It's customisable according to your preference: make it hotter than the sun, or as mild as a European's palette (jk, but not really). Add mixed vegetables if you want (please don't). Best enjoyed with piping hot dodo (see below) and a cold Supermalt.


Akara

2. Akara : These delicious protein-packed fritters are light, making them ideal for breakfast (as a side with ogi, perhaps) or throughout the day as a snack. Most people use peeled brown beans, ground and blended with onions and spices, and fry in vegetable oil. They taste amazing when eaten with Agege bread.


Bean and Plantain

3. Bean and plantain pottage: Nigerians love a pottage, and they are most commonly made with yams (Nigeria is one of the top producers of yam in the world). This variation balances the nuttiness of brown beans with the natural sweetness of plantains, and the palm oil adds a rich smoky taste to it.


Suya

4. Suya: Skewers of intricately spiced cuts of meat, grilled to perfection over an open flame. Often served with sharp, raw chopped onions, and wrapped in newspaper. Suya is widely considered to be a specialty of the Hausa people of northern Nigeria and Niger. The key to excellent suya is the spice mix (yaji) it is steeped in before grilling, and the Mallams will never share their recipes. The joy of suya is finding the best spots in your state.


Moin moin

5. Moin moin: A (vegan!) dish made of peeled Nigerian brown beans ground together with onions, bell pepper, palm oil and spices, and steamed in banana leaves (or other vessels). You can add any combination of extra bits to it: flaked fish, slices of hard boiled eggs, ground beef... it's literally up to you. It's delicious and nutty, and is great as a side (try it with any rice dish) or part of a main dish with, for example, soaked garri (fermented cassava).


Edikangikong

6. Edikangikong: Essentially, a "dry" leafy vegetable soup from the Cross River region of Nigeria. The (iron-rich) greens are a mixture of ugwu (a fluted pumpkin leaf) and gbure (waterleaf). In places where these leaves are unavailable, people substitute spinach. People also use a mix of meats and fish, and for authenticity, periwinkles. Served hot, with pounded yam or fufu, it's a party in your mouth. Top tip: get a friend from Calabar to cook it for you - there's nothing like it.


Dodo

7. Dodo: Pronounced "doh-doh", these are deep fried plantains (not bananas), cut in slim diagonal slices, circles or cubes (colloquially known as "party dodo") and deep-dried. Some people like to sprinkle some salt on before frying, but that's down to personal taste. It's a snack, a side dish, a main meal, a blessing. It tastes like a mother's love. It's impossible to cook it badly. It's both a whole meal and a side dish. It is the best thing. You don't really need a recipe for this: just peel, chop and fry. Crack open a Supermalt and eat it on the veranda.


Ogbono (Apon) Soup

8. Ogbono (or apon): A soup made from ground ogbono (African mango) seeds plus palm oil, stock and spices. It's usually eaten with staples like eba, fufu, pounded yam or amala. It has "draw", that wonderful slippery texture that helps the fufu go down easier. There are many variations on it, too: cooked alone, with vegetables, with or without meat or fish, with okra, or even with added melon seeds (egusi). It's super-quick to cook, and a perfect introduction to the many soups of Nigerian cuisine.


 Tuwo Shinkafa (Rice Balls)

9. Tuwo Shinkafa (Rice Balls): Tuwo shinkafa is a type of Nigerian cuisine from the northern part of Nigeria. It is a thick pudding prepared from rice flour and is usually served with different types of soups like Miyan kuka. 


Masa (Waina) Aka Rice Cake

10. Masa (Waina) Aka Rice CakeHausa Masa or Waina is a very popular snack in the northern part of Nigeria. Made from rice as well. Masa reminds me of puff-puff though the batter is made slightly watery unlike puff puff batter and not as sweet as puff puff. The rice usually used for this meal is the type used for tuwo known locally as sinasir (very white in color with broken rice particles, sold mostly by Hausa vendors, soaks up water when cooked).

 

 

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