Continuing with our list of essential Nigerian dishes to know, this list favours no tribe and is based on our assessment of dishes we believe are the most popular and essential. Also the Nigerian culture is thankfully becoming a melting pot of various tribes which is flowing through to the way we cook, eat and marry.
4. Efo Riro – we didn’t grow up eating this rich Yoruba vegetable stew made with green vegetables, peppers and assorted parts of meat, dried fish, fried snails, etc. Had it first in boarding school; Vivian Fowler; our ‘posh’ school that served us ‘local’ dishes like beans & efo riro all week and then served ‘posh nosh’ like scrambled eggs, grilled chicken and fried rice on visiting Sundays when our parents were due to visit… good times
Anyhow Efo Riro is one of our favourite soups now, in close contention with owo-ofigbo (Urhobo oil Soup) and Okra soup.
We struggled to find a good recipe until we tried 9jafoodie’s… The recipe is so easy to follow and produces great results all the time. http://www.9jafoodie.com/2012/10/yoruba-style-efo-riro/
Picture courtesy: 9jafoodie
Best served with swallow*, delish with rice & fried plantain too
*Swallows used to describe staple Nigerian food made from starchy vegetables like cassava, yams or plantains and hot water by pounding or stirring into a dough-like consistency usually eaten with soups
5. Yam pottage – We love this deceptively humble one pot dish. It’s a creamy like casserole made with yams, peppers and optional meats of your choice. DVees have a great recipe: https://dvees.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/how-to-make-yam-pottage-aka-asaro/
Picture coutsey: Dvees
Tip: peel your yams in advance and freeze to save you the hassle of peeling yams every time you need them.
6. Buka Stew – when we think of buka stew, we think of visits to mummy’s school; D-Vees Daycare Centre, yup she is the person responsible for creating the ‘DVees’ literally. Visits to her school meant ‘Bankolemo’ Rice and Stew or before then when she worked in NICON in Marina, Lagos – a messenger was always sent to ‘Ghana High’ to purchase steaming bowls of plantain, rice and stew.
Going on the back of our success with 9jafoodies’s efo riro, we recommend their buka stew recipe which is easy to read and follow. http://www.9jafoodie.com/2011/03/stew-obe-ata/
Buka (Nigerian) n : local canteen. Bankolemo and Ghana High are well known bukas in Lagos.
Picture Courtesy: 9jafoodie
Also if you google Buka stew and one of the first links that comes up is Dooney’s kitchen. We haven’t tried the recipe but from the comments on her post it sounds like a good recipe.
7. Beans is very popular food for the ‘common man’: cheap and practical. Today it does not matter what your station in life is: Nigerians love their Beans. Serving suggestion: serve beans with rice or with warm soft bread i.e. challah bread or agege bread (sweet, dense and chewy bread named after a place called Agege in Lagos State, Nigeria).
Picture courtsey: Dvees
Can you guess what recipes we will be featuring in part 3… coming soon.