Eating Out Nigerian: 7 Eats That Taste Better When Ordered

We all know that cooking is often cheaper, more stressful, but definitely cheaper than going out to restaurants to eat. There’s also “there’s rice at home” that our parents drummed into our heads when we were younger.  However, in this case, that rule doesn’t apply. There are certain meals that break the unspoken rule of being better homemade and sometimes it’s even cheaper to just buy it if you’re only trying to make one portion.

I’ll start with the ever slandered Amala. 


  • AMALA, EWEDU AND GBEGIRI

From Olaiya to Iya Okan(Alapere), to the regular amala seller in your area, we all know that buying amala slaps harder than making it at home. If you’ve ever made Amala, you’d know why. It’s arguably the most stressful swallow to make (after pounded yam). It is especially more trying to get that perfect, fluffy consistency. You have to go all Yoruba grandmother and place the pot between your two feet, holding it in place and then using all the strength in your arms to paddle like crazy. I say paddle because there’s literally no other word that describes the work. It’s just easier to buy it. Also, making ewedu comes with its own struggles, what with picking its leaves and the broom thing (please don’t say anything about blenders.), I just cannot. Iya Okan, here I come! 

  • OKPA

This is one of the ultimate snacks made by the Igbo people (in Nigeria). Okpa is made from Bambara nuts/ beans and here’s something about buying okpa from the experts who make them so well. I’ve never made okpa or as we Yorubas call it Adun, at home. However, based on what I know about how it’s made, it’s easier to just buy it. And it’d most likely taste better because I'm terrible at cooking. 

  • ABACHA

Also known as ‘African Salad’ - honestly, I don’t know why it’s called that- but Abacha is another thing I have heard is better bought, partly because I've never heard of anyone actually making it at home. An explosion of flavours and textures, I genuinely believe it takes years and years of practice and expertise to be able to make it right. I’m not exaggerating. Okay, maybe a little. 

  • EWA AGOYIN

The food of the gods! You know how most people who are lactose intolerant usually eat dairy products without thinking about the effects on their insides? I’m the same way with beans. It gives me mad heartburn, and I almost always regret it the next day..ALMOST. Especially when it’s ewa agoyin. That special sauce? Second to none. I am eternally convinced that nobody can make ewa agoyin sauce like those women who sell it. No offence to chefs and cooks. This is just fax, no printer.

  • BOLI

First question: does anyone actually make boli at home? If you do, please raise your hand and come out to collect your award because that is dedication right there. I know it doesn't take a lot of work, but to even conceive the idea of making boli at home deserves some sort of recognition. Port Harcourt residents would likely agree with me on this one, ‘bole’ is better when bought. Especially with that pepper sauce, they serve with it. Elite stuff. 

  • PUFF-PUFF

One of the seemingly permanent fixtures in any platter of small chops, puff-puff is one of my favourite snacks ever. I’ve tried to make it at home a few times, it didn’t work. I’ll just stick to buying it. Also, if you ever make puff-puff and it turns out fluffy, then you are like Dumbledore in my eyes, not even kidding. 

Quick tip: If you’re ever in Balogun market, buy puff-puff. You will not regret it. 

  • FRIED YAM

Also known as dundun, fried yam is also better when bought. I’m not sure about this cause I make pretty badass fried yam, all it takes is adding a little water to the oil when frying. This makes the yam crispy outside but soft and well done on the inside. What do y’all think? Is fried yam better at home or at Iya Alakara’s place?