The Yoruba people are one of the largest tribes in Nigeria. They, alongside the Igbo and Hausa, make up the tripod on which the country was built. Awon Omo Yoruba, as the people are called, has an excellent cultural heritage, including foods that hold a place of prominence. In fact, food is one thing that sets the Yoruba people apart. It’s well-known that a guest visiting a Yoruba family would be treated to a host of sumptuous meals that would make their stay memorable.

To say the Yoruba are good at making delicious food is an understatement. They have an extensive list of native cuisines that excites the taste buds and leaves them longing for more. Yoruba foods blend different colored elements in a tactical but straightforward way to bring their colors, natural flavors, and rich tastes to the fore. These foods are made from cheap local ingredients and have high nutritional value.

Yoruba foods are usually well-peppered. It’s a common belief among the ancients that a considerable amount of pepper makes a person strong and healthy. There is a common adage in Yoruba that says, “The person who does not eat pepper is powerless.” Also, Yoruba foods are well garnished with assorted meats, fish, and stew.

These foods are an incredible sight to behold. The Yoruba people, just as many other tribes in Nigeria, love to eat with bare hands (fingers), though some can be eaten with cutleries. It is locally believed that eating should be a pleasurable experience. Therefore, eating with bare hands would help you savor the taste.

Let’s consider some delicious native meals from Yoruba land you shouldn’t miss.

Amala and Ewedu Soup

Amala is a blackish meal made from flour, got from ground yam and cassava peels. The preparation starts with gathering the peels of cassava (also called yucca roots) and yams, and drying them in the sun for some days. After being crisp-dried, these peels are grounded into fine flour. The flour is poured into hot water and stirred continuously until it becomes smooth and fluffy to make it into a meal. It’s now ready to eat, and it’s best served with ewedu soup among other soups.

Ewedu soup is a delicious, watery but viscous soup gotten from blended ewedu leaves. Ewedu leaves are actually the leaves of jute mallow with the botanical name Corchorus olitorius. Its name in English is Jute leaves or Corchorus leaves after the plant. Making ewedu is simple and not expensive. It first starts with removing the leaves from the stalk and thoroughly washing them. The next is to boil the leaves in a pot and use a little broomstick called jagbe to marsh the leaves until it becomes a puree. The next is to add spices and other ingredients and allow to cook for 5 minutes. The result is a delicious slimy soup which you will enjoy. Amala and ewedu soup can be eaten with meat, fish, or snails. It is best enjoyed fresh, warm and. I had a great time enjoying this meal. You would like to.

Iyan (Pounded Yam) and Gbegiri Soup

Another classic Yoruba food commonly enjoyed by lots of people is Iyan (pounded yam) and Gbegiri soup. This food is usually washed down with a bottle of palm wine, a fermented liquid from the raffia palm trees at home. Iyan is a whitish meal gotten from yams. White yams are boiled, and when they are soft enough, they are pounded to give a soft and smooth meal that can be eaten with lots of soups. One that Iyan goes well with is the gbegiri soup. Gbegiri soup is actually a soup made from black-eyed beans (although other beans can be used). The first step is to heat the soaked beans in water to remove the outer (black, white, or brown) coating. This is done by scrubbing the beans with both palms. The white split cotyledon is what is needed for the soup.

Fufu and Efo riro

If you are a huge fan of vegetables, then this is the right one for you. Fufu is native to many tribes in West Africa, but Efo riro is unique to the Yoruba people alone.
Fufu is obtained from fermented cassava (yucca roots). These roots are grounded to form a puree and cooked into a sort of rubbery texture. Fufu is white in color and easy to swallow.

Efo riro is a soup of the vegetable – Spinach. The term “Efo” means spinach, while “riro” means to stir. So technically, Efo riro means a vegetable soup cooked by stirring spinach and other condiments that make up the soup.
Aside from spinach, other items used in making this soup are iru (a local locust bean), palm oil, seasoning, pepper, meat and/or fish, stockfish, dried prawns (if you wish), and salt. This soup takes less than 1 hour to prepare, and you would relish the taste after eating it.

If you intend to visit Yoruba land, it would be lovely to try out one of these foods. You can also prepare them wherever you are on the globe to get the condiments around (they are usually available at African stores). After a bite of these wonderful treats, you would surely return for more.


  • She has been writing for several years, and her passion has been to give her readers a sense of purpose and passion. She holds a degree in Marketing and lives in Nigeria. When she is not writing, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and dancing.

+ posts

She has been writing for several years, and her passion has been to
give her readers a sense of purpose and passion. She
holds a degree in Marketing and lives in Nigeria. When she is not
writing, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and dancing.


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