Have you even lived if you have not tried Nigerian food? I am yet to met a group of people that take their food seriously like Nigerians. As I said in this post, Nigerians love their food spicy. Scratch that, their food is peppery. Despite the pepper, I enjoyed Nigerian food. I can confidently say that you have not lived until you try Nigerian food.
This list covers only ten delicacies but there’s a whole lot of others in Nigeria o. Follow 9jafoodie on Instagram to get your slice of heavenly Nigerian food. The images I used in this post are from their Instagram page with permission of course, although the words describe my personal experience because I only took videos of what I ate. Check my Nigeria highlights on Instagram for more.
Anyway , here’s a list of nine delicacies I ate and tasted in Lagos, Nigeria
1. Nigerian Jollof rice and Asun
Of course, my first meal in Nigeria had to be jollof rice and asun meat. Jollof rice is fried rice and is very popular in West Africa. Want to piss off a Nigerian? Start off by saying Ghanaian jollof rice is better than Nigeria’s. Hehe. Okay, maybe don’t do that.
Asun meat is spicy, very spicy yet mouthwatering goat meat. Eh! Asun was my proper introduction to Nigerian pepper. Guys, I teared up because of the pepper. I was not expecting it and even if I did. I bet I would have still cried because no one prepares you for the amount of pepper used in Nigerian food.
Jollof rice, on the other hand, is fried rice popular in some West African countries. If you’re wondering, I did clear my plate despite the pepper.
The relationship between Asun and me was hot and sweet. I went to eat jollof rice three more times before I left. I ate Jollof rice at the Plate restaurant in Lagos and also home-cooked jollof rice at my host’s place.
Kilishi is lean meat that has been cut into strips then dried. It’s dry meat from cow, goat or sheep.
Two days after my experience with Asun meat, my friend offered me Kilishi. I asked her if it had lots of pepper because I had enough and this lady told me that it had bearable pepper. I’m still investigating what kind of taste buds the good Lord gave Nigerians.
Listen and listen carefully, if a Nigerian tells you there’s little pepper in anything, there’s 100% chance the chilli will be too much for you. Alright?Whew! Kilishi is the most peppery thing in the world. I am convinced the dish is mostly pepper with a little Kilishi in it.
Kilishi is so peppery that even the people that sell it by the road have water for customers in case it becomes too much.
3. Isi Ewu
Isiewu is goat head. Yeah, remember when i said Nigerians do not play with their food? This is what I meant. No animal part is spared. Isi Ewu is goat head complete with a set of eyes and tongue. I am not kidding because I ate the tongue itself at the yellow chilli restaurant. Coincidence the restaurant has the word chilli in it? I think not.
I only tried the Isiewu, but I couldn’t order it because I do not know how to eat it. Which part do i eat? Do I pop the eyes? What if I pop the eye? The tongue part is chewy and surprisingly tasty. I would only order it if I had guidance on how to eat Isi Ewu.
4. Peppered Snail
Yeah! You read that right. It’s SNAIL! Yaani Konokono in Swahili. Those slimy slow creatures!
First of all, I did not know people eat snails. I am yet to come to terms with the fact that snail is a common delicacy in Nigeria. Also, I understand that eating a snail is a luxury because it’s a very expensive mean.
You want to tell me that these creatures that Kenyans find absolutely disgusting are not only amazingly delicious but also very expensive? I’m good luv, enjoy!
5. Croaker fish and yam chips
Eating in Nigeria was an experience for me and every day was a discovery. I only know of potato chips, and upon trying fried yam chips, I was in love. I’m now on the lookout for yams in Nairobi to relive my experience.
The croaker fish I had was prepared at Sailors Lounge in Victoria Island and man, that chef prepared a mean ass fish. I still think about that meal to date.
It was my first time trying this type of fish, and although the pepper was minimal, I still needed water next to me.
6. Pepper soup and catfish
Pepper soup is precisely that, soup that’s full of pepper.
It was what my friend Funmi had at Sailor’s lounge when I had croaker fish. I had quite a handful of her share and I liked it.
If I go back to Lagos, I have to eat at Sailor’s lounge again because their food is terrific and it has impressive sea views that serve as a bonus.
7. Swallow and egusi soup
Swallow is food made of starch. There are several types of swallow, and if I remember correctly, I tried Amala made out of cassava flour, and Eba made from grated cassava. Swallow is kind of like Ugali but super soft. It’s called swallow because you do not need to chew it. Yup! That’s right. You only dip it in soup and swallow. Yeah, that can never be us with Kenyan ugali unless I’m trying to get choked.
Egusi soup is an appetizing soup that goes well with swallow.
It was after I ate Nigerian swallow that I realized what one meant when she said Kenyan swallow is so hard it could be used as a weapon of mass destruction. Ouch! I felt that, but their ugali is the softest ugali ever, in fact, if you don’t hold it properly it might slide off your hands.
8. Fried plantain/dodo and gizzards (gizzdodo)
Plantains are like bananas but sweeter. Why don’t we have plantain in Kenya again? Or do we?
I would gladly eat fried plantain any day. It’s a bonus if it’s mixed with gizzards with sauce hence the term gizzdodo. You can take gizzdodo as a side dish with jollof rice, but you have to try it.
9. Ofada rice, sauce, moi moi with Catfish stew
Ofada rice is very peppery rice and you can accompany it with a very tasty sauce.
Moi moi also known as Moin-moin is steamed bean pudding. I loved moi moi because it was sweet with zero pepper. Hehe.
If you cannot stand pepper in your food, you will have a hard time in Nigeria, to be honest.
You can always ask the person preparing the food to tone down the pepper, but you have to get used to it. It’s Nigeria. Everything is peppered o.
Do you want to try making Nigerian food from the comfort of your home? Check out 9ja foodie’s website for recipes. You will not be disappointed.
Thank you Ronke Edoho for letting me use your amazing food pictures for attention on my blog. I hope I can take food pictures the next time I’m in Nigeria.
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Kudos to you for bravely eating so many Nigerian dishes – I literally cannot handle very spicy food so I’m very picky about what (and where) I eat in Naij and have yet to try some of the meals you mentioned. Still, this post makes me feel so homesick! || http://www.lorikemi.com
Haha…I still don’t know how I did it as well.