Northern Staple Foods In Nigeria

This article presents some Northern Nigerian traditional foods and the ingredients that make it shine. Foods in Nigeria northern region offers some of the best culinary experiences in the world; the likes of miyan or baobab leaves soup. If you are looking to sample a delicious traditional Nigerian food, then you are in the right place. A map of the region provides good starting point to appreciating ingredients in Nigeria food recipe.

 A map of the region provides good starting point to appreciating ingredients in Nigeria food recipe.

Northern Nigeria has nineteen states, with their unique traditional recipes like Miyan Geda. Thus, it is divided into: north-eastern, north-western, Kano, Kaduna, and Kwara state. Additionally, people have distinct cultures and attire.

Related: About Ogbono Seeds- A Well Balanced Nigerian Ingredient

Northern Nigeria Staple Foods 

Miyan Kuka (Baobab Leaves Soup)

Miyan Kuka or Lura soup is a great example of Northern foods in Nigeria. It comes from ground baobab leaves, which are cooked to realize a sweet-tasting dark green dish. This traditional Nigerian food uses ingredients readily sourced from local markets. Although Miyan-kuka can be visually unappealing, it makes up in flavor and taste. Furthermore, this plant-based dish pairs well with other traditional Nigerian food. Notable mentions include Tuwon dawa, Tuwon masara, Tuwon Jero, and tozo.

Miyan Kuka (Baobab Leaves Soup) is popular to Northern Nigeria
Photo credit-allnigeriarecipes

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Health and Nutritional Benefits

Health-wise, Miyan kuka boosts one’s immune system. In fact, people of North Nigeria call the baobab tree itself as “tree of life”. According to natives, it fends off diseases like malaria, fever, and microbial infections. In addition, postpartum mothers often consume this traditional food because of its vitamin B, folic acid. Furthermore, its pulps contains Vitamin C, and essential minerals like potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron. Evidently, there are strong health and nutritional reasons why Miyan-kuka is key in most North Nigeria recipes. Generally, therefore, you benefit a lot from eating this traditional plant-based soup. You stand to benefit with weight management, detoxification, fatigue relief and digestive system improvement. Have you tasted Miyan Geda or Kuka, what did you flavor it with?

Miyan Geda (Groundnuts soup) 

Miyan Geda is another notable ingredient in Nigerian food recipes. The Hausa people of Northern Nigeria are experts in preparing this traditional Nigerian food. There are a number of reasons Miyan Geda features in most foods in Nigeria. Firstly, this groundnut soup is rich in fiber and protein. Second, this Nigeria food recipe takes only an hour to cook. Finally, Miyan Geda has a pleasing aroma and taste and you might like the baobab leaves version.

Health Importance

As a matter of fact, you will find groundnuts in most foods in Nigeria. This is due to a number of health benefits of this Northern Nigeria traditional food. Some notable nutritional benefits include:

  • vitamins to fight against harmful effects of free radicals
  • lower blood cholesterol level
  • protein, minerals, and folate properties
  • beauty and skin benefits

In addition, groundnuts are a great source of calories for the population in North Nigeria. Miyan-geda contains fat, protein, carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium in one plate. In this respect, therefore, you benefit a lot from trying this Nigeria traditional food. Try this Nigeria recipe today available in our Newsletter.

Related: Rich Tasty Vegetarian Ogbono Soup


Nigeria is the third largest millet-producing country after India and China. Northern Nigeria states are mainly associated with this traditional Nigerian food. This is because millet can withstand the hot climate of Northern Nigeria. Therefore, you will find large supplies of millet in the states of Kaduna, Yobe, Borno, and Kano.  

Millet seeds raw. Nigeria is the third largest millet-producing country after India and China.

Did you know one of the popular foods is millet juice (Kunnu)? This versatile grain is also used as flour (tuwo).  Fura is an essential part of  Fura da Nono, a traditional delicacy. Meanwhile, this traditional Nigerian staple is used to make porridge, some people call it pap or Koko. In contrast, in other Northern Nigerian dishes, some people fry millet. Which do you prefer? Or are you a fan of miyan or baobab leaves soup?

Health Benefits

Millet is rich in Niacin, a chemical compound. It is responsible for more than 400 enzymatic reactions in the body. Niacin is crucial in health, skin, and organ functions. Did you know millet is often added to processed foods to enrich them?  According to health professional, below are more health benefits millets provides:

  •  Rich dietary fiber improves one’s digestive health 
  • Controls blood sugar since it is low in simple carbohydrates
  • Protects the heart by lowering triglycerides levels while increasing good cholesterol. Its fiber content helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body.

Nutritional Profile

Similarly, Millet is very nutritious and rich in vitamins A and B. Millet is rich in potassium. Truly, its mineral is great for heart and kidney health.

Economic Importance

Millet provides forage for animal feeding and is nutritional to the animals. Residues from millet farming provide sources of animal feeds, or building materials. Did you know it is useful as cooking fuel? It is also grown as a fodder crop, which is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as cattle, rabbits, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs.

Now, do you see why eating like a bird is beneficial? Nutritional staples like miyan geda or baobab leaves soup provides yummy goodness. What are you thoughts? What will you like to know as we continue on Northern traditional Nigerian food products series? Stay updated by subscribing to our monthly circulation and peek instagram to see what I eat live.

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