Nigerian Weddings You MUST have these 5 local dishes on your menu... or else!

In fact, these foods are one of the top reasons why people attend weddings at all. That said, here are five native dishes from different parts of Nigeria which must not be missing at traditional weddings.

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Nigerian delicacies play

Nigerian delicacies

(Africanfoods/Hungrylittlegirl/ChichiCuisine/Joytofoodarena)
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Nigerians love food a lot, and no – it isn’t a bad thing. We simply appreciate the good tasting meals that are ours from Mother Nature.

Aside from our love for food, we also cherish our cultural heritage, and one of the best ways to display them is through traditional marriage ceremonies.

It is a time when two families merge and become one, and also an opportunity to rejoice and celebrate two people who are starting a new life together.  The ceremony is also a time to treat guests to some artfully prepared indigenous dishes.

In fact, these foods are one of the top reasons why people attend weddings at all. That said, here are five native dishes from different parts of Nigeria which must not be missing at traditional weddings.

Oghwo soup and starch: Yes, you guessed right. This dish is number one because it is a ‘supreme’ meal where I come from in Delta State. The Urhobo tribe reveres this food, and it is a sign of respect and honour for anyone it is prepared for. Oghwo soup is made from palm oil, stock fish, beef (optional), pepper, potash, a sprinkle of cassava granules (Garri) and seasoning. The soup goes hand-in-hand with Starch (popularly called ‘Usi’).  The absence of this food at an Urhobo traditional wedding is enough to cause a riot and even put you in the bad books of your guests (I’m not joking o); because it simply means you have no regard for them nor their presence. If this is the only food you can serve on that day, believe me, your wedding guests will love you forever for this.

Amala and Ewedu or Efo-riro: The Yoruba tribe from the South-Western region of Nigeria are the proud ‘owners’ of Amala – a solid meal made from yam flour. It is usually eaten with Ewedu soup (slippery soup made with Ewedu leaves, melon and locust beans) or Efo-riro (a spicy vegetable soup). Even though this meal is a staple food that is eaten in many homes regularly, it is still cherished and expected at Yoruba traditional marriage ceremonies. No matter how ‘tush’ (sophisticated) the couple and their family members may be, even if the wedding is taking place on the moon, Amala MUST be on the menu because the ceremony is incomplete without it.

Egusi soup and Garri or Fufu: For the Igbo tribe from the Eastern part of Nigeria have different special soups and dishes they love, but for their traditional marriage ceremonies, the Egusi soup must not be found missing on the menu. This is because, the soup is somewhat universal and it is something everybody can eat, unlike Bitter leaf soup or Ofe Nsala which almost everyone can do without. The soup is made from melon, palm oil, pumpkin leaves (Ugwu) or bitter leaf, pepper, fish, meat and seasoning. It is eaten with Garri (known as Eba in Yoruba language) or Fufu (Cassava balls). If you don’t want to offend that your Igbo friend, biko (please) ensure that you include Egusi soup on your wedding menu for him, eh?

Tsakwara da Busheshen Kubewa: In the Northern part of Nigeria, the staple food is rice and it is an everyday meal. However, a traditional marriage ceremony in this part of the country is not complete without pounded yam and dried okra soup. In Hausa language, this combination is called Tsakwara da Busheshen Kubewa. The soup contains a dried okra broth with spices, stock and seasoning. It is a special dish and it’s one that must always feature in a typical northern traditional marriage ceremony. So take note!

Afang soup and Fufu:  The Akwa Ibom and Cross River people from the South-South region of Nigeria have one native meal in common – Afang soup. This is an important delicacy made from Afang leaves (called Oha in Igbo language) blended with crayfish, water leaf, stock fish, smoked fish, beef, palm oil, periwinkle, palm oil, pepper and seasoning. It is eaten mostly with Fufu, but also goes well with Garri (Eba) and pounded yam. If you will be attending any traditional marriage ceremony in this part of Nigeria, be sure to look out for this meal but if it is not served, then it means you have been deprived the opportunity to taste a meal that could have transformed your life completely, literally.

Jollof Rice: Oh Jollof rice… the love of our lives! No matter the kind of traditional delicacy you prepare at your wedding, if Jollof rice is not present, then… I really don’t know what to say. A party without Jollof rice is like an expensive car without wheels. Inasmuch as the meals listed above are very important, Jollof is also very essential. It is prepared rice (of course) cooked in a tomatoes and pepper sauce, with curry, thyme, bay leaves (for aroma) and seasoning. It is then served with peppered chicken or beef, and garnished with fried plantain or moi-moi (beans meal steam-cooked with different ingredients).  Jollof rice is so popular that many Nigerians have nicknamed it ‘Party Rice’ or ‘Party Jollof.’ It tastes different from the one you cook at home, especially if it is prepared on open heat (that is, with firewood). Whatever you do, make sure this food makes it to your wedding menu. A word is enough for the wise o!

There, you have it. These are the Nigerian foods that must not go missing at your traditional wedding ceremony.

Which other local delicacy do you think should also be on this list? Share your answer with me in the comment section.

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