5 Nigerian Food Ingredients You Can Incorporate Into Your Recipes

5 Nigerian Ingredients You Can Incorporate Into Your Home Cooking

Nigerian food is delicious! With it’s unique flavours, smells and ingredients, it’s always a treat for the taste buds.

If you’d like to have the taste of Nigeria in your own home, then you can definitely incorporate several Nigerian ingredients in your cooking. Here 5 such ingredients that are worth trying, see if you can find recipes that can incorporate them well.

Yams – Try This As An Alternative To Sweet Potatoes

Yams are used in Nigerian cookingNigeria is the largest producer of yams in the entire world. It is no wonder that yams form a major part of their meals most of the time. Some of the yam delicacies in Nigeria include yam porridge, fried yam, boiled yam, yam pepper soup and yam and vegetables. As you can see, there are very many ways to cook the yams. You can cook the yams in your own home either by frying, roasting, baking or boiling them. They can even be made into scrumptious yam chips.

Nigerian Food Ingredient: Plantains

Plantains food recipesPlantains are actually a type of bananas which contain high starch levels and low sugar content. These characteristics are what make them ideal for cooking. In Nigeria, plantains are mostly eaten when cooked. Their leaves and fibers are also edible. One of the easiest meals to prepare with plantains is plantain soup. This is a common dish especially in the Caribbean. The plantains can also be grilled, roasted, boiled or fried. Plantains can be used for cooking when raw or ripe. They make a good addition to sweet dishes when they are ripe. You can learn how to cook plantain properly here.

Coconut – A Yummy Nigerian Ingredient

Nigerian food: coconuts and coconut milkRice in Nigeria is never complete without some coconut. The coconut can be grated or in form of coconut milk. Coconut can be used for cooking in its raw form or in the form of coconut milk or coconut oil. It is a good addition to your meals at home especially when cooking rice or tropical dishes. Toasted grated coconut makes a good topping for tropical fruit salads containing fresh mango, orange, banana and papaya. . It can also be used to make coconut flavored pastries and deserts. This is one ingredient you should not miss in your kitchen.

Okra, A Nigerian Vegetable

Okra pods used in Nigerian cookingOkra, which is also known as ladies’ fingers, is greatly treasured in Nigeria for its seed pods. The seed pods are used to prepare okra soup. Okra soup is tasty and takes a very short time to prepare. It is actually one of the main delicacies in Nigeria. This is one type of soup you should definitely prepare in your own home. Play around with different ingredients until you get the taste that is most appealing to you. The major ingredients usually include vegetables, beef or fish, seasoning, palm oil and salt or pepper. Make sure that your family has a taste of the okra soup.

Palm Oil Is Often Used In Nigerian Cooking

Palm oil and palm fruits used Nigerian dinner recipesPalm oil is often used in best Nigerian soup dishes. That said, there are environmental issues with using this kind of oil. See them for yourself then decide if you’d personally like to use it or not.

The oil is usually extracted from the fruits of oil palm trees. An interesting thing about palm oil is that it has a long shelf life. This makes it handy for preparing snacks and fast foods especially in hot areas.

If you’ve decided to use it, experiment with a little bit of palm oil in your cooking. Find the meal that works best for you when you prepare it with palm oil. It will definitely add to your collection of the vegetable oils you use in your cooking.

5 Nigerian Food Ingredients You Can Incorporate Into Your Home Cooking Recipes

I hope you have fun trying out these Nigerian ingredients in your home cooking. Which ingredient do you love best? Tell us what you think.

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  1. I have heard nothing but negative things about palm oil! This has been long been touted that we should not use any product with partially hydrogenated palm oil in them. They list a long litany of reasons why.

    So help me to understand why we should include this oil in our food/diet.

    Also, okra is not one of my favorite foods unless it’s buried in a dish and I don’t know about it. 🙂 . Growing up in the south it was a veg that was used quite often. To me it was gross and slimy! Ugh! However, I must admit I’ve never heard of okra soup. Maybe a dish to try in the future. Is there a good recipe available? Who knows it may change my mind….just maybe!

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my comments.


    1. Hi Belinda, thanks for commenting. We’ve updated the article to also give the other side of things regarding palm oil.

      I personally really like okra, guess it’s just a matter of personal taste. 🙂

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