Nigerians know how to eat and eat well. Here are five local dishes you must try in Nigeria.
Nigeria has become famous for her Jollof rice with debates about whether she makes it better than her neighbour, Ghana. It could be said that Jollof rice is Nigeria’s standard meal. However, there is more to Nigeria than this. In fact, Nigeria has so many mouth-watering and tongue-biting local dishes that will leave you praying against gluttony. Find some of them below.
1. Ofe Onugbu aka Bitter Leaf Soup
Originating from the eastern part of Nigeria, bitter leaf soup is made from bitter leaves, as the name implies. It has different recipes, some made with palm oil, the other made with the juices from palm nut, all of which are delicious. The best part of this soup is not the obstruction aka meat, stockfish, dried dish etc, that enriches the soup but the sweet taste left in your mouth after a cup of water. This soup is best eaten with eba, pounded yam, fufu or any swallow of your choice. However, you may have it with rice.
2. Ila Alasepo (Mixed Okra)
Ila is the Yoruba word for Okra, and Asepo means “To cook together.” In regular Yoruba style, okra is typically served with stew but this is different. It is probably the only Yoruba soup that uses palm oil. Why is it a must-have? Other than the nutritional benefits of this soup, it is super easy to make and usually prepared with a lot of proteins. From seafood to assorted meat, this soup has you covered. It is best eaten hot with any swallow of your choice.
Afang Soup is one of the most popular traditional soups. It is native to the Efik people of Nigeria and praised for its nutritional and medicinal values. This soup is filled with different leaves like every other vegetable soup but what makes it stand out from the everyday vegetable soup is the preparation. Proper afang soup is made by pounding the natural oils from the afang leaves. Afang leaves with assorted meats (Beef, smoked Turkey, goat meat, shaki, ponmo, cow leg ) will leave you grateful for the gift of taste. This delicacy is best devoured hot with pounded yam and a cold drink.
4. Pepper Soup
You would think this would be a Yoruba dish because of their love for pepper but it leans towards the Eastern part of Nigeria. Pepper soup is a well known Nigerian dish, and actually the only soup that is consumed without pairing with other foods. It could, however, be eaten with yam, plantain, rice or any swallow of your choice. Whether it is made with goat meat, assorted, fish, chicken or catfish, pepper soup, it is your go-to meal for cold days, sick days, pregnant women or a beer hangout with the guys.
5. Abula (Amala, Gbegiri and Ewedu)
Abula is popular in the Western part of Nigeria. Abula is a mixture of Gbegiri (Bean soup), Ewedu (draw vegetable soup) and obe ata (stew). It is typically eaten with Amala, although it can be eaten with any other swallow. Amala is made from yam flour and is from the Western part of Nigeria. It is basically yam that has been peeled, dried and blended into flour and it is usually brownish in colour. Unlike most Nigerian swallows, Amala is light and fluffy. Rumoured to make you lose your home training, abula is best eaten hot with soft ponmo, ogufe and the fish of your choice.