This particular dish holds an iconic status in Nigeria, being a staple consumed throughout the nation. You might find it intriguing why it garners such high praise, but the revelation lies in its deceptively simple composition: rice combined with a blend of tomato, onion, pepper, and an array of spices. The true magic, however, resides in the art of seasoning!
On occasion, it is accompanied by vegetables, chicken, beef, or fried fish. This delectable dish boasts a widespread popularity that extends well beyond Nigeria’s borders, as it also holds the status of a staple in Ghana and various other West African countries.
Without a doubt, this stands as the most widely consumed staple food in Nigeria, gracing the tables of a vast majority of households, regardless of their location or ethnic background.
Garri is prepared from cassava. This is first harvested, peeled, washed, and ground. It is then drained of water, some starch, and hydrocyanic acid before it is sieved and fried in a hot pan. The result of this process is called garri.
Garri can then be used to prepare Eba simply by adding hot water to the desired quantity of garri granules. Eba can be eaten with any Nigerian soup, such as Egusi soup, Okro soup, Banga soup, Afang soup, etc.
Amala and Ewedu Soup
Ewedu soup is a traditional Nigerian dish crafted from jute leaves, a leafy vegetable commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. While it is native to the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria, it is also prevalent in various other regions of West Africa, East Africa, and North Africa.
The preparation involves mashing the jute leaves, often with a short broomstick called “ijabe,” and then cooking them with ground African crayfish, bouillon powder, salt, and locust beans. During the cooking process, the leaves develop a somewhat slimy consistency reminiscent of okra.
Ewedu soup is frequently paired with amala, although it can be enjoyed with other traditional Nigerian swallow foods like fufu, eba, or pounded yam. Amala, traditionally made from dried yam (amala isu), which gives it a brown hue, can also be prepared using cassava (amala lafun) or plantain (amala ogede).
While Ewedu soup can be served on its own with amala, it’s not uncommon to find it accompanied by other Nigerian stews like buka stew and/or gbegiri soup. As you might have guessed, the bowl of green soup described above is indeed Ewedu soup.
Ewa Agoyin, sometimes spelled as Ewa Aganyin, is an immensely popular street food in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos. It comprises incredibly soft or mashed beans, accompanied by a fiery stew created from bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, and palm oil. The preferred choice for beans in this dish is Nigerian honey beans (ewa oloyin), although black-eyed peas can also be used.
While Ewa Agoyin is readily available as a street food, it is also a common preparation in many Yoruba households. This hearty dish is typically served with soft bread, boiled yams, or dodo (fried plantains).
Moi Moi (Bean Pudding)
In the United States, the word “pudding” usually evokes thoughts of a sweet and rich dessert. However, Moi Moi is far from being a dessert pudding. It’s an extraordinary dish that you should definitely experience during your visit to the country.
This savory pudding can be prepared using either black-eyed peas or brown beans. The steamed beans are blended with ingredients such as tomato paste, onions, garlic, various peppers, and a selection of spices, resulting in a delectable culinary creation.
Moi Moi is typically steamed while encased in banana leaves, although it’s worth noting that some Nigerians also opt to bake their Moi Moi for a different twist on the dish.