Breakfast in Nigeria – Looking at discovering Nigerian breakfast? We give you some of the best Nigerian breakfast to try.
A wonderful way to start the day is by exploring the culinary heritage of a country, and Nigerian cuisine is certainly one worth delving into. Vibrant, diverse, and full of flavor, Nigerian breakfast dishes showcase a unique blend of traditional African cooking techniques, local ingredients, and a rich cultural history.
From hearty stews and protein-packed grain dishes to sweet pastries and fruit salads, a typical Nigerian breakfast can vary greatly but always promises to delight your taste buds.
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Breakfast in Nigeria – 12 Nigerian Breakfast Ideas
Akara (Bean Cakes)
A favourite in many Nigerian households, Akara is a deep-fried snack made from black-eyed peas, onions, and spices. The peas are soaked to remove their skins, then blended into a smooth batter with peppers, onions, and salt.
Spoonfuls of the mixture are then deep-fried until golden and crispy. These tasty bean cakes are often served with a side of pap – a traditional corn porridge, or with freshly baked bread, making them a protein-rich, hearty start to the day.
Yam and Egg Sauce
This breakfast dish is a delicious combination of boiled yams and a spicy egg sauce. Yams, a staple in Nigerian cuisine, are peeled, sliced and boiled until tender. The egg sauce, prepared with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices, adds a burst of flavour to the starchy yams. It’s a substantial and satisfying breakfast that will keep you fueled for the morning.
Moi Moi (Steamed Bean Pudding)
Moi Moi is a nutritious and delicious steamed bean pudding. Like Akara, it’s made from black-eyed peas, but the preparation is quite different. After soaking and skinning the beans, they are blended with bell pepper, onions, and fish or prawns, then wrapped in banana leaves or aluminium foil and steamed. The result is a smooth, rich pudding often enjoyed with Ogi (fermented corn porridge) or bread.
Fried Plantain and Egg
This sweet and savory dish is as colourful as it is tasty. Ripe plantains are sliced and fried until they’re beautifully caramelized, and served with a scrambled egg stir-fry prepared with onions, tomatoes, and spices. The combination of the sweet, caramelized plantains with the spicy egg is an amazing way to kick-start your day.
Rice and Stew
Perhaps more familiar to western tastes as a lunch or dinner dish, rice and stew are also a common breakfast choice in Nigeria. The stew, often made with a base of tomatoes and red bell peppers, can contain a variety of proteins, including chicken, fish, or beef. It is served over a bed of fluffy, perfectly cooked rice. The dish provides a satisfying, filling meal to start the day, with the stew adding a depth of flavour to the plain rice.
Bread and Tea
Not all Nigerian breakfasts are complex – some are as simple as bread and tea. Freshly baked bread is a staple in many Nigerian homes and is often served with butter, jam or mayonnaise. The tea can be anything from black tea to milky tea or even cocoa.
Ogi, also known as Pap, is a traditional Nigerian breakfast porridge made from corn. The corn is soaked, ground, fermented, and then cooked with water to form a smooth porridge. Ogi is typically served with Akara or Moi Moi, and often sweetened with sugar.
Okpa (Bambara Nut Pudding)
Okpa is a popular breakfast food in the eastern part of Nigeria. Made from Bambara nut flour, palm oil, pepper, and fish, it’s a savoury steamed pudding. It’s high in protein, hearty and filling, often wrapped in banana leaves, which gives it an additional layer of flavour.
Ewa Agoyin (Mashed Beans and Sauce)
This dish originated from the Agoyin people of Benin Republic but has been fully embraced by Nigerians. It consists of soft, mashed beans served with a spicy, deeply flavoured sauce made from dried peppers, onions and palm oil. Often accompanied with bread or fried plantain, Ewa Agoyin is a beloved breakfast dish in many Nigerian homes.
Nigerian Pancakes, unlike their fluffy American counterparts, are thin, slightly spicy, and savoury. Made with a batter of flour, eggs, pepper, and onions, they are pan-fried to a crispy finish. These pancakes can be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or a chilled soft drink.
Agege Bread and Akara
Agege bread, named after a suburb in Lagos State, is a rich, sweet bread that’s a staple in many Nigerian homes. It’s often enjoyed with Akara, creating a breakfast meal that’s both sweet from the bread and savoury from the Akara.
Culture Breakfast in Nigeria
In Nigeria, breakfast is considered an important meal and is often the most substantial one of the day. The dishes served are wholesome and filling, providing the energy needed for the day’s activities.
Nigerians love to enjoy their breakfast with a hot drink, and it’s often either tea, coffee, or a traditional drink like Zobo or Kunu. These drinks are not just to warm up the morning, but they also provide a comforting and delicious complement to the hearty meals.
Best Nigerian Breakfast Places
If you ever find yourself in Nigeria, make sure to start your day in a local “buka” or food joint where you can enjoy a traditional Nigerian breakfast.
In Lagos, Yellow Chilli and Terra Kulture are popular choices, while in Abuja, you might want to check out Bungalow Restaurant or Sky Restaurant & Lounge for their breakfast offerings.
FAQs about Nigerian Breakfast
What is a typical breakfast in Nigeria? A typical breakfast in Nigeria might consist of dishes like Akara (Bean Cakes), Yam and Egg Sauce, Moi Moi (Steamed Bean Pudding), Fried Plantain and Egg, or Rice and Stew.
Is Nigerian food spicy? Yes, many Nigerian dishes are known for their heat as they often include spices and chilies. However, the level of spice can vary, and not all Nigerian dishes are spicy.
Is breakfast important in Nigeria? Yes, breakfast is considered an important meal in Nigeria, often being the most substantial meal of the day. It is considered crucial for providing the energy needed for the day’s activities.
What are some Nigerian drinks I can have with breakfast? Tea and coffee are common breakfast drinks in Nigeria. However, traditional drinks like Zobo (a hibiscus drink) or Kunu (a millet-based drink) are also popular choices.
Final Thoughts on Nigerian Breakfast and Nigerian Breakfast Ideas
Embracing the culture breakfast in Nigeria is about much more than just filling your stomach in the morning. It’s an invitation to participate in a rich culinary tradition, to savor new flavors, and to start your day the Nigerian way – with warmth, satisfaction, and a burst of incredible taste.
Whether you’re enjoying Akara with a hot cup of tea or sitting down to a plate of fried plantains and eggs, a Nigerian breakfast is always a good idea.