There are many food varieties in Nigeria. With vast cultural diversity, there are bound to be different traditional dishes for various etnic groups that make up the Nigerian nation. With over 520 languages and 371 ethnic groups, the food culture for each tribe would be impossible to exhaust.
In this post, we provide the list of traditional foods in Nigeria according to the major tribes in the country.
List of Hausa Traditional Foods
Northern Nigeria is a great centre for tourist attraction. Outside the tourist worthy locations in the north, travellers also enjoy the traditional food of the Hausas. We cannot deny the fact that the Hausas have largely contributed to the food identity of Nigeria.
Without further ado, let’s look at a list of Hausa traditional foods:
- Masa/ waina
- Tuwon masara
- Tuwon shinkafa
List of Yoruba Traditional Foods
Aside the fact that the Yorubas are the second largest ethnic group in Nigeria, they also have delicacies they are known for. Preparing Yoruba foods isn’t difficult once you know the methods and ingredients to use. One popular traditional meal in Yoruba land is the delicious Amala and Ewedu soup. This food can be found in most restaurants located in the southwestern geopolitical region in Nigeria.
Yoruba ethnic group consists of African traditionalists, Muslim, and Christians. The majority are Christians while the rest are a minority. Occupationally, they always indulge in subsistence agriculture. Some of the crops they grow include; Yam, bananas, cassavas, groundnuts, millet and various vegetables. Given that they leave in rainforest zones, they are also known for farming Cocoa. Cocoa is the main export of this ethnic group. Unlike their northern, they are not nomadic herdsmen. You cannot separate a people’s culture from what they eat. So since I have highlighted their culture, let’s look in the foods consumed by the Yoruba ethnic group.
Yoruba traditional foods are is widely consumed in the Western part of Nigeria. The delicacies are quite a pleasure to behold. A vast majority of Yoruba diet always consists of a mix of various foods. Some of the foods belonging to Yoruba people are pure of their cultural diversity. What I mean in essence is that you can know a Yoruba man by looking at his table with dishes.
Below is list of popular Yoruba foods.
- Amala (yam-flour)
- Gbegiri (soup made from beans)
- Ofada rice (Natural rice)
- Efo riro (vegetable soup)
- Akara (bean cake)
- Iyan (pounded yam)
- Ewa Agayin (made from beans)
- Moi-Moi (pudding beans)
- Ẹba (made from Cassava flour) )
- Ikokore – Ijebu-ode (made from water yam)
List of Traditional Ibibio Foods
The Ibibio tribe has vast settlements in the riverine areas of southern Nigeria. As a result of this factor, the Ibibio dishes are mainly sourced from the rivers. The Nutrient profiles of almost all Ibibio/Efik dishes are tied to the seas. Let us no take a quick glance at the list of all Ibibio foods in Nigeria.
- Nigerian Ekpang Nkwukwo. The Ekpang Nkwukwo dish is native to the Cross River and the Akwa Ibom States of Nigeria. It is prepared with cocoyam that is well grated and some assorted vegetables.
- Abak Atama Soup.
- Edikang Ikong Soup (Vegetable Soup)
- Afang Soup.
- Afia Efere or Nsala Soup.
List of Traditional Ijaw Food
Just like other ethnic groups, the traditional foods by the Ijaw tribe are not so popular in Nigeria. They are geographically locked on to riverine boundaries, so the majority of their foods can be sourced from the sea. Some of the foods of the Ijaw tribe include;
- Polofiyai— A rich soup made with palm oil and yams.
- Kekefiyai— A stew of vegetables made with sliced plantains, seafood, fish, and palm oil.
- Fried or roasted fish and plantain— Fish fried in palm oil and served with fried plantains
- Gbe— this is a grub gotten from an insect known as the raffia-palm tree bettle. It is consumed raw, dried, that is eaten r and fried in groundnut oil or palm oil.
- Kalabari “sea-harvest” fulo— this is a blend of delicious seafood soup or stew. It is usually eaten with rice, foofoo or yams.
- Owafiya (Beans Pottage)— A vegetable stew made with palm oil, beans, fish and yam. Palaintan can also be used in place of yam.
- Geisha Soup
- Opuru-fulou— Opuru-fulou is also known as prawn soup. It is prepared with prawn, Ogbono, fresh pepper, dried fish, crayfish, , table salt ,onions, and red palm oil.
List of Traditional Igbo Food
Also regarded as the best cooking tribe in Nigeria, the Igbos are one of the three major ethnic groups in the country. They settle mostly in the eastern region of Nigeria. Some of the Igbo states include; Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia, Rivers, Delta, Imo and some parts of Benue state. Igbo foods are very delicious and are greatly admired throughout the nation as they can be seen in all restaurants in the country. They are mentally independent and industrious people. They indulge in a lot in subsitence agriculture, and some of their main produce includes palm oil, cassava, yam, Manoic, Rice, Corn, vegetables, wild fruits and some classic herbs.
The major traditional foods of the Igbo people legumes, vegetables, maize, cocoyam, yam, and cassava. You can also identify Cereals as a major nutrient for Igbo dishes. Some of the major dishes of the Igbo people are the likes of; Nni Oka, Nni Akpu, Nni Ji, Onugbu, Okazi, Achi, Oha.
Later on in this article, you would notice that the foods they consume, revolves round about what they farm. Without further ado lets delve in to see classic foods eaten by the Igbo ethnic group.
Let us look at the list of traditional foods eaten by the Igbo’s:
- Igbo Bitter Leaf Soup
- Fufuand Uha Soup
- Jollof Rice with Chicken
- Yam served with Fish Pepper Soup
- Okro soup
- Bitter leaf soup
List of Traditional Tiv Foods
You cannot separate food from any culture in the world. The Tiv’s are not an exception to this. The culture of a people would always be imprinted in the food culture of any tribe.
Here is the list of popular traditional foods associated with the Tiv tribe;
- Atyever Soup
- Akutor soup
- Kyegh Sha Shwa
- Genger Soup
- Pounded Yams (Ruam Kumen)
- Wheat/Poundo Iyan (Ruam Nahan)
- Atuu Agha nase
- Aji a kessen
- Igyo sha nune
- Mzembe u mgban
- Nyam haan mkan
- Kuruke mgban