List of Popular Yoruba Foods (2024)

Popular Yoruba foods are mouth-watering delicacies that can give you an unforgettable taste; making hunger flee, even at the perception of the aroma. The Yoruba people are blessed with many diets, often used for occasions and daily consumption.

Food is something that provides nutrients. Nutrients are substances that provide energy for activity, growth, and all functions of the body such as breathing, digesting food, and keeping warm; materials for the growth and repair of the body, and for keeping the immune system healthy.

List of Popular Yoruba Foods

Get ready to salivate and order one or more of the popular Yoruba foods as you explore this article.

1. Ewedu

Ewedu soup is a savoury soup commonly eaten by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. Jute leaf, popularly called ewedu among the Yoruba, ahinghara in Igbo and Rama in Hausa, is a popular vegetable in West Africa.

The botanical name is Corchorus olitorius (Fam: Malvaceae). Constituents. Ewedu contains almost all of the nutrients needed by humans.

Ewedu is good for weight loss because of its low calorific content and it helps strengthen the immune system and fights off stress and heart disease. Ewedu is a folk remedy for aches and pains, dysentery, enteritis, fever, dysentery, pectoral pains, and tumours.

Health Benefits of Jute Leaf (Ewedu): Weight loss, Prevents ageing. Equally important, this vegetable is very good at keeping the skin young. Strengthens bone and teeth. Stabilizes blood pressure. Helps in hormone stabilization in women.

Ewedu is good to be served with Semo, Amala or Eba.

2. Ewa Agoyin

The term ‘Ewa Agoyin’ was coined from Ewa, meaning beans in Yoruba, and Agoyin, which is a tribe in the Benin Republic, or a general term used by Nigerians to refer to Beninese and Togolese people. Ewa Agoyin was therefore used to describe the type of beans prepared by these people of Togolese and Beninese origins.

It derives its name from two separate words; Ewa is a Yoruba word for beans while Agoyin is the name the Togolese women who sell the beachillies are called.

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The dish consists of beans cooked until extremely soft and then mashed. Other ingredients, such as bell peppers, onion, ginger, dried chillies and palm oil, are added to form a stew.

3. Iresi Eyin

Iresi eyin’ is the Yoruba version of the popular jollof rice. It is very nutritious and easy to prepare—all that is required is to mix the ingredients in a pot.

This rice is to the Yorubas what Banga rice is to the Urhobo people. Iresi is the Yoruba word for rice and Eyin depending on the intonation.

For most Nigerians, when they consider what to eat as lunch, their first consideration is the Yoruba delicacy called efo riro or jollof rice.

4. Amala

Àmàlà is a staple food native to the Yoruba ethnic group of Southwestern Nigeria. It is made of yam, cassava flour, or unripe plantain flour. Tubers of yams are peeled, sliced, cleaned, dried and then ground into flour. It is also called èlùbọ́.

Amala is a swallow you can eat the way you eat Fufu but it’s a bit softer than Fufu. Unlike Fufu which you can make into small balls, dip into soup and swallow, Amala does not have a texture that allows you to make it into balls. Just grab a small “ball,” dip it into your favourite Nigerian soup, and swallow.

The phytonutrients and antioxidants in amla can benefit memory by fighting against free radicals that can attack and damage brain cells. Amla’s high concentration of Vitamin C helps your body produce norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter believed to improve brain function in people with dementia.

5. Dodo Ikire

Dodo ikire’ (Plantain snack) is an indigenous food that is consumed mostly by the Yoruba people of South-Western Nigeria. It probably originated from Ikire (a town in Osun State) where it is produced and consumed in very large quantities hence the name ‘dodo ikire’.

According to the historical background of the delicacy, it was created as an experiment by a poor, old lady from Ikire. At a point in her life, this old lady had no food left except some bunches of over-ripe plantain, which she would have normally thrown in the bin.

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Dodo Ikire became a traditional delicacy. It was originally made from leftover plantain but today, people prepare it from fresh ingredients which are: over-ripe plantains, pepper, oil and salt. Dodo Ikire is black and round or conical in shape.

6. Asun

Asun is a Yoruba delicacy that you will always see in the Small Chops section at every owa mbe. It is simply grilled/barbecued goat meat with lots of pepper.

Asun means “smoked” in the Yoruba language. To make it, the goat is smoked over a giant barbecue before being cut into pieces, which are mixed with onions and hot pepper sauce.

This peppered goat meat salad recipe allows you to enjoy the delectable and bold flavours of Asun at home, but with lots of vegetables. Many a consumer confesses to salivating before they are served.

7. Gbegiri

Gbegiri soup is a type of Nigerian soup popularly eaten by the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. It is made from a peeled cooked bean. This soup is commonly served at restaurants also known as Buka. It is delicious, velvety and mildly flavoured. Gbegiri or Abula as often called is served with ewedu and buka stew.

Gbegiri is a soup made with African Honey beans or brown beans. The beans are soaked to soften them; then it is peeled or not and cooked until very soft and blended into a very smooth and velvety soup.

This is a traditional Yoruba food; This African delicacy has an interesting and pleasant taste. It tastes even better with fish and meat.

8. Efo Riro

Efo riro is a Nigerian traditional vegetable soup with its origin in the Yoruba-speaking part of the country. Efo is the traditional African wild spinach. Riro means “to mix” – so efo riro translates to “mixed spinach” in the Yoruba language!

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The traditional recipe for this Nigerian spinach stew typically uses goat meat (or a variety of meats) as well as stockfish and crayfish for umami. Efo riro is incomplete without locust beans and palm oil.

The best vegetables suitable for this recipe are efo tete or efo shoko. It usually consists of stock cubes, pumpkin leaves, onions, tomatoes, and assorted meat or fish.

9. Asaro

“Asaro”, as it is called in Yoruba, is a yam porridge. It is a special type of mashed yam porridge done by the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The yam is cooked with ingredients, resulting in a thick or soupy dish. Some people also like adding vegetables to it.

This dish is cooked in a well-seasoned pepper mix until soft and fluffy with some yam chunks. It is very quick and easy to make. It makes a perfect dinner or lunch and it is also a party favourite.
The preparation of Asaro is quite simple and needs few ingredients with little or no vegetables, unlike the typical normal yam porridge.

10. Igbin

Often used for special occasions, Igbin is one of the popular Yoruba foods. It is often served during typical Yoruba parties.

Snail meat contains the amino acids arginine and lysine at higher levels than in whole eggs! It also contains healthy essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids, required for normal tissue development and maintenance. The high-protein, low-fat content of snail meat makes it a healthy alternative food/meat compared with chicken, beef and rabbit meat.

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One of the greatest meals you should ever desire when you are hungry is any of these popular Yoruba foods. They don’t only satisfy hunger; they also enrich with nutrients. You should get ready to either prepare or order any of the popular Yoruba foods mentioned above.

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