Food - Drink
What Makes Nigerian Stock Unique
By TALIN VARTANIAN
When it comes to describing Nigerian food, “variety” is probably the most fitting word. Nigerian cuisine is composed of numerous regional dishes from suyas — a type of kebab — to jollof rice, peppered snails, cow legs, and stews, but Nigerian cuisine wouldn’t be the same without the unique flavor profile of Nigerian stock.
In a Western-style stock, water, herbs, vegetables like celery, carrots, and onions, and meat like chicken or beef are simmered for several hours. On the other hand, Nigerian stock is boiled first and then simmered, resulting in stronger flavors, and uses a plethora of spices and various pieces of meat depending on whether it’s fish stock or beef stock.
Nigerian stock is seasoned with garlic, ginger, red onion, green peppers, bay leaves, and optional habanero peppers and thyme leaves. However, the true star of the show is the Nigerian curry powder, which blends coriander, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, and ground fenugreek, giving it varying notes of heat, earthiness, sweetness, and bitterness.
The resulting stock is spicy, warm, and herbaceous, making it perfect for a variety of Nigerian broth-based recipes, like jollof rice. Other dishes that rely on Nigerian meat stock to add warmth and spice include ogbono soup, egusi soup, and afang soup while fish stock is used in dishes like beans pottage and moi moi, a steamed bean dish that utilizes crayfish.