Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups with distinct cultural traditions and foods. One of the largest ethnic groups is the Yoruba people, primarily in the country’s southwestern part.
Yoruba foods look mouth-watering, savory, delicious, and spicy when you taste them. Their foods contain ingredients like vegetables (ugu, water leaf), beans, locust beans, palm oil, and several other spices and ingredients, which give them a unique taste.
This article will explore 10 Yoruba most famous foods. So whether you’re traveling to Yoruba land for the first time or looking to try out new foods, consider the Yoruba foods mentioned in this article.
👉🏽 Mafia Offers: How To Make People Beg to Buy Whatever You Have For Sale
👉🏽 How to Make 300K – 500K Every Month Through E-commerce
👉🏽 Facebook & Instagram Ads Sales Generation Blueprint
Top 10 Yoruba Most Famous Foods
Below are the most famous Yoruba foods:
Ewedu and Amala
The most famous Yoruba food is Amala and Ewedu, the combination of Ewedu soup made using Ewedu leaves and Amala, which is Yam flour.
Ewedu Soup is made from jute leaves, also known as saluyot leaves. The leaves are boiled until soft, then blended and cooked with onions, tomatoes, and red chili peppers without oil.
Seasonings like maggi, locust beans, and smoked fish can also be added to increase the flavour and taste. Ewedu looks thick and has a deep green colour which may not be pleasant to the eyes but tastes delicious when mixed with Fish stew, chicken stew, or any stew to give a mixture of green and red to satisfy your eyes.
Ewedu is served with Amala, which is made from dried Yam pieces. Once the Yam is dried, it is grinded into powder and then prepared in hot boiling water into smooth molds combined with the Ewedu for swallowing.
This combination is loved for its rich ingredients, taste, and spicy flavours reflecting true Yoruba traditions. Amala and Ewedu are rich in protein, carbohydrates, and other essential minerals that help keep your body healthy.
Akara, also called bean cakes, serves as a delicious breakfast or snack in Yoruba land. Akara and bread are very popular in Lagos, especially among day workers like brick layers and those who do menial jobs.
Akara is made from Beans that are soaked, ground, seasoned, molded into balls or spoon-sized bits, and fried.
Akara looks crispy and crunchy on the outside. The combination of the crunchy Akara and bread or Akamu (Pap) makes Akara a highly addictive and satisfying street food in Yorubaland and all around Nigeria.
You can eat Akara alone or with bread, ogi/Akamu, or custard. They are also delicious when served with pepper or tomato sauce and other condiments for extra flavor.
Akara is protein-rich and provides other nutrients based on what you combine.
Gbegiri is a traditional Yoruba soup made with beans and is incredibly nutritious and protein-rich. It is made with Oloyin beans, a small local variety of Brown Beans in Yorubaland.
The beans are fried or boiled until soft, then ground or blended. The blended paste is then cooked with palm oil, onions, and spices like pepper, Iru (locust beans), and Maggi seasoning cubes.
Sometimes, meat or fish can also be added to the soup for taste. However, Gbegiri is delicious on its own. Gbegiri is perfect with swallow foods, especially eba (garri) or Amala.
Gbegiri is economical and very cheap to make. The soup can be made by low-income earners as well as upper-class families in Yoruba land; it shows how simple and accessible local ingredients like beans can be transformed into a sweet and nourishing food that is enjoyed throughout Yorubaland.
Ewa agoyin is beans, but you may ask yourself why it is called Ewa-Agoyi and what makes it different. It’s called Ewa-Agoyin because the Agoyin people of Benin Republic introduced that unique style of cooking Beans (Ewa), unlike the normal or traditional way of cooking beans in Nigeria.
To make Ewa-Agoyin, the beans may be soaked in water and then cooked for hours until they are soft and tender. The beans are then mashed until you cannot see a single seed of beans. Interesting, right? Yes, it is!
The beans (Ewa-Agoyin) are now served with a special sauce or stew made with black pepper and a small portion of the mashed beans to thicken the stew. The stew is also seasoned with onions, tomatoes, Atarodo (Chilli peppers), and other spices.
Ewa-Agoyin can be served with bread, especially the famous Agege bread in Lagos, and other varieties like Dodo (Fried plantain), rice, Akamu, and any other choice food that can be combined with Ewa-Agoyin; the list is endless.
The sweet and spicy taste of Ewa-Agoyin keeps you coming back for more because you can never have enough. It is often enjoyed as breakfast but also makes for a filling small meal or snack any time of day.
Asun is a popular Yoruba party food and appetizer consisting of grilled goat meat. Thin slices of Goat meat are placed onto a Grill after the meat is soaked or spiced from the stew made from onions, tomatoes, Atarodo, and a blend of other spices.
Asun is served once the meat reaches a succulent tenderness; the Aroma is unforgettable, giving it a pleasurable taste.
They can be served as finger food and are perfect for popping into your mouth at parties and celebrations. You can’t go to a Yoruba party where there’s Asun, and you’ll be able to resist Asun just by perceiving the Aroma.
It is considered as a finger food. The recipe is simple – fried goat meat with a lot of pepper; you could tear up just by eating Asun or drink a lot of water, juice, or Alcohol due to the amount of pepper used.
Ofada rice is a Yoruba delicacy made from indigenous rice grown in Ofada town in Obafemi Owode local government of Ogun State, and Abakiliki in Ebonyi State.
It is made using the locally grown Nigerian ofada rice grain, which has a unique reddish-brown color and slightly acidic taste, unlike the usual white rice we know.
Ofada rice grains maintain their brown layers, iron, vitamins, and other essential nutrients, giving them a unique look and feel with the taste, which has excellent benefits for our body.
To make the dish, the rice is rinsed and parboiled before cooking. Then, it is cooked with different ingredients and condiments to spice it up and give it a taste. Some people prepare Ofada rice stew, which is highly spiced and peppery; you’d need a cold soft drink or palm wine when eating Ofada rice to cool off the pepper from the stew.
Ofada rice is served on a Plaintain or banana leaf along with its stew and egg, fish, or any choice of meat.
Egusi (Melon) soup is high in fat and nutrients, cooked with ugu, bitter leaf, or any choice vegetable to give the Egusi taste and sweet aroma, which is healthy for the body.
To make the soup, first grind the egusi seeds. Then, you add ingredients like tomatoes, onions, peppers, and different kinds of meat or fish if you want to give it a taste.
Egusi soup is usually served with Eba (Garri) or pounded Yam. Combining all the spices and ingredients satisfies the sense of smell before tasting and finally before it rests at the bottom of your tummy.
Efo Riro is a vegetable soup made with (Efo Tete) spinach and Iru (Locust beans), one of the soup’s main ingredients. Other ingredients complement the soup to add taste and flavour to the soup.
“Efo” refers to Vegetable leaves, while “riro” means it is stirred together. The key ingredient is often the spinach or wild-growing spinach known as tete abalaye and “Iru,” which give it the signature taste it usually has.
Other vegetables, like ugu, can be used. The chopped vegetables are combined with onions, tomatoes, peppers, spices, and smoked fish or meat stock.
This soup can be served with swallow foods like Eba, Fufu, or pounded Yam. Some people use the soup to eat Yams or plantains.
Moi Moi (Boiled Bean Pudding) is popular among the Yorubas. Moi Moi is made using Oloyin beans or white beans, depending on the choice of the person cooking. It provides a great source of protein and can go for a light meal or snack.
To begin, beans are soaked, washed, and peeled, then ground. The grounded beans are combined with other ingredients like onions, pepper, tomatoes, and seasonings like salt and Maggi (seasoning cubes).
Whole peeled eggs can also added to some versions for extra richness. The moi moi mixture is then scooped into water nylons and placed in boiling water to steam until it thickens.
This steaming gives moi moi a soft and custard-like texture. Moi moi can be made plain or spicy, depending on personal tastes. It is served warm or cold with Akamu (pap), or rice can be taken with Garri (Cassava flakes).
Ikokore, also called water yam pottage, takes water yams’ unique flavor and texture. Ikokore is very popular amongst the Ijebu people of Ogun State in Yorubaland.
Sliced water yam pieces are boiled until soft and almost transparent. The yam breaks down further to give it a creamy look, and then it’s seasoned with ingredients like smoked fish, pepper, onion, and even vegetables.
This gives the pottage sweetness from the yams and a rich, savory flavor. Dried fish or meat add extra protein. Ikokore is served as a whole meal and is ideal for any time of the day.
What Are Two Common Foods of Yoruba Cuisine?
The two most common Yoruba food is Amala and Ewedu and then Ewa-Agoyin. You’ll hardly pass a downtown street in Yoruba land without seeing a spot or Buka selling Amala and Ewedu or Ewa-Agoyin.
What Is the Major Yoruba Food?
The major Yoruba food is Amala and Ewedu. A typical Yoruba family won’t go a day without eating Amala and Ewedu.
What Food Is Taboo in Yoruba Land?
Yorubas forbids eating Dog meat and pork meat because it’s considered unclean. It is also a taboo to eat cats in Yoruba land.
From everyday dishes like ewedu and amala to finger foods like asun, these Yoruba foods use local crops and ingredients for cooking foods that genuinely sustain and connect people.
Though not all Yoruba dishes are mentioned in this article, the ones mentioned in this article are the 10 Yoruba most famous foods, which are parts of a mouthwatering introduction to popular Nigerian foods.
So, if you’re a foreigner or visiting Yoruba land, try out some of their foods, as they offer just a glimpse of the ingenuity found in Yoruba kitchens as generations preserve and add to a rich food heritage.