Nigeria as a multicultural country is blessed with diversity that ranges from language, beliefs, practices, food, etc.
In Nigeria, there are hundreds of ethnic groups with unique culinary practices that make them unique.
Meals are cooked from the individual natural ingredients that make up these ethnic groups. Ingredients from spices, herbs, palm oil, groundnut oil, fish, and meats, to create deeply flavored sauces and soups.
1. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Pepper soup
Pepper soup is one of the numerous enjoyable delicacies in Nigeria. It is a traditional “drinking soup”. The band pepper soup insinuates the major spice that it is cooked with called “pepper”. The soup is cooked and served in homes as a meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Most times, it is served in cold weather, as a way of heating up the body.
Recipe for Pepper Soup
The ingredients for cooking pepper soup are locally sourced for, they include:
- Urdheri (grains of Selim)
- Alligator pepper (grains of paradise),
- Umilo (cocoplum)
- Gbafilo (rough-skinned plum).
- Meat, fish, or chicken
- Scent leaf
- Seasoning cubes
The spices are either blended or ground, yielding a powder that’s at once bitter-sweet, producing an astringent and an unforgettable flavour to the pepper soup.
P.S. Toasted and -blended mix can also be bought from our local markets.
The pepper soup spice mix can be stored for several months in an airtight jar or a freezer.
Steps for cooking pepper soup
- First, wash your meat, chicken, or fish and put them in a pot.
- Add water as needed.
- Add a tablespoon of grinded pepper soup spice.
- Add grind crayfish.
- Add salt.
- Stir well and put on fire.
- When it’s boiling, add the remaining pepper soup spice mix.
- Simmer steadily on medium to medium-low heat until the meat/fish is tender, but not yet falling off the bone, about 30-40 minutes.
- Taste and be sure it’s well cooked.
- Enjoy your pepper soup alone or with a drizzle of palm oil, served with boiled yam, plantains, rice, or potatoes.
2. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Afang Soup
Afang soup is a native soup particular to the people of the southern region of Nigeria.
It is one dish that is commonly found in many homes in the Cross River and the Akwa Ibom States of Nigeria.
Afang or Okazi also known botanically as Cnetum is widely available in Central Africa. This leaf is known for its usefulness in both cooking and medicinal purposes. It is a forest vegetable that could be domestically grown.
Apart from the okazi leaf found in Afang soup, there is also waterleaf.
Cooking Afang Soup to retain the fresh green color of the vegetables is quite important as cooking a tasty meal.
A way to achieve a green-looking, inviting, and appetizing Afang soup is to turn off the heat and add the okazi leaf.
The vegetables in Afang soup are rich in vitamins and minerals. They also contain high levels of laxatives.
It is also great for relieving bowel constipation.
Pounded Afang leaves, dressed periwinkles which are the steps that take up some time to be prepared are always in my freezer. So you can fix Afang soup on a weekday if you wish. Get the ingredients ready a few days ahead of cooking, so you have less stress.
Recipe for Afang Soup
- Cow beef/chicken/Goat meat, etc.
- Stockfish pieces
- Smoked or dried fish
- Water leaves (chopped)
- Okazi leaves (chopped and pounded)
- Palm oil
- Seasoning cubes
- Salt to taste
Steps for cooking Afang soup
- Wash the beef, put it in a pot, and season it with pepper, beef seasoning, and salt.
- Add the stockfish to steam
- Add water and cook till both meat and stockfish are tender.
- Add your dried or smoked fish.
- Add the chopped and washed water leaves and cook for 5 minutes.
- Allow boiling without stirring for at least 3 minutes. Add your crayfish, pepper, and seasonings.
- Add your thoroughly washed periwinkle
- Allow boiling for a few minutes.
- Add the palm oil and cook for 2 -3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the Afang and stir properly
- Serve with any morsel of choice.
3. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Egusi Soup
Egusi is the name for the seeds of plants like squash, melons, and gourds, when dried and grinded, become a staple ingredient in many West African dishes.
In Nigeria, egusi is a popular soup that is considered the fair option of soup to be cooked on occasions. It could be eaten with pounded yam, fufu, eba, semovita, starch, etc. The egusi seeds are quite rich in fat and protein.
Recipe for Egusi Soup
- A ball of onions
- 4 cups of egusi (melon seeds, ground or milled)
- Palm oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh Une (Iru, locust beans) optional
- Salt (to taste)
- Grinded crayfish (to taste)
- Cooked Meat & fish (quantity as needed)
- Pumpkin, water leaves, bitter leaves (washed), or okazi leaves
Steps for cooking Egusi soup
MAKING THE EGUSI PASTE:
- Blend egusi seeds and onion. Mix them together to make a mixture, and set aside.
MAKING THE SOUP:
- Pour your oil into a pot.
- Heat the palm oil on medium for a minute and then add a small salt and the Egusi.
- Fry very well in a low heat
- Slowly add the stock
- Add balls of the egusi paste mixture into the stock. Be sure to keep the ball in shape.
- Allow simmering for 20 – 30 minutes so the balls cook thoroughly
- Add the seasoning
- Add your pepper
- Add your steamed meat and fish and other goodies which you’d like to use.
- Add your salt
- Allow boiling for a few minutes
- Add the chopped vegetable leaves of your choice
- Stir and put a lid on the pot and allow it to cook for a little while.
4. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Oha Soup
Oha Soup, is a very delicious soup, popularly referred to as Ofe Oha by the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria. This soup is locally called “native”.
Oha soup is one soup that speaks culture, but it isn’t a go-to kind of soup. This is because the Oha leaves are seasonal.
The Oha leaves are not chopped like the normal leaves used in cooking. It is shredded by hand and not with a knife or any other sharp object.
Oha Soup is traditionally thickened with either cocoyam, achi, or Ofor. In some cases, like the people of Anambra, it is prepared there with Akwu (raw palm kernel oil).
Recipe for Oha Soup
- Meat (Beef, goat meat, Ponmo, Shaki are great)
- Palm oil
- Oha leaves
- Uziza Leaves or grinded Uziza seeds
- Medium size Cocoyam (Ede) or Achi. Depends on choice
- Smoked or dried Fish
- Stockfish, (Okporoko)
- Grinded Crayfish
- Ogiri Igbo
- Seasoning of choice
Steps for cooking oha soup
- Wash, season, and steam your meat.
- Soak and wash your Stockfish with hot water, steam together with the meat until it’s tender.
- While steaming the meat, aboil the Cocoyam with the skin on, do not add salt, boil till tender. This should take roughly 20 minutes on medium heat.
- When the cocoyams are soft, peel off the skin and pound till smooth in a mortar, alternatively, chop them into small chunks and purée in your electric blender till smooth, then set aside.
- Add the smoked or dried fish when you are sure the meats are tender.
- Add the pepper, fresh pepper preferably.
- Add the Palm Oil.
- Add your cocoyam and the blended crayfish and stir
- Allow to boil for 6-8 minutes or until the oil is fully incorporated into the stock.
- After a while, the Cocoyam will dissolve; thickening the soup. Be sure that it’s well dissolved.
- Add the Ogiri.
- Add your seasoning and salt
- Add the washed and shredded Uziza leaves or Uziza seeds, leave for a minute then add the Oha leaves, switch the heat off and leave to simmer with the residual heat for 2-3 minutes.
5. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Abacha
Abacha, also known as African salad, is a by-product of cassava. This is a delicacy that is particular to the Eastern people of Nigeria. Cassava is the main ingredient in making this meal.
This meal is usually served in occasions, however, most homes enjoy it beyond it’s conventional setting.
Ingredients for Abacha (African Salads)
- Abacha (sliced cassava)
- Ehu (optional)
- Ugba (Ukpaka)
- seasoning cube
- Palm oil
- Edible powdered potash(1 teaspoon)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Garden eggs (optional)
- Utazi leaves (optional)
- Garden egg leaves (optional)
- Meat/dry fish or stockfish. (optional)
Steps for cooking Abacha
- Heat or soak the dry Abacha in boiled water for about three minutes, then sieve and keep in a separate bowl.
- Blend your crayfish.
- Blend your fresh pepper.
- Slice your onions.
- Chop your garden egg and utazi leaves. Keep it on a separate plate.
- Dissolve the powdered potash in a cup of clean water.
- Add about 100ml of palm oil and stir to form a yellowish paste (ncha, as addressed by the Igbos)
- Add the grinded crayfish and pepper, stir, then add the ground ehu if you like.
- Add your Ugba to the mixture and stir. (This is an important ingredient in making African salad)
- Heat the abacha for a few minutes. Add your abacha to the mixture.
- Add the garden eggs, leaves, and onions to spice up your abacha.
- Serve with meat, fish, stockfish, or any toppings of your choice.
Most people in the villages prefer to take the African salad with palm wine. So get a bottle of palm wine or your favorite soft drink.
6. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Ofe Aku
Ofe Akwu is a very delicious palm nut native stew that is particular to the people of the Eastern region of Nigeria.
It is similar or even identical to Efik’s Banga Soup, which is traditionally prepared with native spices, known as Banga spices. It is the presence of the Banga spices that give the soup a unique taste and flavor, which makes it a bit different from the Igbo’s Ofe Akwu.
Ofe Akwu is commonly served as a sauce for boiled Rice or yams, but you can also enjoy it with boiled plantains and a lot more. It could be served as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Ingredients for cooking Ofe Akwu
- Fresh palm fruits
- Beef or chicken
- Dried fish (optional)
- Stockfish (optional)
- Beef stock from meat steamed
- Mackerel fish or Titus fish (optional)
- Ugwu, Scent leaves OR Spinach
- Grinded crayfish
Steps for cooking Ofe Akwu
- Wash and cook your fresh palm nuts for at least 30 minutes, until they are soft.
- Put in a mortar and pound lightly to extract the oil. Make sure you don’t break the nuts while pounding.
- Pour in some hot water, mix well and strain the extract through a sieve.
- Pour the extract into a pot and boil until it thickens and the oil rises to the top.
- Add the meat stock or water depending on how thick or light you want the stew to be. The more stock you add the lighter, the soup will be.
- Allow boiling for a period of 10 minutes.
- Add the steamed beef, fresh fish, cooked stockfish, and dried fish.
- Add the chopped onions
- Add the pepper
- Add grinded crayfish
- Add your seasoning
- Add salt to taste
- Stir and cover the pot
- Allow to cook for 8 minutes.
- Add the chopped leaves
- Simmer for 2-3 minutes and your Ofe Akwu is ready.
7. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Bole
Bole is a Nigerian delicacy that can be natively traced to the Niger Delta region of the country.
It consists of a roasted plantain or yam with really spicy pepper sauce and fish.
The pepper sauce is one of the main deals in this meal. It is a special hot sauce and the best option for eating boiled Yam, roasted plantain, or boiled plantain.
Ingredients for Bole Sauce
- Fresh peppers
- Palm Oil
Steps for making the Bole Sauce
- Wash and blend your pepper.
- Chop the onions.
- Grind your crayfish.
- The pepper and onions should be almost smooth. Transfer them into a bowl. Then add some palm oil till you get the quantity desired.
- Add the grinded crayfish.
- Add the seasoning.
- Add salt to taste and your pepper sauce is ready.
You can heat the pepper sauce up a bit before use.
This sauce can be eaten with roasted yam or plantain, garnished with ugba, utazi and onion.
8. Delicious Delicacies for Nigerian Homes: Ewedu
The Ewedu is a savoury that is particular to the Westerners.
It is a green leafy vegetable that is paired with stew for swallowing. Other names for Ewedu include Jute leaves and Molokhai.
Ewedu is most preferably eaten with Amala.
Traditionally, it is prepared by using a broom to firmly stir but in recent times, a blender is being used since it serves the same purpose.
Ingeidients for cooking the Ewedu soup
- Jute leaves
- Locust beans (Iru)
Steps for cooking the Ewedu soup
- Pick the Jute leaves from the stalk and wash with warm water and salt to get rid of dirts.
- Put in a blender and blend with little water.
- Pour the blended ewedu in a pot
- Add your locust bean.
- Add your seasoning.
- Add salt.
- Allow simmering for some minutes then remove the ewedu from the fire.
It is served with stew and Amala. A meal you will never stop relishing.
Hope you enjoy preparing and eating these wonderful delicacies? let’s get your feedback on your favorite delicacies among the 8 we have listed, thanks