Nigerian cuisine offers both sweet and savory delights. When creating stew and soup recipes, a combination of proteins such as cow and goat meat is needed in addition to other types.
Palm oil is an integral component of modern cuisine, offering rich sources of antioxidants and essential fatty acids.
Beans are one of the primary food crops grown in Nigeria and have long been considered staples in many homes as an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. Also referred to as cowpeas or garbanzo beans (Vigna unguiculata), beans provide excellent dietary fiber, protein, and high nutritional value and can be enjoyed alone or mixed with plantain, yam, rice, and garri.
Beans are often cooked and consumed as part of soups and stews or mixed with other ingredients such as meats and vegetables, making them a staple food in Nigerian homes and cuisines throughout West Africa. Beans flour soup (begin), bean stew with plantain or yam (Akari), and bean pudding or Moi-moi are among their many uses.
Ewa Oloyin (Honey Beans) are a favorite among Yorubas, known for their sweet taste and mouthwatering texture when cooked. Their natural sweetness doesn’t require much seasoning – perfect for bread or plantain snacks! It is also ideal for weight loss since these beans contain low amounts of fat while boasting lots of soluble fiber to keep you full for longer.
When purchasing beans, look for clean, husk-free, and devoid of holes. Be wary of weevil-infested beans as these could pose digestive difficulties; adult weevils carry bacteria that disrupt gut bacteria balance, resulting in metabolic and immune disorders.
To cook beans, wash and soak them overnight in water in a bowl to soften and remove their husks. Rinse thoroughly after soaking before placing into a pressure cooker along with enough water. Cover the oven, stirring occasionally, and cook until soft before seasoning to your taste with additional seasoning, such as salt or pepper, as desired.
Nigeria relies heavily on rice production, accounting for much of its agricultural output. Unfortunately, due to insufficient production capacity and reluctance to invest in agriculture sectors, supplying enough food supplies has become more of a challenge than before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, with its food supplies diminishing quickly and prices skyrocketing; but at least this crisis provides an opportunity to enhance domestic production and diversify away from oil reliance.
Mr Nasiru Sani, Chairman of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in Zamfara state, claims locally grown and milled rice offers many health advantages. It is an excellent source of carbs and proteins and contains vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Niacin, Folate, Folate Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Selenium, and Potassium. According to Mr. Sani, locally grown milled rice can reduce sleep disorders as it contains anti-aging properties, and fighting cancer helps protect the heart and fight constipation while strengthening immunity systems overall.
Additionally, he noted that local rice’s high fiber content makes it highly effective at digestion and lowering the risk for diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, its nutrient profile includes niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin, which provide energy to your body, while its rich carbohydrates make up an abundant source of dietary fiber.
Although local rice production has increased recently, it still does not meet national food needs due to partisan politics preventing access to low-interest loans and other essential inputs. Therefore, we must address this problem and develop the agriculture sector to reach self-reliance and sustainable development.
Nigerian soup is an excellent source of protein, an essential nutrient for maintaining and building solid tissues and organs in our bodies and giving energy. You can create this dish using various types of meat such as beef, chicken, kilos, and plantains, or vegetables like okra and spinach for an energetic breakfast!
Banga soup is an ancient Nigerian soup found throughout the Niger Delta and South Eastern regions, prevalent in areas of Nigeria known as akwu or izuwo and depending on your location. It is a delicious and nutritious meal that can be eaten alone or with starchy foods such as pounded yam, semolina, or garri.
To prepare Banga soup, wash palm nuts and grind them into a paste using either a blender or mortar and pestle. Combine onigiri okay and pepper and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes before stirring in scent leaves and scotch bonnet peppers as necessary – your soup is ready to be enjoyed!
If you can’t find scent leaves, you can easily replace them with leafy vegetables such as kale or bok choy. Bitter leaves can also be added in fresh or dried form for extra flavor, and a blend of spices known as Banga Spice can also add depth of flavor.
Eba is a staple in many households across Nigeria. Made with cassava flour, this mouth-swallowing meal is simple to prepare and can be enjoyed alongside stews or roasted yam. Boflot (Ghana), Bolloto (Liberia), or Kala Dika (Congo) are just some of its popular names – you can purchase this dish at most grocery stores across Nigeria, as well as places offering African cuisines around the world.