Nigeria food is as flavorful, colorful, and spicy as the people and tribes that make up the country. Nigerian food falls in 3 categories: soups and swallows, rice, and small chops.
Soups and Swallows
Soups and swallows are hearty stews typically based on a local seed or plant paired with a swallow that is typically a mashed carb used to eat the soup. Some popular swallows included eba (cassava flour) and fufu/ pounded yam. A popular combination is okra soup with fufu. In a lot of Nigerian regions this soup is made with dried fish to create an umami flavor that can only be described as magical.
Rice is a huge staple in the Nigerian diet. The most popular dish being the Nigerian national dish, jollof rice. Jollof rice is a rice dish made by cooking the rice in a tomato-based sauce. It is similar to jambalaya. Jollof rice originated in Senegal, but most West African countries have a version of it and all of them believe theirs to be the best. It is spicy, sweet, luscious all at the same time. Other than jollof rice, the Nigerian people enjoy fired rice, native rice, rice with soup, rice with stew.
Small Chops- Suya
Small chops are another way of describing sides and appetizers. Things like puffpuff (yeasted fried dough), samosas, spring rolls, meat-pies, and suya will fall under the small chops category. Suya in particular is very tasty dish. Suya is a peanut based spice mix that can be used on a variety of things but is most commonly used to spiced beef then cooked on grill. There are versions of the spice mix that are vegan and be used on all sorts of things. You can find it served all over Nigeria on the side of the road at suya stands. Suya is so popular, people are willing to go across town to their favorite suya stand/ restaurants. Suya is a spicy treat that also serves a great compliment to jollof rice
Nigerian food is worth the experience. You do not have to be in Nigeria to try it, there are Nigerian restaurants (i.e. SuyaBros) in or close to a lot of major cities given how Nigerians have migrated around the world. You can also have it shipped to you. Either way, give it a try and enjoy a bit if Nigerian culture.
Photo and video courtesy of SuyaBros.com