Nigeria is a diverse country with different tribes and cultures. There are lots of fascinating and beautiful places to visit in the country. Nigeria is also blessed with variety of foods like Ofada rice and stew , fried rice. One of the most intriguing is the street food. Nigerian street food is diverse and also reflects the culture of the society. This article lists some common street food in the country.
Famous street food/Snacks in the country
Suya is well-known Nigerian street food. It is also known as tsire or soya; this delicacy is native to the Hausa tribe of northern Nigeria. Suya is widespread in every region of Nigeria; I sometimes wonder why most vendors sell at night. Suya is a barbecued snack made from beef, chicken, turkey, shrimp, etc.
The meat is marinated with a powdered spice ( which contains kuli kuli powder, ginger, garlic, dried chilli pepper, salt, seasoning), vegetable oil and then barbecued. Enjoy hot garnished with onions, cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, and other vegetables.
Shawarma is not indigenous to Nigeria, but like the adaptive people we are, we have found a way to make this delicious snack our own.
Sharwama is an original Lebanese dish with beef/chicken or lamb marinated with seasonings such as garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, lime etc. The meat and vegetables are put into pita bread and folded into a cone shape.
Sharwama is enjoyed hot, and the Nigerian variation is usually spicy, infusing the Nigerian touch to the dish.
3. Fried potatoes/yam/plantain
Yam and potatoes, also called ‘dundun’ in the Yoruba language, are relatively common snacks in Nigeria. It is mainly served with pepper sauce, fish, or ponmo (cow skin). I love making fried yam at home, and when I sight hot fried yam on the street, I usually can’t resist the temptation.
Most vendors sell fried yam, potatoes and plantain when they are in season. The variant of potatoes used is usually sweet potatoes. Personally prefer eating my fried yam or potatoes with the suya pepper. The taste is heavenly.
Akara is the famous bean cake. The beans are soaked in water, and the skin is peeled before it is grounded smoothly into a paste. The paste is scooped with a tablespoon and then fried bit by bit.
You can enjoy Akara with bread, garri, ogi (pap), custard, or eat it alone. Some people prefer to fry their Akara with palm oil.
5. Boiled/roasted corn
Corn is fast food in Nigeria; it is more than a snack for some families. The corn season usually comes with the rainy season. Corn or maize is generally boiled or roasted with or without salt. The snack is yummy, and I always anticipate this season because when corn is available, I find it easier to eat beans.
Corn is roasted on hot coals and served with coconut or African pear. You can enjoy boiled corn with coconut or pear too.
6. Roasted Plantain, Potato and Yam
The roasted version is another variant of this yummy street food besides fried yam or plantain. Roasted plantain is usually soft and juicy on the inside.
Roasted plantain is usually eaten alone, with pepper sauce or roasted groundnut. Roasted yam is best enjoyed with pepper sauce or suya pepper.
Snack is a general name for street food made from flour. It can either be fried or baked. Some variants of snacks include; puff puff, buns, meat pie, doughnut, chin chin, fish pie etc.
Abacha is a delicacy from eastern Nigeria; the pop of colours makes it very attractive and mouthwatering. It is usually referred to as African salad because of its ingredients. The ingredients for Abacha include sliced cassava, palm oil, ukpaka or ugba, onions, cow skin, garden egg, garden egg leaves, etc.
Okpa is a Nigerian delicacy native to the eastern part of Nigeria. It is more common in the Enugu state, Nigeria. Okpa is made from Bambara nuts. The nut is grounded into powder form before it is used to make this delicacy.
People unfamiliar with this delicacy will mistake it for Moi Moi, but they are not the same. It is usually enjoyed with pap, garri (cassava flakes) or eaten alone.
10. Ewa Agoyin
Ewa Agoyin is a street food which combines mashed cooked beans and fries sauce. The beans used is usually honey beans (Ewa oloyin). The beans are cooked till it is very soft and mashed. A sauce is made from the combination of dried chilli pepper, Cameroon pepper, and onions puree, then fried in palm oil.
Ewa agoyin is usually served hot with bread.
11. Popcorn and groundnut
Popcorn is lovely street food for every age. There is a variety of popcorn, ranging from salted popcorn to milk-flavoured, sugary, and sometimes coated with caramel. While I was young, we enjoyed salted popcorn and roasted groundnut. The taste is very yummy.
Kunu is a drink made from millet, sorghum and soya milk. It is very nutritious and filling. I love taking kunu, which is preferable when you make it home. Kunu drink is indigenous to the northern part of Nigeria.
However, I usually advise people who have not had this drink before to take it in small quantities first to prevent running stomachs.
Zobo is a drink made from hibiscus flowers; the juice is extracted by cooking the flower. Zobo is highly nutritious; it contains lots of micro and macronutrients. You can decide to dice fruits into the drink to create a cocktail.
Kindly check my zobo recipe here.
Noodle, or indomie as it is commonly called in Nigeria, is a typical street food sold primarily in the evening. The street vendors who sell this food prepare it on demand. The ingredient in each varies depending on the request of the client.
15. Fried / Roasted fish
The Nigerian variety of KFC chicken is the street-fried fish made by coating the fish in flour before it is fried in vegetable oil. The fish is usually crispy on the outside and soft and moist inside. The fish is generally enjoyed with bread or garri.
Do you have a Nigerian favourite street food? I’ll love to know yours in the comment section.