With the few vegan restaurants in Nigeria, you might be skeptic to eat out, but here are vegan friendly meals to eat in the country while you are out.
Only a few Nigerians are vegans, as we generally love meat. From stewed/peppered pomo, sold on the road to chicken and beef suya or is it the beautiful fish pepper soup, nkowbi or isi ewu sold at bars, there is a delight that comes with meat-eating. Thus, a lot of our meals are not vegan-friendly.
In fact, when you mention a vegan dish to a Nigerian, what will come to their mind is most likely a salad, but Nigerians actually have tasty dishes that are vegan-friendly. So, if you want to take the big step to be vegan, here are some meals you can comfortably eat when you eat out.
Beans is an underrated dish. The number of things that can be done with it can have you eating beans three times a week and not know it. You can make beans with stew, mixed beans with rice ( a complete delight), make porridge beans (mixed beans with palm oil) or make ewa agoyin. All these can be had with side dishes, garri, plantain or yam.
Plantain is one of Nigeria’s honorary citizens. It is best known for its mouth-melting sweetness. Plantain can be boiled or fried. Either way, it is easy to make. All you have to do is cut it in slim diagonal slices, circles or cubes and fry until golden brown. You may choose to sprinkle some salt and/or pepper on it before frying, but that depends on your taste. It can serve as a snack (plantain chips), a side dish (with beans or rice), the main meal (with stew or vegetable sauce). It is impossible to ruin plantain and it tastes like love.
3. Akara (Deep fried bean cakes)
This Nigerian fritter is another beans meal. It is light and fluffy, if well made. It is ideal for breakfast (as a side with bread, oats, pap or custard) or throughout the day as a snack. It is made from peeled brown beans, ground and blended with onions and spices, and fried in vegetable oil. Some people fry theirs in palm oil (akara elepo).
Yam can be cooked in different ways. Boiled, roasted or fried, yam is a great meal if you are vegan. You could make deep fried battered yam in the place of Yamarita. All you have to do is slice your yam, dip it in a light Akara mix and then deep fry it. This can be had with vegetable sauce or pepper sauce. The spicier the better.
This wonderful dish is made of peeled beans ground together with onions, pepper, oil and spices, and steamed in leaves for special aroma and taste (or other vessels). It is delicious and is great as a side dish. You may try it with any rice dish, a main dish or with soaked garri. You may need to ask if this is vegan friendly.
Okpa is a popular delicacy in Eastern Nigeria, made with Bambara nuts or Bambara beans. Okpa is one vegan verified meal you should try. Its nutritional content is off the chart, especially the ones packed with leafy greens.