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Most Popular Christmas Foods In Nigeria

Christmas is a big season in Nigeria. Many people travel back home to see their families and loved ones who they’ve not seen in a long time. Hence, the reunion always calls for celebration and when you say celebration in Nigeria, it’s not complete without food. 

During Christmas, or more specifically on the 25th of December, it’s normal for families to prepare special meals in large quantities. Well, if you’re wondering what to cook or what Nigerians eat during Christmas, you’re on the right page. 

Here are the most popular Christmas foods in Nigeria. 

  1. Fried Rice 

Number one here is fried rice. It’s common to cook rice (and stew) every Sunday in Nigeria but when it’s Christmas Day, the rice becomes fried rice. This is prepared along with chicken and salad. To further spice things, some people add stuff like carrots, liver, plantain, green beans , and all the others. Nigerian fried rice is unique from the regular fried rice (just as with almost every other Nigerian delicacy). The meal is usually simple to prepare and shouldn’t take much time except for the other additives. 

  1. Jollof Rice 

Nigerian Jollof rice is the most popular way of preparing rice in Nigeria. Everyone eats Jollof rice which is why it’s the go-to food at weddings, burials, birthdays, and about any Nigerian celebration. Nigerian Jollof is different from that of other West African countries like Ghana. However, there are still different Jollof rice variants in Nigeria. On Christmas Day, Jollof rice is usually prepared with chicken or goat/cow meat and salad. In fact, it can be prepared with the same additives as friend rice. 

  1. Peppersoup 

Peppersoup needs no introduction. While you’ll be expecting a pepperish soup (which is what it is anyways), the main interest to the consumers is the meat inside it. Usually, Peppersoup is prepared with lots of meat such that it’s the highlight of the meal. The meat can be goat meat, cow meat, chicken, or turkey; some people even prepare Peppersoup with fish. The good thing with Peppersoup is that you can eat it with anything – rice, garri, semo, yam, or just drink the soup and eat your meat.

  1. Afang Soup 

It’s gotten to a point where Nigeria should give a national thanksgiving to the Ibibio-Efik people in south southern Nigeria for this delicacy. Efere Afang is one of the most popular vegetable soups in Nigeria and it’s a favorite for those who want to eat soup on Christmas Day. Aside from its deliciousness, the soup is preferred because it’s easy to prepare and you can spice it up with any meat you like. You can prepare a huge pot of Efere Afang in less than an hour if all the ingredients are ready. 

  1. Oha Soup 

If you have interest in making Garri and soup, Oha soup is another delicious option you can go for. Some others will call it Ora soup but it’s still the same as some Igbo dialects switch “r” for “h” and vice-versa. What makes Oha special is because the Oha leaf – which the English man will call the African Rosewood plant-  used in preparing it is seasonally. Being hard to source makes the leaf precious so if you can get your hands on Oha during Christmas, be sure that your neighbors will come knocking on your door for some. You can either prepare it with palm kernel oil like Ndi Anambra State or with palm oil as Ndi Imo State. 

  1. Rice and Stew 

Rice and Stew and Chicken – call it a grammar blunder but the sentence is enough to lift the soul of any Nigerian-Nigerian. Although this food is relatively popular in Nigeria, it’s still a huge delicacy in Nigeria during Christmas. The rice is parboiled and eaten white while the stew is usually made with tomatoes. However, there are various ways of preparing the stew. The Yorubas can prepare Ofada stew while the Igbos will prepare Ofe Akwu and then there’s the general type of stew. 

  1. Isi Ewu 

I’ll go with this introduction from Wikipedia – Isi ewu is a traditional Igbo dish that is made with a goat’s head. Well, that’s what it is. Isi Ewu is a popular cuisine you’ll find in bars but on Christmas Day, those that can afford to kill goats prepare it at home. Emphasis on “goats” because Isi Ewu needs goat head to prepare. Hence, to have more than one bowl of Isi Ewu, you have to kill more than one goat. Isi Ewu usually goes together with Nkwobi. Nkwobi is the same as Isi Ewu except that it’s prepared with other parts of the slaughtered goat (not the head). 

  1. Drinks 

Shayo, Mmanya, aren’t exactly foods but it’s on this list as they’re everly present in any Nigerian celebration and are 10 times more present when it’s Christmas. On Christmas Day, you’ll find that bars, hotels, and clubs all over Nigeria are booked and filled to the brim. In these places, you’ll find all types of drinks – beer, wine, dry gin, malt, beverages, and the list is endless. Surprisingly, most people can just drink and leave eating. Also, if you have visitors over, you can just offer them drinks without food and they’ll be satisfied. Hence, drinks are popular foods during Christmas in Nigeria.

Bottom Line 

You shouldn’t let the Christmas season be dull where you are. Pick your favorite from this list of most popular Christmas foods in Nigeria and give yourself a treat.