Ostensibly, the author of this article is of Igbo descent. But through exposure and soul binding associations, she has come to fully appreciate the rich glamour of Yoruba culture. As humans, we all eat to live. However with Yoruba foods, we can’t help but drown in a rich blend of mouthwatering recipes. If you are a “Pitakwan”, it is probable that at the moment you may be wondering what specifically distinguishes Yoruba foods from the typical, tantalizing roast plantain and fish. But lay your prejudices and stereotypes aside as we take an interesting tour through the amazing world of the top ten savoury, exquisite Yoruba cuisines. Taste buds ready? Set? Go!
Gbe-gi-ri; the syllabification of this Yoruba food alone suggests savour and outstanding health benefits. Gbegiri is a special Yoruba food tied to the age-long, outstanding Yoruba culture.This delicious, black eyed beans soup promises to activate any dormant salivary buds. Constituting mainly of healthy green vegetables and ground beans with palm oil, Gbegiri can be eaten together with Iyan(pounded yam) or the more popular Amala(Yam flour meal)
2. EFO RIRO
A literal translation from Yoruba is “mixed greens”. This rich, popular, Yoruba food bears a close semblance to the native Afang soup of Efik origin. Efo Riro is prepared with the use of Spinach, tatashi, local condiments and a delicious blend of meat stock or smoked fish. Also, this palatable Yoruba food possesses quite a number of health benefits. According to health experts, Spinach is known to be an excellent source of Vitamin A, C, E and K. It is also an excellent source of dietary fibre and helps excellently with bowel adjustments.
This mint green soup is most likely the most popular of all Yoruba foods. Special ingredients for making Ewedu soup include Ewedu leaves, a teaspoon of powdered potash, salt to taste, crayfish, chilli pepper, and the quintessential “Ewedu broom.” A peculiar quality of the Ewedu leaf is its mucilaginous ability or in common Nigerian parlance, “its ability to draw” In the absence of the enigmatic Ewedu broom, a blender would do just fine. This very tasty Yoruba food is usually served alongside rich, starchy staples such as Amala, Semo or Eba.
4. EWA AGOYIN
Ewa is beans in Yoruba and agoyin can be traced back to the Beninoise people who originally invented this dish. Ewa is cooked to a soft paste and mashed according to one’s preference. A delicious sauce comprising of palm oil, dried pepper and some ground crayfish is usually served with this savouryyoruba food. The experience of eating this Yoruba cultural food is simply divine.
5. IRESI EYIN
This is a special Yoruba adaptation of the commonly served jollof rice. It is a delectable Yoruba food that can be traced back to Yoruba culture and ancestry. This scrumptious dish is to the Yorubas what pepper-soup rice is to the Igbos. Iresi is rice in Yoruba while Eyin translates to Palm nut fruit, or egg depending on its pronunciation. The best part of this Yoruba food is that it is very convenient and can be considered a food quickie. All that is required is that you mix all the ingredients in one pot, and then wait for it to simmer beautifully. Your world just got better.
This is a toothsome Yoruba staple made out of yam or cassava flour. The yam flour is derived from yam that has been peeled, washed, dried and blended into a smooth texture. Amala derives its characteristic dark brown colour from the process of drying the yam pieces. This special Yoruba food is served with a variety of soups such as Gbegiri and Ewedu.
This ubiquitous Yoruba food is simply raw beans washed, blended and deep fried. It is most commonly referred to as bean cake. These very delicious protein filled cakes are light and can eaten as at breakfast, or taken subsequently as snacks. Its aroma is simply tempting. Plus it’s my favourite saturday idiosyncrasy, and tastes really heavenly when eaten together with “Agege bread.”
These extremely delicious Yoruba chops would have you salivating for more. Igbin is a mouthwatering blend of de-shelled snails dipped in a sizzling conjugation of onion and pepper sauce. It is a popular home party snack and is served skewered on toothpicks.
We all love dodo or don’t we? These diagonally sliced pieces of plantain are sprinkled with a little salt and deep fried. Dodo is simply amazing because it can be served both as a main meal or as small chops. Its taste is simply out of this world.
I just couldn’t wait to arrive at this tempting, savoury, mouthwatering Yoruba food. And Yes! Asun definitely deserves all these adjectives. I began my life-long romance with this smoky, engaging Yoruba food at a girlfriend’s bridal shower. That was our meet cue and our connection so far has been purely magical.
Asun is a yoruba food that is mostly served as a finger food in most Yoruba Owan mbes’. It is simply grilled or barbecued goat meat with lots of pepper. Asun is definitely to the Yorubas what Isiewu is to the Igbos. Also, the aroma of this Yoruba food is undeniably breathtaking. And for most meat addicts, its taste is strikingly divine.
In conclusion, as a major ethnic tribe, the Yorubas deserve a win especially with regards to a beautiful blend of colourful recipes.Furthermore, the Yoruba culture surrounding food is simply amazing and supports the proverbial assertion that the eyes take a wholesome fill before the mouth does.