Nigerians are party people, absolutely nothing stops them from partying and they don’t need much of an excuse to throw a party. A Nigerian party can have hundreds of guests in attendance. Hard-working people, who also party hard.
Parties include Pre-wedding party (sometimes called “Suya night”), Traditional wedding, Church wedding, birthday, burials, naming-ceremony, chieftaincy title taking, Ofala (coronation anniversary), wedding anniversaries, baptism, child dedication, priesthood ordination, new years eve, nursery or primary school graduation, I could go on and on and on!
A typical Nigerian party is loud with lots of dancing, comedy and most of all food, lots and lots of food and drinks. When planning a party menu, besides the quantity and quality of food, you must consider the variety. Variety is very important to the success of any Nigerian party. Even Nigerian parties in the United States, Canada, United kingdom etc., are not left out.
Parties usually start with small chops/finger food/appetizers. The Nigerian party appetizers are served once the invitees settle down in their seats. Some are reserved as late party food. Parties that start in the afternoon will go on late into the night and guests while drinking must have something to eat during the night, the host has to provide small chops for them.
Some of these dishes were borrowed from other cuisines, Indian, Chinese, British, American etc. When Nigerians borrow a dish from any cuisine, they make the dish their own and even claim superiority to the original owners e.g Jollof rice from Senegal, noodles from China and Corndog from The United States of America. I have attended a party where Coxinhas from Brazil were served but I’m yet to see it at more parties.
18 Nigerian party appetizers (small chops)
Samosa originally from India has made its way down to Nigeria and it is here to stay. It is usually part of a tripartite with spring roll and puff-puff as basic small chops in a Nigerian party. Samosa has a thin wrapper made into a pocket filled with well seasoned minced beef or minced chicken. It is fried to a crisp golden brown and served with a pepper dip.
Spring roll is originally from China and is basically stirfried vegetables wrapped in a wafer-thin wrapper. It is part of a tripartite with samosa and puff-puff as basic small chops in a Nigerian party. Spring rolls are fried to a crisp golden brown and served with a pepper dip.
Puff puff is one of the most common Nigerian party appetizers, it is a party essential. They are yeast-raised, soft, sweet fried dough balls. It has few simple ingredients but Nigerians love puff-puff.
Plantain Mosa is a fried dough ball. It is a fritter made with sweet ripe plantain. It is usually served alongside puff-puff.
Corndog is sausage or hotdog skewered, coated in batter and fried. It is similar to the American corndog but it’s more like a pancake batter. It is a new entrant into the Nigerian small chops party menu.
Chinchin is fried dough, the dough is cut into small bits and shapes. It is sweet and crunchy.
It is unarguably the most common grilled meat in Nigeria. it is a tender spicy kebab packed full of flavour, served with a dusting of a special spice blend called yaji and sliced red onions. Suya stands are becoming a feature at Nigerian parties.
Asun is roasted goat meat that is cut into small bite sizes then stir-fried in a pepper mix. Although it is a simple recipe, asun tastes so good. It is usually made very spicy and is a party favourite.
Gizdodo is a combination of fried plantain and fried gizzard sauteed in a tomato, pepper sauce. It can be eaten alone or as a side dish either way it is a party favourite.
Snails are expensive in Nigeria but they still feature in some parties in Nigeria. It is cooked and stirfried in a pepper sauce with thickly cut onion slices. Servers at parties are sometimes discriminatory in their service of snail because it is never enough.
Nigerians generally love spicy food. Meat and fish are stirfried in pepper sauce and served, they are excellent paired with drinks. The variety may include Beef, chicken, turkey, cowfoot, Ponmo (Cow skin), snail, gizzard, fish etc.
Fish in batter
Fish-in-batter is not as common as peppered meat or fish but it makes an appearance from time to time at parties. Fish is coated with a thick batter and fried.
Prawns are appearing more often on Nigerian party small chops menu. Prawns are breaded and fried or seasoned and grilled.
Beef kebab is another appetizer at Nigerian parties. It is well-seasoned beef that is boiled and fried, a few pieces are then skewered with cubes of onions, bell pepper and carrot. The beef is sometimes re-boiled in Tomato stew before putting on skewers.
Nkwobi is small pieces of cowleg mixed in a spicy creamy palm oil sauce although sometimes, goat leg can also be used. It is mostly served as part of the late-night party dish.
Isi ewu means goat head, the goat head is cut into bite-size and mixed with a spicy creamy palm oil sauce. It is similar to nkwobi.
Devilled egg is hard-boiled egg whites stuffed with creamy, smooth yolk filling. They used to be very popular in Nigerian parties but their popularity has dwindled so much that you only get to see them on small party menus.
Peppersoup is a big hit in Nigerian parties. It is a light soup with special spices and seasonings added. Almost every protein can be used for pepper soup, chicken, beef, oxtail, dry fish, goat meat, fresh fish, cow leg, enthrals, snail, stockfish etc. and vegetarians are not left out with mushrooms pepper soup.
If you like my 18 Nigerian party appetizers (small chops), you will also enjoy my 12 Nigerian dishes everyone should know how to cook, 10 common Nigerian breakfast dishes, 13 Easy Igbo soups and 10 Safety tips for the kitchen, kitchen safety tips.
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