Nothing brings people together like good food. Composed of more than 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria is a multinational state with a wide variety of customs and distinct cultures.
Thanks to its diverse cultural background, Nigerian cuisines carry a rich array of culinary traditions and flavors, connecting and appealing to Nigerians as well as visitors. Here are the signature national foods that you should definitely try out.
Moi Moi: Healthy steamed bean pudding
Moi Moi, or Moin-Moin, is a Nigerian steamed bean pudding made from a mixture of peeled black-eyed peas, onions and fresh ground red peppers. Therefore, it’s a perfect vegan food rich in proteins, iron, folate and soluble fibers.
This healthy dish can be cooked in various ways with different ingredients, such as fish, egg and crayfish; you can just add whatever works for you to cook your own special Moi Moi. It is widely consumed by locals and usually served at parties, wedding ceremonies or other festive occasions. The dish is usually eaten alone as a meal, or served with other local foods, such as fried rice, boiled white rice and stew, Jollof Rice, and more.
Jollof Rice: Colorful and vibrant one-pot dish
Jollof Rice, or benahin in native language, means one pot; it is a tomato-based rice dish that is popular and widely served in Nigeria. Ingredients of Jollof Rice include long grain parboiled rice, tomatoes, red peppers and various spices. Tomato paste is an indispensable condiment to enhance its color and taste.
On top of that, any kind of meat, vegetable and fish can be added to fit your personal taste. In different parts of the country, there will be special ingredients, such as seafood will be added in the riverine area. This vibrant and colorful dish is often served at special occasions and social events along with other signature local cuisines.
Suya: Nigerian Shish kebab
Suya, a Nigerian Shish kebab, is a well-known and delicious national street food that originated in the northern parts of the country. The snack is made with skewered beef, chicken, goat or fish coated in a dry peanut rub with fresh cabbage, tomatoes, and onions.
It is usually wrapped with old newspaper or aluminum foil, and sold in the evening. The unique spice makes Suya standout from other grilled meats. Consisting of ground peanut, ginger, pepper, dried onions, and more, the spice offers a strong and pleasant flavor that will win over everybody.