10 essential ‘Nigerian’ dishes to know- part 1

We came to a recent realisation; we are very partial to certain foods; you just need to glance briefly at our archives/gallery to note our love for giant prawns, plantains, fish, peppersoup, coconut rice, yams, cakes and did we say cakes already.

We have repented and the plan is to explore more dishes with the help of other passionate food bloggers and present a collection of recipes that will give you confidence in the kitchen and comfort at the table; regardless of skill whether you are a competent cook or green in the kitchen, this list of 10 essential dishes to add to your repertory with tips on how to make them that extra special and a comprehensive list of links to help you master cooking them should set you off nicely on your path to culinary greatness or just good ole yummy meals in your tummy 🙂

1. Jollof Rice – no occasion is complete without this dish and this is certainly one that everyone should learn to make.

The secret to making amazing jollof rice is love, sounds corny but Keith Floyd must have had Jollof on his mind when he said “Cooking is an art and patience a virtue. Careful shopping …. and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist“.

The truth is everyone cooks jollof rice differently but we find that when we take an unhurried approach to making jollof it always comes out perfect. We love Nky Lily Lete’s recipe post which comes with clear directions, a video and even a frequently asked question section: http://www.nigerianfoodtv.com/2013/02/jollof-rice-how-to-cook-nigerian-jollof.html

Lohi's Jollof
Picture Courtesy: Lohi’s Creation

Picture courtesy: Lohi’s Creations

For party jollof with the smoky flavour and aroma which we look forward to eating at parties; we love Sisi Yemmie’s “let it burn” recipe; in her words “don’t be worried if the rice is burning – that is the ‘koko…. don’t sha let it burn too much. Wisdom is principal.” http://www.sisiyemmie.com/2012/02/wokchop-party-jollof-rice.html

2. Peppersoup – Nigerian pepper soup is an aromatic intensely flavoured soup. It is a warming and comforting soup that soothes all ails; down with a cold or fever, need a hug? Peppersoup will do the trick 🙂

This soup, which most people drink with tears running down their face depending on how literal the cook took the word ‘pepper’ into account when making the soup is distinctive because of the intense aromatic flavour, the uniqueness of the native spices, the heat and the copious pieces of assorted meat (tripe, goat meat, cowleg) or fresh fish in the soup. Another thing that really crunches up pepper soup is crayfish. Crayfish is used to flavour a lot of local soups; it just gives it that extra ‘oophm’.

DVees Sweet Plantain & Seafood Peppersoup is beautiful, delicious and very easy to make too. The seafood mix and sweet plantains make this soup really special. After making and eating this meal we couldn’t help but agree with the playwright George Bernard Shaw: “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”  Recipe post: https://dvees.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/seafood-sweet-plantain-pepper-soup/

Picture courtesy: DVees

Picture courtesy: DVees

3. Peppered goat meat (asun) – this delicacy is usually served as an appetiser at parties. Goat meat has a rich tender flavour which when marinated with peppers and the right seasoning causes an explosion in your mouth. Also goat meat is actually one of the healthiest red meat as it is low in fat and cholesterol.

Afrolem’s recipe was the first that we tried and loved, at first we were worried that the meat wasn’t going to be soft enough but as soon as we tasted it, we knew that our worries were in vain.

Recipe post: http://afrolems.com/2012/12/02/asun-spicy-goat-meat-by-afrolems/

afrolems asun

Picture courtesy: Afrolems

Please let us know in the comments if there are other classic recipes you think every home cook should know.

Also please ask away if you have any questions about the dishes or the recipes or tips. Part 2 to follow shortly



6 thoughts on “10 essential ‘Nigerian’ dishes to know- part 1

  1. Love love love love your site!!! I’m planning to try as many of your recipes as possible so please keep them coming…. x

  2. Can’t wait for the part 2 because I want to be able to tick that list and say yes I can cook essential Nigerian food. I have ticked 2 out of 3 so far. Jollof rice and peppersooup. Not bad. Have you tried Dooney’s Kitchen Party Jollof rice recipe? I swear that thing is the gospel

    1. Hello Aramide, part 2 is finally out… sorry you had to wait 3 months for it… we were working on a major family event.. Havent tried Dooney’s Kitchen Party Jollof rice… loved sis yemmies hence the feature. We will check out Dooney’s recipe too – thanks.

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