The topic on food is one issue that one cannot shy away from. It is, of course, one of the basic things needed for survival.
Speaking on dishes on Nigerian Campuses, there are levels and quality of dishes for various types of students based on their pockets. There are some who can afford whatever they feel like eating at any point in time; but the ones who cannot afford luxury of a five-star meal will find some ways around it and then, the majority who just have to make do with whatever is available.
This article however, centers on dishes that are loved generally by a majority of students for certain reasons, size of pockets notwithstanding.
Who doesn’t like oil rice? First of all, rice is a cereal meal, rich in carbohydrate, potassium, fat, protein, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. It is the most widely consumed staple food around the world. Aside the fact that it’s a commonly prepared dish on campus and loved by almost all, this dish can be taken to the next level back in our homes. As the name implies, this is a delicious dish whose richly bright yellow colour came to play from its major ingredient -red palm oil. MTNRICE as it’s also called, derives its name perhaps because of its appearance for the corporate yellow colour of the telecom giant. It is also sometimes referred to as concoction.MTN like some would call it, is prepared by almost all students on campus (where cooking is allowed) because it is tasty; the ease of preparation, and the affordability of its ingredients. With little red palm oil, onion, pepper and seasoning to taste, your oil rice is ready. This dish can be given some prestige and taken to the next level by garnishing with vegetables and plenty of proteins (dried or smoked fish, prawn, crayfish, etc) while at other times, it is seen as plain and brightly yellowed.
There’s hardly a waste dump site on or off campus where empty sachets of noodles are not seen. On streets, you find them litter around. In most of our waste bins, they’re there. You find empty cartons of noodles in most homes here in Nigeria. There’s hardly a local shop you visit where noodles are not found. It’s hard to spend time in Nigeria and not become hooked to Noodles. Although the nutritional values are controversial because of the high calorie content, they are consumed daily on campuses. Noodles are commonly called “Indomie”, irrespective of the brand. To balance the high carb content, this dish can be garnished with plenty of vegetables and protein like egg. As easy as the preparation is, ready to eat noodles can be accessed from vendors when it gets too tiring to even strike a matchstick.
Madiga may not be seen on all Nigerian Campuses. However, this triangular or rectangular shaped cream-colour cake could be seen almost everywhere you turn to in the Universities located in the southern parts of Nigeria. Madiga is a local bread product produced from wheat flour consumed by the people of the Niger Delta of Southern Nigeria. It is a delicacy among children because of its sweet taste, ready to eat, convenience and low cost. Its basic ingredient being wheat is rich in calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, magnesium and sodium. Vitamins such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pantothenic acid, inositol, P-aminobenzoic acid, folic acid and vitamin B6. This delicacy is affordable and can be substituted for bread. In schools located in the Niger Delta region, e.g. Delta State University, Niger Delta University, Federal University, Otuoke and the likes, Madiga bread is seen in almost every local store. It is hawked and sold in transparent buckets with lids.
When sold, it is served fresh with butter mixed with corned beef, mixed in liquid milk or can be bought plain and eaten with bean cakes, tea, groundnut, pap and or eaten with edible worms as seen in the picture. Students like it because of its affordability. Money spent in getting medium-sized bread can be used in buying Madiga bread in its quantity. Madiga is so ubiquitous that you can even see them being sold in Night Studies Classes.
GARRI FLAKES (SOAKIES)
The love of this dish sometimes has little or nothing to do with one’s financial state. It is just loved. Personally, my love for this meal began at the boarding house in secondary school. Quick to prepare, very tasty, and nutritious when complemented with the right ingredients. This meal, most times is a life saver after the day’s stress. When, the only thing you need is put something in your system and rest, garri flakes can be called forth by easily grabbing cold water, groundnut, sugar and milk from any store around.
Tasty! Satisfying! Nutritious! Hold you for long hours.
Beans is one of the commonest dishes prepared on campuses especially among guys. You see a group of guys putting heads together for the preparation of this dish which they eat together as a group.
Its nutritional values cannot be over-emphasized. High in protein. Contains fat, Sodium, carbohydrates, Sugar, Fiber, Vitamins, Calcium and Iron. Beans as a dish is sought by students basically because of its nutritional values and ability to fill one for longer hours compared to other meals. It can be eaten with bread, fried plantains or prepared as yam or plantain porridge.