Most Nigerians eat a light breakfast and have their main meal
in the late afternoon. Popular foods include akara, akamu (ogi) and
moyin-moyin. Akara is made from skinned, ground beans mixed with ground
tomatoes, spices and peppers, and fried in vegetable or palm oil. Akamu is made
from ground, fermented cornstarch. Moyin-moyin is made of skinned and ground
beans mixed with tomatoes, ground peppers, meat, eggs and spices. This mixture is put
in banana leaves or aluminum cans and steamed.
Yams, cocoyams and sweet potatoes are popular in Nigeria.
Boiled yam, pounded and made into small smooth balls, eaten with vegetable, meat or
fish soup, is a popular meal. Rice cooked with ground tomatoes, peppers and sometimes
meat, is eaten with fried plantain, mostly in western Nigeria. Palm oil, a reddish
brown oil made from ground palm kernels, is widely used in cooking. Nigerians usually
drink tea and soft drinks. Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol.
Many traditional diets have undergone changes over time because
of urbanization. For example, gari, a dry grain made by grating, fermenting,
drying and cooking cassava, can be stored and is therefore ideal for use in urban areas.
Urbanization has also increased the demand for corn. Fresh roasted corn sold as fast
food is very popular in urban areas.