Northern Nigerian Foods Everyone Must Try At Least Once

Northern Nigerian Foods Everyone Must Try At Least Once

Are you a tourist, a foodie, or simply a Nigerian who hasn’t been to the Northern part, and plans to do so?  Whatever the situation, allow me to be your food guide, to some weirdly named finger-licking Northern cuisines. I will be sharing with you some of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria. Before then, let’s take a little detour and see how it all started.

Nigeria is blessed with over 200 ethnic groups and almost 500 languages, across its six geopolitical zones. These zones have one thing in common; love for rich, tasty, spicy, and aromatic food. More so, these foods are uniquely made with certain ingredients found in their various zones, and it has become the signature food of that particular region. Be it Amala and Ewedu from the South West, Pounded Yam and Egusi from the East, Black soup from Edo, Afang Soup by the Efik and Ibibio, Banga soup from the Urhobos, and the list goes on.

However, this article focuses on the Northern foods everyone must try at least once.

12 Popular Foods from Northern Nigeria You Must at Least Try Once

1. Tuwo (Swallow)

How to Prepare Tuwon Shinkafa

This is a thick pudding made from different types of grains and served with different soups. We have Tuwon Shinkafa (rice swallow), Tuwon Masara (maize swallow), and Tuwon Dawa (guinea corn swallow). The soups are, Miyan Kuka (a soup made with dried baobab leaves turned into powder), Miyan Kubewa (okra soup either fresh or dry).

This is surely one of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria.

2. Masa or Waina da Miyan Taushe (Rice Cake and Soup Made from Green Leaves)

This is made from rice and is usually served during breakfast with kunu (pap) by the side. Speaking of kunu, it is the next thing on this list.

3. Kunu (Pap)

How to Make Your Sweet Home Made Kunun Aya

More so, Kunu is one of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria. Just like Tuwo, it is made from different grains. We have Kunun Shinkafa (rice pap), Kunun Gyada (pap made with groundnut paste), Kunun Gero (millet pap), Kunun Masara (maize pap), Kunun aya and Kunun Tsamiya (pap made with tamarind).

4. Awara (Tofu)

This is made from soybeans, and it is fried in hot oil and eaten with Yaji (ground chili pepper). It’s sometimes dipped in whisked egg before been fried.

5. Shinkafa da Wake da Mai/ Garo Garo/ Garau Garau (Rice and Beans with Oil)

Shinkafa da wake da mai da yaji is one of the most popular foods from Northern Nigeria

This is one of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria. The North isn’t the North without Shinkafa da Wake. It is accompanied by Yaji.

More so, it comes with garnishing too – lettuce, tomato, and cucumber by the side.

6. Danwake (Beans Dumplings)

Another food you should try is Danwake. This right here is my personal favourite. It is made from wheat flour with a little amount of dried baobab leaves powder.

It’s eaten with yaji and oil too, with the same garnishing as the Shinkafa da Wake and boiled egg.

7. Gurasa (Local Bread)

Gurasa is a popular food in northern Nigeria, most especially in Kano

Gurasa is one of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria. This is made mainly from flour and water. Moreover, it is been prepared and consumed in different ways. We have the bandashe. Here, it is made with ground kuli-kuli (groundnut cake), cabbage, cucumber, tomato, and onion by the side.

It is served with the famous Suya too.

8. Fate (Porridge)

Fate is one of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria

This is called gwate, pate, gote, tere, etc. It can be made from acha, rice, or maize, with smoked or dried fish and Aleho (green) or Shuwaka (bitter leaf).

9. Dambun Kaza (Chicken Floss), Dambun Nama (Meat Floss) and Dambun Shinkafa (Rice Grits)

Dambun nama is one of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria

The chicken or meat is shredded and cooked so deliciously into a floss. While the rice is broken into smaller pieces and cooked too. This is one of the popular foods in Northern Nigeria.

10. Taliyar Hausa da Man Ja (Hausa Spaghetti with Palm Oil)

Taliya da manja is a popular food from Northern Nigeria

This is just boiled spaghetti, accompanied by Palm oil and yaji again

11. Wainar Fulawa (Local Pancake)

Wainan fulawa is one of the popular foods from Northern Nigeria

Unlike pancake, Wainar Fulawa is been fried with palm oil and eaten with yaji.

12. Suya, Tsire or Balangu (Kebab)

Among the most popular foods from Northern Nigeria, Suya is my favorite

I saved the best for the last. This right here is a good life. It can be made from beef, mutton, chicken, or goat meat, and served with yaji.


There are a lot of delicious foods in the North, I just made mention of a few. As you can see, yaji plays a vital role when serving these delicious meals. It is been sold on its own, made with rich ingredients. So, when you find yourself in the North, you know exactly what to order in terms of food.

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