A Beginners Guide To Classic Nigerian Recipes.

A Beginners Guide To Classic Nigerian Recipes.

Forget what you may have heard, Nigerians are proud people. They take great pride in their culture, art, and music. Food is an integral part of that pride. So it is not uncommon to find a beginner at the receiving end of their outrage for getting a classic Nigerian recipe wrong.

A recipe like Jollof rice is an institution in and of itself. God help you If Nigerians don’t like the looks of your Jollof rice, they accuse you of committing a sacrilege. In fact, to tell you just how deified Jollof Rice is, spelling it with lowercase is seen as disrespect by many.

Additionally, Nigerian recipes are as diverse as its people. The South and West have recipes they are known for. And so does the North and East. As a beginner, you’re spoilt for choice.

Eight classic Nigerian recipes for beginners

 These recipes are listed below because they’re easy to make and doesn’t take too much to master.

  • The almighty Jollof Rice

jellof rice

Photo: Ev’s Eats

Something is wrong if you go to any Nigerian ceremony and Jollof Rice is missing from the menu. Check again to be sure if that is really a Nigerian gathering.

Nigerians prepare Jollof Rice differently, but there are recipes that are constants. Tomatoes, onions, maggi, salt, spices, and chilli peppers—all four of them are constants. Four a beginner though you might want to keep things simple and tidy. Then perhaps you can experiment the more you get the hang of it.


Get the complete Jollof Rice recipe here.

  • Ewa agoyin

Ewa Agonyin

Photo: My active kitchen

Ewa agoyin is a very popular food in Lagos and other South-western parts of Nigeria. It is also known as Ewa G affectionately. Ewa agoyin is served together with its sauce. You may serve it with bread.

The secret to preparing Ewa agoyin is to use the right pepper and unadulterated palm oil. Cameroon pepper and dried bell pepper are recommended. Another thing is to bleach your palm oil just right.

Get the complete Ewa agoyin recipe here.


  • Pepper soup


Photo: SisiJemimah

Pepper soup depends on the kind of meat you’re comfortable with. A lot of Nigerians use beef, fish, or goat meat. As the name implies, pepper soup is famous for its spicy and peppery taste, curative and quickening power.


The preparation of pepper soup varies. People use different leaves to add flavour and delicious taste to it.

Get the complete recipe here.


  • Egusi

Egusi Soup

Photo: Demand Africa

Egusi is commonly eaten among the Igbo in Eastern Nigeria. It is prepared using ground melon seeds (egusi). And it is easy to prepare. Some like to fry the egusi very well in palm oil, while others prefer it in lumps. But you should take care to use quality palm oil. The Igbos like to eat it with pounded yam or fufu.

Get the complete recipe here.


  • Suya

Beef Suya

Photo: Precious Core

Northern Nigeria is known for its suya making. Even in the West or South it is mostly sold by Northerners who migrated. You will find them selling it in open stalls, under slow fire.

Suya is made from slowly grilling spiced meat over an open fire or coal. The meat could be beef or goat meat.

Get the recipe here.




Photo: Gist Always

Boli is a street food in Nigeria, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare it at home. You would find boli sellers in most corners in Portharcourt. In most cases, boli is eaten with pepper or ground nut sauce. Get your semi-ripe plantain and you can prepare it at home in your microwave or oven.

Get the recipe here.


  • Akara

Classic Nigerian Recipes For Beginners: Akara

Photo: Nigerian Food Tv

Akara is popular across Nigeria. Families mostly buy from the street for their breakfast. Akara could go with custard, homemade millet pap, or bread.

Akara is made using bean paste. It is quick and easy to make. Grind your beans into a paste, mixed with fresh pepper, then fry in oil.

Get the recipe here.



Yamarita Classic Nigerian Recipes For Beginners

Photo: Molabat Kitchen

Yam is the most important recipe if you’re looking to make yamarita. The people of Northern Nigeria know how to prepare it well. Yamarita could be eaten as a meal or an after meal.

Get recipe here

Read Also: 5 Recipes Your Kids Will Love Snacking On



Written by

Lydia Ume