If you’re Nigerian, you already know these foods. You have probably been eating them since you were young. They have probably saved you from hunger, being a quick fix when you need to be on the go. Or even when you’re too lazy or uninspired to make dinner or even lunch or breakfast.
These popular street foods are the ultimate and realest most valuable players. In a contest, these foods would probably beat home cooked meals or food from high brow fancy restaurants, arguably. If as a child, you were never punished for using your mum’s change to buy these street food, then maybe you’re a typical boty! Everyone loves these street foods. The argument comes in later about them being or not being prepared in the most sanitary conditions. That is story for another day.
The major ingredient that makes suya what it is, is night. Suya during the day is not suya. Suya is spicy skewered meat which originates from the Hausa people from Northern Nigeria. Suya is peculiar for its unique spice in which the meat is marinated before being barbecued. The spice is made up of ground peanuts, salt, red pepper, ginger, bouillon cubes amongst other spices. Suya is commonly available all over Nigeria and it is a truly Nigerian street food.
Popularly known as Boli, Roasted Plantains are a street favorite. The Boli may not be complete without groundnut. It is sold on the street roasted on a steel mesh over a charcoal filled basin. It used to be and still arguably my favorite street food. Can be eaten as a snack on the go, or as an actual meal.
Roasted corn is a delightful street food. As in the case of roasted plantain, the corn follows the same process. They are mostly sold alongside coconuts or pear. The pear (known as ube, or African pear) is roasted as well. Sometimes, the same seller sells boiled corn.
This is one of Nigeria street foods made by a vendor who makes fried noodles with egg and other ingredients, It is most people’s go-to breakfast or dinner.
These are delicious fried sugary dough puffs of goodness. They are soft and if you catch them hot, you’re in luck because they taste great!
These are similar to Puff Puff, but are a lot denser as there is no use of yeast in the dough. As such, they tend to be a favorite amongst laborers and others with a very active lifestyle. They’re very affordable as well.
Wara is traditionally made by adding a coagulant called bomubomu in the Yoruba language, to fresh boiling cow’s milk to curdle it. It is the most populat street food in Kwara state.
Kilishi is similar to suya or beef jerky. However, Kilishi is typically not sold hot, and it is a lot tougher. This is due to the process of making it. Meat is cut into wafer thin slices and dried. It is then left to soak in a special sauce before being roasted. The result is a delicious tough meat that you can chew on endlessly.
This is mashed beans paired with a delicious pepper sauce. The pepper sauce is the game changer. A perfect combo with bread, but most times, the sellers carry thinly cut boiled yam alongside. Personally, I’d rather have my ewa Agoyin with yam.
Perfect for snacking or for curing boredom, you choose. They are made from flour, are usually very sweet, and crunchy.
Akara and Yam
These two get along like five and six and are mostly sold together. Also this is a night time street food. They are usually sold with a pepper sauce, fried fish, ponmo etc. Fit fam may not want to have this everyday.
Plantain chips are everywhere on Nigerian streets. A lot of people love plantain chips. The ripe crunchy ones are a personal fave. But some people like the ones that are unripe. A lot of people have gone into the business of packaging plantain chips, while the locally made ones are just tied up in transparent nylons.
Now playing ‘Yummy yummy’. If you’re from the south, you know this one well. People that do not know about this would cringe and ask why anyone would want to eat worms. I can only say this, ‘you don’t know what you’re missing’! The worms are delicious, proteinous and nutrient dense.