Some like it hot, while some like it very hot. No matter how you like it, you would always find the food with the right level of spiciness for you here in Nigeria. Unlike in other parts of the world, particularly North America and Europe, most of the foods we cook here in Nigeria requires pepper and other spices to give the food a hot, rich flavour and taste. There is a running joke that the Yorubas love peppery foods the most, but the truth is every region in Nigeria loves peppery foods to some degree.
In today’s post, we would be looking at some of the top spicy foods we have here in Nigeria.
1. Pepper soup
The name is self-explanatory. A plate of pepper soup would have you reaching for water with every spoon you take. Pepper soup is prepared using a great deal of pepper and other spices, which gives it a very delectable aroma. Goat meat, chicken, turkey, or catfish is often used in preparing it, and unlike other soups in Nigeria, pepper soup is eaten with a spoon most times. It is also served in bars and restaurants as a treat, often accompanied with cold drinks.
You should exercise care when eating pepper soup outside as it may be a bit spicier than you may be used to.
Suya is another food that ranks high when it comes to spiciness. Suya is barbecued meat prepared using a local grill. The kind of meat used varies, as anything could work, including beef, cow meat, ram meat, chicken, and even fish. Yaji, an assortment of spices, is rubbed on the meat before serving. Yaji consists of spices like pepper, ginger, garlic, uda seeds, stock cubes, and so on. Kuli kuli, which is a local snack made from groundnuts, is also added to the mix. This results in a very rich blend that is packed with spice and flavour, which is then added to the suya.
3. Peppered Snails
Snail dishes are very popular in Nigeria, however, the most spiciest one is peppered snail. The meal is comprised of boiled snails stir-fried in onions, garlic, peppers, and other spices. It can serve as a fantastic finger food or appetizer that will surely leave you licking your fingers! It is also very healthy, as snail meat is very nutritious.
4. Dodo Ikire
This is one food that is popular in the South-West, particularly Osun State, where it takes its name from. While it is a traditional delicacy in that part of the country, it is popularly eaten as a snack these days. Dodo Ikire is prepared using over-ripe plantains and spices. The plantain is diced into small chunks, then pepper, onion, and other spices are added to it. It is then mashed to a pulp before it is fried in palm oil, which also has a rich flavour. This results in a sweet, spicy snack that can also be eaten as a meal as it is very satisfying.
Like Suya, Kilishi is another food that originated from the North and also involves meat. But in this case, the meat is left to dry, which ends up making it a bit hard and chewy. An assortment of garnish, including labu, which is a paste made from peanuts, pepper, ground onions, and sometimes honey or date palm (as a sweetener), is used to coat the meat. It is then left to dry further before consumption.
Another food from the South-West, asun is popular these days as it is eaten as finger food or what we call small chops. It is made from smoked goat meat, which is then chopped into smaller bits – bite-size. These smaller bits are then stirred in a mix of onions, peppers, and other spices.
7. Ata dindin
Ata dindin or Nigerian pepper sauce is a spicy stew that is made with bell peppers (Ata Rodo), tomatoes, locust beans (iru), ginger, habaneros, boiled eggs, ginger, and garlic. This savoury meal is usually served with boiled yam, rice, potatoes, and plantains. It’s also known as Obe Ata dindin.
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