create a smooth batter that is mixed with flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.

After allowing the dough to rise for at least an hour, it is deep-fried in hot oil until golden brown and puffy.

With its soft texture and sweet flavor, banana puff puff is sure to become a favorite dish for any occasion.

Puff Puff

You can’t resist the mouth-watering aroma and delicious taste of freshly fried puff puff, a beloved African classic. This Nigerian snack is a popular street food which only needs a few low-cost ingredients like flour, water, yeast, nutmeg, salt, sugar, and oil for deep frying.

Puff puff can be enjoyed independently or sprinkled with a touch of sugar to enhance its sweetness. It’s often enjoyed as a snack just the way it is or paired with other West African dishes like jollof rice or pounded yam.

Puff puff is one of many delicious Nigerian foods that are commonly eaten and celebrated in Nigerian cuisine alongside dishes like egusi soup, suya meat skewers, akara bean cakes, and rice pudding.

Check out this tutorial video on how to make puff puff!

Meat Pie

Experience the mouthwatering taste of flaky Nigerian Meat Pie, a savory snack filled with ground beef, potatoes, and carrots.

As a staple in Nigerian cuisine, this dish is loved for its light and slightly crispy texture that pairs perfectly with hot tea or a chilled drink.

Making Nigerian Meat Pie isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to customize it to your personal preferences.

This cultural delicacy represents the essence of Nigerian food and can be found in many households and parties across Nigeria.

Ata dindin (Nigerian Pepper Sauce)

Indulge in the fiery and aromatic flavors of Ata dindin, a popular Nigerian pepper sauce made with indigenous ingredients like bell peppers, habaneros, garlic, ginger, crayfish, locust beans, and palm oil.

This stew is easy to put together despite the many ingredients and can be served with a variety of sides such as white rice, boiled yam, boiled plantains or bread.

The classic Nigerian Salad

This salad is perfect as an appetizer or main course, and includes a variety of raw and cooked vegetables, pasta, eggs, baked beans, sweet corn, and more. The central ingredients are lettuce and cabbage, surrounded by tomato, cucumber, and potato (as a pasta substitute).

This economical and flexible salad is topped off with a unique dressing consisting of white vinegar, mayonnaise, icing sugar, and mustard (optional). Ripe but hard tomatoes are best used in this recipe.

Give this classic Nigerian Salad recipe a try today!


You’ll love sinking your teeth into these African buns.

Made from a combination of flour, baking powder, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and vegetable oil, these buns are quick to make and yield 20 pieces. The recipe is easily adjustable to suit personal taste preferences.

When frying the batter into little balls of goodness in oil, make sure the temperature is right for optimal results. Remember not to make big balls as this could affect how well cooked they are.

Nigerian snacks like chin chin, puff puff, and egg roll complement these buns perfectly.

Nigerian Fried Rice

Now, let’s talk about another delicious Nigerian dish that’s loved by many – Nigerian Fried Rice.

As a rice lover, I can attest that this meal is an absolute delight.

The combination of fresh vegetables, beef liver (or any protein), and oil for crisping create a mouth-watering taste.

The use of curry powder, thyme, seasoning cubes, and vegetables gives it depth and flavor.

It’s important to use parboiled long-grain rice for the best result, washing it beforehand to remove excess starch.

And don’t forget – high heat and continuous stirring are key in achieving that crispy texture!

Whether you’re having it for lunch or dinner or serving it at a gathering or festive season, Nigerian Fried Rice is definitely a must-try dish that can be customized to your liking with different veggies or proteins.

Pounded Yam

Now, you can enjoy the beloved West African staple of Pounded Yam made with Ghana yams boiled and blended into a stretchy and soft dough that pairs perfectly with stews and soups.

It’s a type of swallow food traditionally made using a mortar and pestle, though it’s often eaten plain. Variations include adding seasonings or butter for extra flavor. This doughy and chewy dish is heavier than mashed potatoes, but can be easily eaten without chewing.

It’s perfect for accompanying Ogbono Soup and Okro Soup, making it a popular choice for any mealtime.

While nutritional information varies, one thing remains constant – the yams used should be harvested at least three months before use. And if you’re looking to store some for later, pop it in the fridge or freezer until ready to reheat by thawing and microwaving or steaming again.


If you’re craving some delicious West African street food, try making suya with tender beef marinated in a flavorful blend of ground peanuts, garlic, onion powder, cayenne, and smoked paprika before being threaded onto soaked skewers and grilled for about 12-15 minutes.

To make it even easier to slice the meat diagonally, partially freeze it beforehand. This dish can also be adapted to use chicken, pork, or lamb instead of beef and other spices like ginger and allspice can be added for more flavor.

Suya is traditionally served with sliced red onions and tomatoes along with sides such as African pepper sauce or jollof rice.

Not only is this a tasty meal but it’s also healthy if made at home using good quality meat cuts like sirloin, chuck roast, or ribeye roast.

Banga Soup

If you’re looking for a taste of the Niger Delta region, you should try making banga soup – it’s an easy and nourishing recipe that will make your taste buds dance.

This traditional Nigerian dish is made with palm nut fruit concentrate, spices, meat, and fish. It’s rich in minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients for good brain function.

The recipe requires onions, Cameroon pepper, seafood, habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, Banga spice leaves, oburunbebe stick, salt, water/stock, and leafy vegetables like Beletete leaves added at the end for richness and flavor.

Canned palm nut concentrate can be used instead of making extract from fresh palms fruits which can be difficult to find outside West Africa.

Served hot with starch such as fufu or pounded yam or even rice, this delicious soup is a must-try among Nigerian dishes!

Edikaikong Soup

You can’t resist the rich blend of tender meats, flavorful seafood, and nutritious greens in Edikaikong soup. This traditional Nigerian dish is one of the most popular soups and stews in the country, known for its delicious taste and nutrition-packed ingredients.

Edikaikong soup boasts a unique mix which includes pumpkin leaves (Ugwu), waterleaf, assorted meat like cow tripe (shaki), snails, cow’s skin (kanda), stockfish (optional), smoked fish, palm oil, periwinkles (optional), ground crayfish, medium-sized onion, stock cubes, scotch bonnet Pepper a.k.a fresh pepper, and salt to taste.

Whether you’re enjoying it at an important occasion or just want to try some authentic Nigerian cuisine at home, Edikaikong soup is sure to satisfy your cravings for something hearty and flavorful.

Afang Soup

Get ready to indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Afang soup, one of the most beloved traditional dishes from the riverine areas of Nigeria.

This nutritious soup is made with a combination of leafy greens, including Afang leaves and waterleaf or malabar spinach, as well as a variety of meats and seafood like goat meat and shelled clams.

The recipe also calls for vegetable oil, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, and chicken bouillon for added depth of flavor.

Although Afang leaves have no proper substitute, spinach can be used in place of waterleaf/malabar spinach if necessary.

This savory meal is typically enjoyed with firm fufu like Eba or pounded yam.

Ogbono Soup

Ogbono soup is a traditional staple in Nigerian cuisine. This dish is made with blended Ogbono seeds, meats, fish, and leafy greens.

The recipe can be adjusted to personal preference, but palm oil is an essential part of the meal and over-seasoning the stock can alter the taste of the soup. Typically served with Garri, pounded yam, Fufu or any other solid food, this dish represents a significant part of Nigerian food culture.

Each tribe has its spin on this delicious meal that gets thicker as it stays longer. No saturated fats or sugar are included in this high-protein low-calorie soup that has become an essential part of Nigerian cuisine.


Amala is a beloved dish among the Yoruba tribe with a distinct earthy flavor and nutritional benefits. It is a traditional Nigerian dish made from yam flour.

The process of making Amala may seem simple yet requires some skill to prevent lumps from forming. It’s usually served with a stew such as Ewedu, Gbegiri, Okra soup, Egusi Soup, Efo Riro, and Ogbono Soup or one pot spinach stew.

As a staple in most local restaurants’ menus and common meal for families to enjoy together, Amala is a must-try for anyone looking to explore traditional Nigerian recipes. It’s also ideal for diabetic patients because of its low carbohydrates content and low cholesterol benefits.

African Masa

Fermented rice batter is the key ingredient in a Northern Nigerian delicacy known as African Masa, which has a tangy taste and spongy texture.

This dish is typically served with spicy pepper sauce or soup and pairs well with other Nigerian favorites like goat meat, jollof rice, fried plantains, pounded yam, and egusi soup.

Fermentation gives Masa its distinct flavor and aids in digestion. To make this dish, rice is soaked for six hours before being blended with water and onions, then fermented with yeast and sugar.

The batter is seasoned with salt and baking powder before being cooked on medium heat in a special pan. It’s important to choose the right type of rice, soak it properly, allow enough time for fermentation, monitor batter consistency, and cook with adequate oiling to get the best results.

African Masa is best enjoyed fresh and warm with accompaniments like suya pepper sauce or sweet toppings like honey or powdered sugar.

Ewa Riro

To make Ewa Riro, you’ll start by boiling black-eyed peas or honey beans until tender and then stewing them with bell peppers, scotch bonnet, onions, salt, bouillon powder, palm oil, crayfish or dried shrimp, and smoked turkey or fish for added flavor.

This dish is a staple in Nigerian cuisine and can be enjoyed at any time of day. It’s typically served with fried plantain and a side of pepper stew for an extra kick of flavor.

Ewa Riro is not only delicious but also highly nutritious as it’s packed with protein and fiber from the beans. With its unique blend of spices and ingredients, it’s no wonder that Ewa Riro has become one of the most beloved Nigerian foods around.


One of the most versatile and beloved staples in African cuisine is eba. This solid meal, made from cassava, can be molded into different shapes and pairs perfectly with a variety of soups.

As one of the most popular Nigerian foods, eba is enjoyed with dishes such as pepper soup, tomato stew, and vegetable salad. Its slightly sour and sweet taste makes it a delicious complement to any soup or stew.

Eba’s simple preparation method involves mixing garri with boiling water to form a dough that can be shaped before adding soup.

Eba is also highly nutritious and filling, making it an excellent source of energy for physical activities or for people who want to gain weight. Additionally, eba is an ideal food for those with gluten intolerance seeking alternatives to wheat-based meals.

Overall, eba’s versatility, affordability, and simplicity make it an essential component of Nigerian cuisine and a delicious way to try African cuisine while learning about Nigerian culture and traditions.

Yam pottage/Yam Porridge

You’re in for a treat with yam porridge, a one-pot meal that is one of the most delicious dishes among Nigerian foods. This savory and colorful dish will impress your taste buds with its fluffy texture and bold flavors.

Made with boiled potatoes, fresh palm oil, and a pepper mix made from red bell pepper, tomato, and habanero pepper, this dish is easy to make yet incredibly flavorful. The onions, salt, chicken bouillon powder, fish or crayfish add even more depth to the dish while herbs like basil or parsley can be used to perfect it.

Yam porridge is a Southern staple that goes well with meats or seafood and can be garnished with leafy vegetables like spinach or ugwu. It’s definitely a must-try recipe for yam lovers!


Indulge in the delicious vegetarian-friendly meal of Akara, a crispy and golden deep-fried bean cake popular in West Africa and Brazil.

Originating from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, this classic Nigerian fritter is made from black-eyed peas paste, peppers, onions, salt, and seasoning cube.

Whisking the batter is crucial to make it light and airy with a relatively rounded shape.

Too much water in the batter will result in thin and crumbly Akara balls that are unpleasantly soft.

Two cups of dry black-eyed peas yield about 4 to 4 ½ cups of peeled beans, which can make up to 20 pieces of Akara balls, depending on the scoop used.

This fried bean cake also comes in different variations like an Akara burger or dipped in spicy sauce for added flavor.

Pepper Soup

Get ready to savor the delicious and spicy African Pepper Soup, a comforting dish that is a significant component of Nigerian cuisine.

Made with goat meat, pepper soup spice, red chili flakes, ginger powder, crayfish, and other aromatic ingredients like uziza leaves or bitter leaves, this soup is perfect for all seasons.

It can be customized by adjusting the amount of peppers used depending on personal heat tolerance. Other popular Nigerian soups include Okra Soup made with okra pods, Locust Beans (Iru) and fish or meat; Egusi Soup made with ground melon seeds; Chicken Stew made with chicken pieces in tomato sauce; Banga Soup made from palm fruit extract and more.

Don’t forget to try it out topped off with some pepper sauce!

Moin Moin

If you want to add depth and flavor to your home-cooked meals, consider trying out the traditional Nigerian dish of Moin Moin. This classic Nigerian food is made with black-eyed peas, onions, peppers, spices, and other tasty ingredients.

It’s often enjoyed as a lunch or dinner dish but can also be served as a side for breakfast. Adding dried fish or crayfish to the recipe gives it that extra umami flavor while hard-boiled eggs provide protein.

Steaming this versatile dish takes about 45 minutes and can be reheated as leftovers. Just make sure not to use tomatoes or tomato-based products when making it!

Ewa Agoyin

You’ll love the spicy stew that accompanies mashed black eyed peas in Ewa Agoyin, a popular street food in Nigeria.

The ingredients for this flavorful dish include dried tatashe and chili peppers blended with onions, ginger, and palm oil to create a rich pepper sauce.

Seasoning cubes and crayfish add depth to the stew, which is served over the mashed beans or with Agege bread.

While the stew is very spicy, it can be made milder by using dried tomatoes instead of tatashe.

This hearty dish is a must-try for anyone interested in experiencing an authentic Nigerian meal.

Efo Riro

Let’s dive into the flavorful world of Efo Riro stew, a traditional dish from Nigeria made with spinach and a rich pepper sauce.

The spinach should be blanched before being stirred into the sauce, and excess water from the spinach can cause your stew to be too watery.

Bell peppers, scotch bonnet, onion, crayfish, locust bean, bouillon cube and salt are some of the essential ingredients you’ll need to achieve that authentic taste. Dry fish can be skipped if unavailable or substituted with smoked fish or smoked turkey.

Served with rice and yam or swallow foods like Amala Fufu or eba; this dish is sure to excite your taste buds!

Edikang Ikong

Experience the rich flavors and nutrients of Edikang Ikong, a delicious vegetable soup native to the South-southern states of Nigeria.

The combination of water leaves and Ugwu gives Edikang Ikong its distinct taste while the palm oil serves as the liquid in this soup. If you can’t find water leaves or pumpkin leaves, spinach and kale would substitute nicely. For those who love spicy food, adding scotch bonnet pepper or more cayenne pepper will do the trick!

To prepare it, kanda is cut into small pieces before cooking beef, kanda and dry fish with diced onions and bouillon cubes using as little water as possible. Once done add palm oil crayfish and pepper.

Enjoy this nutritious ‘rich man’s food’ with fufu, amala, pounded yam or white rice!


The savory and comforting Miyan Taushe stew, native to Northern Nigeria, is made with ripe pumpkin and chevon/goat meat.

This one pot meal is a popular dish among the Hausa and Fulani tribes during Ramadan, but can be enjoyed year-round paired with fufu or rice.

The recipe includes blending tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and scotch bonnet peppers to make a thick paste before adding in the braised meat and pumpkin chunks.

For added taste, a combination of ground peanuts, tomato paste, crayfish, and bouillon is incorporated, along with either vegetable oil or palm oil.

Chopped spinach and sorrel are then incorporated into the stew before it’s served hot.

With its unique blend of flavors reminiscent of groundnut stew, Miyan Taushe is a must-try for those looking to explore Nigerian foods.


So there you have it, the quick guide to my personal Top 30 Best Traditional Nigerian Foods .

From the spicy Suya to the comforting Amala, these dishes are sure to satisfy any craving.

Whether you’re a native Nigerian or simply looking to explore new cuisines, these dishes are a must-try. So gather some friends and family, or head to your nearest Nigerian restaurant or market, and indulge in the delicious flavors of Nigeria.

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