Nigerian Spices and Herbs with Their Nutritional Benefits, Uses | Spices, Herbs, & Seasoning in Nigerian Kitchen
If you’re looking to add some flavor to your cooking, Nigerian spices and herbs are a great place to start. With a wide variety of options to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
The flavors of Nigerian cuisine are distinctive in some way. The spice that is used to prepare them is one important factor.
But these spices do more than just enhance the flavor of the food you eat. They also have some nutritional benefits
Nigerian Spices, Herbs, & Seasoning with Their Nutritional Benefits
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular Nigerian spices and herbs, as well as how to use them in your cooking.
Onions – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
Bad cholesterol levels have been known to be reduced by raw onions. Additionally, it includes quercetin, which is quite effective in preventing cancer.
Spices like onions can improve the flavor of meat, fish, chicken, and soups. Onions can be used in cooking spaghetti, beans, jollof rice, or porridge.
However, in some traditional dishes, such as pepper soup and Banga soup onions is a good spice for it.
Salt – Spices and Herbs with Nutritional Benefits
We all know that salt is essential for our bodies, but did you know that there are many benefits to using salt? Benefits of salt and how you can use it to improve your health
- Salt helps maintain your hydration. Your body needs a proper balance of sodium and potassium to keep more hydrated.
- Encourages healthy vascular function
- Prevents muscle cramping and balances electrolytes
- Promotes a sound nervous system
Curry leaves – Curry Powder | Nigerian Herbs and Spices
The flavor that gives our Nigerian Chicken/ Beef Stew that delightful aroma is called Nigerian Curry Powder.
Curry powder or leaves are frequently used to make fried or jollof rice in order to give the dish a distinctive flavor. Iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, B, C, and E are all present in the leaves.
Curry leaves provide a number of health benefits, such as:
- Lower blood cholesterol levels
- Lowering of blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes
- Boosting blood levels in cases of anemia.
Thyme – Nigerian Spices, Seasoning, and Herbs
Thyme can be utilized in a number of ways. It can be used to prepare virtually all rice recipes like jollof rice, coconut rice, and fried rice as well as to season meat.
Similarly, thyme is a fascinating spice with a variety of uses. Thyme has a history of improving blood circulation and heart health. There are other health benefits of this spice.
Thyme has also been associated with alleviating respiratory conditions like seasonal allergies and bronchitis. Thyme, though, could make you feel sick if you have a sensitive stomach.
Bay Leaf – Nigerian Spices Herbs, and Seasoning
A dark green leaf with a distinctly strong scent is a bay leaf. It is commonly used in spicing broth, stock, and soups. Bay leaves can be used to make jollof and fried rice and are available as entire dried leaves though they have fresh bay leaves.
The treatment of arthritis and other types of bodily aches and pains has proven to be effective using bay leaves. Moreover, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium are all abundant in bay leaf.
Ehuru: Calabash Nutmeg – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
Based on the region of the country you are from, it is locally known as ehuru, ehu, or ariwo.
Ehuru is pack in a tough shell, inside of which lies a seed that is used to season traditional soups and other foods when grounded into powdered form.
The aroma and smell of nutmeg are due to the essential oils found in the seed.
The following nutrients are abundant in Calabash nutmeg: potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, B-complex vitamins, folic acid, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin A. Flavonoid anti-oxidants are also abundant and required for good health.
Cloves – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
It is known as kanafuru in Yoruba. Both the dried flower buds and the clove plant have a sweet scent and flavor. It can be added as a spice to many different dishes. These consist of suya, pepper soup, and other savory meat dishes.
Antioxidants are abundant in cloves. Your body uses these substances to combat free radicals, which harm your cells and can cause disease.
Clove is utilized as an expectorant and treatment for irritable stomach. Phlegm is simpler to cough up when using expectorants. For hernias and diarrhea, clove oil is used.
Uda – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
It is commonly known as Negro pepper. Uda should only be used in moderation because it has a fragrant, crisp flavor and a faint bitter undertone. Pepper soup is usually made cooked with uda, especially for nursing mothers who just newly gave birth. This pepper can be used to both induce labor in pregnancy, according to certain research.
Garlic – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
Garlic contains substances with strong therapeutic qualities. A member of the Allium (onion) family, garlic is a plant. Shallots and onions are closely related to garlic.
For years, garlic has been used in kitchens. Due to its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, this herb has therapeutic and medical uses.
Both garlic bulbs and garlic powder are available for sale. Garlic is a natural anti-hypertensive. Conditions of the heart and blood system are frequently treated with garlic.
Paprika – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
Paprika is a spice that has Spanish roots and is often sold dried or powdered. It can be applied to give soups and stews richness. Due to its vivid red color, it can also be used to color the stew.
Vitamins A, E, B6, iron, and capsaicin are all present in paprika. Known for lowering blood pressure.
Ogiri Okpei – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
Ogiri Okpei popularly called iru is a favorite spice among the Igbo and Yoruba, which is made from fermented, mashed, and compressed locust beans. The Yoruba always refer the unfermented iru for soups like efor, ofada stew.
Ogiri-okpei is used in traditional medicine in a variety of ways, including as a nutritious protein alternative, an aromatic flavoring for foods, particularly soups, and a reliable supply of vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
Here is a brief guide if you’re wondering how to make the ogiri:
- The seeds need to be separated, cleaned, and washed with water.
- The seeds must then be cooked until they are sufficiently tender. To make removal simple, pull off the covering next. Rewash the seeds and pour a colander/sieve cover and remove the extra water.
- Place the seed in a container and cover it with leaves. Plantain leaves can be used. Four days should be given to allow the seed to ferment.
Uziza Leaves – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
The leaves of uziza are used to spice soups, these green leafy vegetable/herb has sweet aroma. The Igbo and Efik people frequently use when cooking soup.
Uziza seeds can also be used to provide a peppery flavor to soups like Banga and pepper soup.
Among other gastrointestinal conditions, uziza leaves can be used to treat indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Lemon grass – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
The Urhobo people normally use lemon grass possibly due to its aromatic scent. It can be used to make the traditional porridge yam pepper soup. It is helpful when cooking dishes with chicken or fish as the main ingredient. Tea can be made with lemon grass as well.
Lemon grass can as well be used in treating common cold, Fever, and stomach issues.
Scent leaves – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
It also goes by the names efirin leaf, sweet basil and Ocimum basilicum leaf. It is a herb with sweet fragrance that is primarily used for both its aroma and medicinal properties. It comes in dried or fresh form. When making soups and stews, scent leaves might be an excellent addition.
Leaf scents promote blood circulation; help relieve bloating, help digest your meals, and repair damages in the body caused by nicotine and smoking.
Black pepper – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
Another seasoning with a reputation for giving meals a distinctive aroma is black pepper. To impart a traditional peppery flavor, it is typically added to soups like pepper soup and in pastries when baking.
Black pepper comes from South India, which is where it first appeared. But in tropical nations like Nigeria, where it has adapted successfully, black pepper has being grown.
Nutritional Benefits of Black Pepper
- Relieves respiratory tract infection and allergy
- Black pepper aids digestion
- Depression – stimulates the brain and helps to deal with depression.
- Improves skin – an excellent exfoliator and also helps clear skin wrinkles
- Weight loss – helps break down fat cells and increase metabolism.
- Cancer prevention is one of the dietary benefits.
The spice has antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin A, flavonoids, and carotenes that assist the body fight off free radicals and protect its cells. According to this breast cancer treatment center, it is considered to be twice as effective as turmeric at preventing cancer.
Cumin – Nigerian Spices Herbs, and Seasoning
Another unusual spice is cumin. While it resembles mil curry, its flavor is more subdued and agreeable. When making fried or jollof rice, it can be utilized as well as seasoning spice for cooking meat.
Among the health benefits are a strengthened immune system; treating anemia, and providing relief from asthma and bronchitis.
Chives – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
Chives is a member of the onion family Compared to spring onions, chives are thinner, more tender, and smaller. The stem is used for garnishing salad and other dishes.
Some health advantages of Chives include improved bone and heart health, as well as improved vision.
Nutmeg – Nigerian Spices, Seasoning, and Herbs
Nigerian meal or snack calls for nutmeg just like the usual party Jollof. Your Nigerian Moi Moi, Nigerian Chin Chin, and Nigerian Puff Puff will taste different as a result of the nutmeg spice added to it.
Health benefits of Nutmeg
Antioxidants, which are abundant in nutmeg, aid in preventing serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and liver disease as well as the early stages of aging. There are many dental products that contain nutmeg oil.
Stock Cubes – Nigerian Spices, Seasoning, and Herbs
The Maggi, Knorr, Onaga, and Royco normally used in meals are stock cubes, commonly known as bouillon cubes in the United States. There are different flavors for beef and chicken even crayfish when.
Though some manufacturers of these stock cubes insist that MSG is no longer used in their production, making your own stock cubes at home is an option for those who are allergic to MSG or you simply don’t want to consume store-bought stock cubes.
Chicken stock cube benefits – Vitamins, minerals fibre or omega 3 ; Calcium. 12mg – which is 2% of your RDA/RI ; Magnesium. 4.7mg – which is 2% of your RDA/RI.
Beef stock cube benefits – Vitamins, minerals fibre or omega 3 ; Copper. 0.021mg – which is 2% of your RDA/RI; Phosphorus. 7.2mg – which is 2% of your RDA/RI.
Habanero Pepper – Nigerian Spices and Herbs
The importance of Habanero Pepper spice in Nigerian food is this. It has a pleasant scent and is peppery and fresh. There are those that are red and yellow. The red ones are suitable for every dish, but because of their distinctive flavor, yellow ones work well in Nigerian soups. Scotch Bonnet peppers can also be used; they are so similar.
FAQs About Nigerian Spices And Seasoning
What are the 10 most popular spices?
Although we all have different tastes, we have compiled a list of ten spices that you should definitely think about keeping on hand.
- Curry Powder
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Bay leaf
- Chili powder
What are typical Nigerian spices?
The Best 5 Nigerian Spices for Cooking
- Cameroon Pepper
- Ehuru (Calabash Nutmeg)
- Suya Spice
- Uda (Grains of Selim)
- Ogiri okpei (locust beans, Iru, Dawa-Dawa)
What are the five 5 seasonings?
Chinese Five Spice contains what spices? They are as follows
- Whole Cloves
- Cinnamon Stick
- Star Anise
- Fennel Seeds
- Szechuan Peppercorns
What are the 5 basic spices?
The Essential Five Spices are as follows:
- Cumin seeds
- Coriander seeds.
- Cayenne pepper
- Black mustard seeds.
What is the 7 spice?
The most popular and widely used spice blend in Lebanon is seven-spices. A flavorful blend of allspice:
- Black Pepper
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Coriander
- White Pepper
What is Devil’s spice?
In English, asafoetida is also referred to as “devil’s dung” in colloquial (in many other languages with similar expressions).
What spice is mentioned in the Bible?
Numbers 30:23–25 take the following primary spices with you:
- Pure myrrh
- Sweet Cinnamon
- Sweet Calamus (Sweet Flag)
- Cassia (Cinnamomum Cassia)
- Oil Olive
What is traditional Nigerian food?
The Nigerian diet is mainly starchy foods like rice, cassava, yam, garri, and spaghetti with little iron-rich nutrients from unripe plantains and some protein from beans.
They are typically served alongside a variety of hearty soups and stews that have been made with different kinds of meat and vegetables. Nigerians enjoy vegetable stews and have them frequently throughout the week.
Popular & Traditional Nigerian Foods
- Jollof Rice
- Suya (Spicy Grilled Kebab)
- Pounded Yam (Iyan)
- Pepper Soup
- Ogbono Soup (African Mango Seed Soup)
- Puff-Puff (Sweet Fried Dough Ball)
- Amala (Cassava Flour /Yam Flour/ Plantain Flour)
- Àkara (Fried Bean Cake)
Which spice is the king of?
Black pepper is referred to as the “King of Spices.” The pepper plant’s unripe, still-green drupes are used to make black pepper.
What is the oldest spice on earth?
The use of cinnamon in cooking goes back much further in history than any other spice. Since it was discovered to be used in Egyptian embalming procedures, it has earned the nickname “world’s oldest spice,” which may be justified.
What is the strongest spice in the world?
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Carolina Reaper is currently the hottest pepper in the world. It’s hot, and we don’t just mean warm. The Carolina Reaper has a 2.2 million SHU maximum output!
What spices originated in Africa?
These are the 9 quality spices and spice blends from Africa and the Middle East:
- Ras el Hanout
- Aleppo Pepper/ Pul Biber
What is special about Nigerian food?
Traditional Nigerian food is quite filling and delicious. Nigerian cuisine will convert you into an immediate fan of African cuisine, thanks to its diverse selection of popular Nigerian soups including Ogbono soup, Afrang soup, and Egusi soup as well as the intriguing texture of pounded yam or Fufu.
Is Nigerian food spicy?
Like many other West African dishes, Nigerian food is well famous for being spicy.
What are the 2 most expensive spices?
These Are The Most Expensive Spices In The World.