Nigerian Food – An important part of Nigerian culture

Nigerian food is an important an important part of the Nigerian culture which includes cuisine originating from the diverse regions of Nigeria. Historical incidents such as foreign invasions, trade relations, and colonialism have also played a role in introducing certain foods to the country. For instance, the Nigerian Meat pie was brought to Nigeria by the British during the colonial era.

In Nigerian cuisine our diversity in climate, culture, ethnic groups, occupations and tradition plays a great role in our food style and food choices. Nigerian food is also heavily influenced by religion, cultural choices and traditions. For example, in Islam, Pork Meat is forbidden but some Christians see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The preference for seasoning and cooking techniques of Nigerian provinces depend on differences in historical background and ethnic groups. Geographic features including mountains, rivers, forests and deserts also have a strong effect on the local available ingredients. Hallmarks include seasonings such as Suya spice and Pepper soup spice some other frequently used spices and flavorings in Nigerian cuisine are Locust bean, Crayfish, Ginger, Bay leaves, Alligator pepper, Curry, thyme, Lemon grass, Ehuru (African Nutmeg), Onion, Spring onion, Clove, African Basil and a host of others.

Nigerian food also varies from the simple recipes which requires the use of a few ingredient to the recipes that requires elaborate preparations.

Main staples in the Nigerian Cuisine


The main staples in Nigerian cuisine are :Rice, Beans, Yam, Potato, Bread, Meat, Fish and Poultry, Fruits and vegetables and indigenous Nigerian drinks such as Palm Wine, Chapman, Kunu, Zobo drink.

Major Nigerian Food by the three main regions in Nigeria

Igbo Food:

The spices and flavors of the igbo people are really intense. They make use of leafy greens in quite a number of their meals. Igbo street foods includes Abacha, Okpa, Aki na ukwa, Garden egg and Groundnut sauce, Abacha Mmiri and many more.

Yoruba food

The Yorubas are noted for their delicious street foods like Akara, puff puff, Moin moin, Ekuru, Ewa Agoyin, Ewa ati Ata (Beans and fried pepper), Boli (Grilled plantain) and many more. Quite a number of Yoruba recipes calls for vegetable oil or palm Oil especially soups and stews, and quite a number of deep frying. You also need to try the Yoruba signature Efo riro!

Hausa Food

Hausa cuisine is a mixture of different indigenous styles, with considerable regional variation and some external influences. Although it is known for its limited use of spices, Hausa cuisine has strong flavors from its use of endemic herbs, fruits, and vegetables served fresh, dried, or fermented. Their main street foods are suya, Kilishi, Masa and Fura de nunu.

After all said, I like to chip this in; Cooking is an art, recipes sprout out of creativity and imagination or even borrowing a leaf from other cultures so join me and turn your kitchen into a creative arena for making delicious recipes.
I welcome your thoughts and contributions!!!

Lola O 🙂


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