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19 Nigerian Food Items to Add to Your Shopping List

Topic: 19 Nigerian Food Items to Add to Your Shopping List


Do you enjoy Nigerian dishes but have a hard time making a grocery shopping list for Nigerian food items?


Don't worry! You're not alone as there are probably a thousand individuals in the same shoes as you, and this article provides answers to your questions.


There are lots of Nigerian home-cooked meals and similarly, there are myriad foodstuffs and cooking ingredients used in making these foods. So brace yourself for a comprehensive list of Nigerian foodstuff and ingredients to add to your shopping list.


But first, let us take a look at why you should make a list of grocery items to buy in the market or from a food vendor.



Reasons Why You Should Make a Shopping List


Shopping for food items is a one-of-a-kind adventure that requires making a food shopping list, to prevent impulse buying and directing your focus on what you need.


Here are 7 reasons why you should make a list of food items you need:


  1. Saves you money

Making a list of ingredients and foodstuffs for meals to cook at home allows you to prioritise your spending, and helps you stay within your budget, protecting your savings in the long run.


This is so because the waiting period between making your food list and going to the store gives you time to decide whether you need all the listed items at the moment or if they can wait for another time.



  1. Saves you time

There are abundant choices of food items at the grocery store that can distract you from going directly to the item you’re supposed to buy.


However, having a food items list ensures that you locate the exact foodstuff you need to buy, without the need to wander about aimlessly at the store.



  1. Supports your weight management goals

As stated by the World Health Organisation, a healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases.


Therefore, a grocery list for food at home helps you achieve your weight management or fitness goals by giving you the time to identify healthy food products to buy.


This time also allows you to research the calorie content of every food item while you make your list. This way, you can stock on healthy and nutritious products and replace those that hurt your health goals.



  1. Reduces waste

When you shop for home food items, especially fresh foods that you cannot consume immediately, the chances of them ending up in the trash are high since they don’t last long.


However, you can reduce a lot of unnecessary food waste by making a grocery list of what can be consumed at the moment or preserved for a longer period.



  1. Eliminates distractions

Identifying all the items you need in a basic shopping list will help you shop with focus without getting distracted by the sight of other items that are not included in your list. This can also be a trick to building self-discipline by staying within your budget.



  1. Makes you feel good

Making a shopping list from time to time for any food to make at home can give you a sense of accomplishment from being able to stick to your plan and control your urges to buy food items you don’t need.



  1. Improves your memory

Scientific research has shown that the act of carrying out a particular task or routine continuously, makes your brain adjust itself to recall that activity because repetition is possibly the best way to remember things.


This is no different from making a frequent shopping list for food items, as you can remember the items to shop for, even if you’ve left or lost your list on the way to the store. Your brain works spatially, making it easy to recall the items based on their location in the bulleted or numbered list.



19 Top Nigerian Foodstuffs and Ingredients


People, particularly those who travel overseas, seek traditional Nigerian food and ingredients to make home dishes to maintain the Nigerian culture.

Regardless of your location, here are top 20 Nigerian foods and ingredients to include in your shopping list:


  1. Palm Oil

We can't deny the fact that cooking oil is the most important food item needed to make home meals, and palm oil happens to be a major colouring agent for most Nigerian foods.


Every home should contain at least a bottle of palm oil because most Nigerian soups require palm oil as a major ingredient.



  1. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is another cooking oil that is used to make most Nigerian cuisines. It is an essential item for making Nigerian stews, Nigerian jollof rice,  Nigerian noodles and sauces.


This cooking oil is also used for any recipe that requires frying, especially when making foods like fried plantain, fried yam and potato, or even snacks like chin-chin.



  1. Yam Flour (Amala)

Yam flour which is popularly known as amala happens to be among the list of Yoruba foods that are now being consumed by many other tribes in Nigeria.


Without any doubt, amala is a home-cooked food amongst other staple foods that you can add to your Nigerian food list for shopping.



  1. Garri (Granulated Cassava)

You can't talk about Nigerian foods without mentioning garri, as it is a famous food that has been saving Nigerians since time immemorial.


Garri, which happens to be the only ingredient required for making eba, is one of the quickest meals you can prepare when you need to save the day. Thus, making it a food that must be in every Nigerian home.



  1. Seasoning Cubes

Whatever the Nigerian food menu list is, seasoning or stock cubes are basic ingredients for almost all dishes listed, as there is hardly any recipe without it.


The seasoning recipe is used as a basic ingredient for all types of Nigerian food including stew, soup, porridge, and of course the popular Nigerian party jollof rice.



  1. Beans

Beans are a top food in Nigeria that can be used to make other kinds of Nigerian dishes like Moi-Moi and Begiri soup, or even Nigerian desserts like Akara.


Beans can also be prepared and consumed on their own, or with other foods like garlic, potato, rice or yam, making it an essential foodstuff to include in your grocery list.



  1. Egusi Seeds (Melon)

Egusi soup is a popular food name in Nigeria which has been adopted by several ethnic groups as an important home-cooked meal. Also known as melon, Egusi seeds are ground and used as thickeners for this Nigerian soup.



  1. Ogbono Seeds

Just like Egusi seeds, Ogbono seeds are ground and used as thickeners for Ogbono soup. In addition to the recipes used in making it, Ogbono soup is a very rich soup that is consumed by almost all Nigerians, making it part of the essential meals to make at home, and an important item to include in your shopping list.



  1. Crayfish

Crayfish is among the top food ingredients list needed for making most Nigerian foods. The savoury taste and aroma it adds to soups and stews make it one of the best Nigerian food recipes you should add to your shopping list.



  1. Dried Fish

Just like Crayfish, Dried Fish is a popular Nigerian foodstuff that is used for most Nigerian soups, stews, and sauces. It gives an extra added traditional taste to your soup and stew, making it an irresistible item to add to your Nigerian food list.



  1. Yams

Yams are a major staple food in Nigeria that can be eaten in various ways. You can eat yam with vegetable sauce, egg sauce, or even Nigerian pepper soup. This food can also be eaten in porridge form or fried to give a crunchy feeling. Due to its versatility, yam deserves a place in your list of Nigerian foodstuffs to shop for.



  1. Vegetables

Nigerian foodstuffs include an abundance of healthy vegetables that are used regularly for cooking different kinds of Nigerian dishes. You can get familiar with some of their names which include Ugu, Ewedu, Efo, Utazi, and many more locally grown veggies that are essential to improving your body's metabolism.



  1. Tomatoes & Peppers

In addition to vegetable oil, tomatoes and pepper are essential Nigerian jollof rice recipes to add to your shopping list.


While tomatoes can be used for stew and some soups, pepper on the other hand is used in every Nigerian meal, as different kinds of pepper are needed for different meals.


For example, while fresh pepper (Ata Rodo) is essential for making stew, the alligator pepper is among the essential pepper soup ingredients when making Nigerian pepper soup.



  1. Curry Powder

Amongst other ingredients, curry powder is one of the fried rice ingredients that is needed to cook Nigerian Fried Rice, to enable an appetizing appearance you cannot resist.


Curry powder can also be added to other foods such as Nigerian Beef and Chicken Stew, to provide a sweet aroma and flavour.



  1. Salt

You cannot talk about Nigerian recipes without adding salt to your list of ingredients, because salt is never missing in a Nigerian kitchen. Hence, the reason why it should be added to your foodstuff and ingredients list for shopping.


The only reason why salt shouldn't be added to your list is if you are advised by your doctor to stay off it due to certain health conditions.



  1. Onions

Coupled with its plenty of health benefits, onion is a major food spice used in making the best Nigerian food.


This ingredient is mostly used when cooking beef or chicken stew, and it is also one of the essential jollof rice spices.


Onions can also be used for some Nigerian soup recipes including Okra Soup, Pepper Soup, Banga Soup and Edikang Ikong Soup.



  1. Stockfish

Stockfish is a regular ingredient used for making most Nigerian soups. It is an essential recipe for Ogbono soup to give it the traditional feel it deserves. Most people also use Stockfish when cooking beans, but this is not a necessity for everyone.



  1. Palm fruit (Banga seeds)

You must've heard about Nigerian food names like Banga soup, or even Banga rice cooked with palm oil that is gotten from Palm fruit (Banga seeds).


Since Palm oil is made from Banga and is an important ingredient for most Nigerian meals, hence, Banga is a major Nigerian foodstuff to include when making a list of items to buy from the grocery store.



  1. Assorted Meats

Your stew and soup will not be complete without a touch of chewable proteins, and Assorted meats will always give you a run for your money.


This is inarguable because the meat is an integral part of Nigerian cooking, and almost every food in Nigeria is made with either meat or fish.


From goat meats and cow meats to a plethora of others, you can choose whatever kind of meat suits your particular meal and add it to your food list for shopping.



Bottom Line

It has been observed that a lot of people especially those who reside outside Nigeria, struggle to identify Nigerian food items, as there are different types of Nigerian food consumed by different ethnic groups in Nigeria.


Hopefully, this article on Nigerian food items to include in your shopping list, can alleviate that stress and assist you in locating any specific item you require.


You can also narrow down your search for Nigerian food near me, by visiting and placing an order for food items on, a home for African and Caribbean foodstuffs and groceries.





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