The History and Influence of Nigerian Cuisine

The beautiful flavors of Nigerian culture + the background of its culinary history

Nigeria is a region that brings together a fusion of culture and cuisine as evidenced in the unique spices, meats, and ingredients. While many African countries’ gastronomy culture was influenced by colonial Europe, Nigeria has their own food culture rich in flavors, agriculture, spices native to the land, and undeniable passion. Excited to explore the history of the culinary culture in Nigeria, we look to those whose scholarly backgrounds offer a unique insight.

While we explore the traditions of Nigerian cuisine, we will also be sharing a modern sister Nigerian-American R&B duo, VanJess who share their take on a family recipe and Nigerian culinary staple. As you read the below, note that tradition is beautiful, but as time goes on, progress and introducing new takes on tradition cam be equally invigorating.

In a study done on the history of Nigeria’s culinary culture, Serdar Oktay and Saide Sadıkoğlu researched the gastronomic cultures transferred to African cuisines. Zimbabwe in the west, Nigeria in the east, Morocco in the north and Republic of South Africa in the south were selected. With a committee made up of scientific researchers, articles, graduate theses, printed scientific books and historical documents, the study delved into culinary origin and influence.

Sisters Ivana and Jessica recently debuted their new cooking show, Homegrown Kitchen by teaching the audience how to make this family recipe while tracks from their new EP ‘Homegrown’ set the relaxed, intimate mood.. Known as one of the most exciting musicians of the moment that are never short on glamour, this sister duo proves time and again that they have an endless arsenal of talent. And that includes proudly sharing their Nigerian heritage with viewers and listeners around the world. 

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The History and Influence of Nigerian Cuisine

VanJess’ Nigerian Pepper Soup


2 lbs chicken thigh
2 tablespoons crayfish
2 scotch bonnet peppers
1 tablespoon of pepper soup spice
6-7 cups of water
1 onion
4 small potatoes
3-4 tsp magi seasoning
5 garlic cloves
1 thumb ginger root
Salt to taste


  1. Cut up chicken thighs.
  2. Blend peppers, onions and garlic in blender.
  3. Heat up the oil in a pan and place chicken thighs and a pinch of salt into a large pot at medium-high heat. Add blended mixture and magi seasoning. Keep on the stove for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, add crayfish, pepper soup spice & enough water to cover chicken. Mix.
  5. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add more water and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, add potatoes.
  7. Leave on the low heat for another 15 minutes. Salt and season once potatoes are softened.

WATCH the video via their YouTube channel.


The town of Igbo-Ora is known as the nation’s home of twins. Many of the local Yoruba people believe their consumption of yams and okra leaves to be the cause of their high birth rate of twins. While some fertility experts believe that certain yams contain a natural hormone that could cause multiple ovulation, there is no scientific evidence of this phenomenon.

Nigeria is a diverse multiethnic country with more than 520 spoken languages. While English is the official language, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo are also major languages in the country.

Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria before being moved to Abuja, is the country’s largest and most populous city and has been dubbed “Africa’s Big Apple,” in reference to New York City.

The country’s film industry, known as Nollywood, is one of the largest film producers in the world, second only to India’s Bollywood.

Nigeria is home to Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa. Dangote’s business interests in agriculture, banking, cement, manufacturing, salt and sugar have earned his net worth of more than $12 billion.

Largely due to its export market, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa. While the agricultural industry accounts for approximately 70 percent of the country’s employment, petroleum products are the primary export—accounting for more than 90 percent of Nigeria’s exports.

Like in other African countries, some Nigerians consider the left hand to be unclean and using it to be a sign of disrespect. Those that believe this do not eat, shake hands or receive items with their left hand.

Despite gaining their independence in 1960, Nigeria has remained a member of the British Commonwealth, an association of 53 sovereign states. The country is also a member of the African Union.

ATOD Magazine’s Founder, Dawn Garcia is a proud member of the African Tourism Board.