How To Make ‘Great’ Nigerian Stock


Stock – the bedrock of Jollof Rice, of Fried Rice, Stews and more is easy to make. Nigerian stock differs from ‘Western’ style stocks because of the ingredients used.

Your average Nigerian stock has red onions, fresh ginger and garlic, curry powder and dried thyme and more. In Europe, America and some other parts of the world, stock is commonly made with white onions, carrots and celery. The resulting flavours are different from our Nigerian-style stock. The key though, and one thing both focus on is flavour. 

My best pot has a bit of heat from the chilies, ginger and garlic and flavour from the curry powder and dried thyme.


Yes, your favourite bony cuts work a treat here – backs, bones, whatever. I generally restrict myself to beef, chicken or both depending on what I have to hand, I prefer making a mix of chicken and beef – I find it more balanced – rich yet light.

I use about 1.5kg in total.


Red Onions

You don’t need to slice your onions finely for this. – quarter or roughly chop.

I remember Jamie Oliver saying that he added onion skins to his stock and I’ve tried it a few times. It might not add much to the flavour but it definitely deepens the colour – just ensure your onions are well washed if you plan on leaving the skins on.

I use 2 large onions.


Green Bell Pepper

I like the flavour green bell peppers add to my stock. I use 1 medium one, cut in half, remove and discard the seeds and roughly chop.



Of which yellow peppers are my favourite. I don’t bother chopping up, I just wash and cut in half. 

I tend to use 1 or 2


Fresh Ginger & Garlic

If I don’t have ginger and garlic paste, I make a quick one. I wash my ginger and garlic very well and blend with fresh water which I then strain into the mix. 

For the paste, I use 2 – 3 tablespoons


Curry Powder & Dried Thyme

Must-haves in any pot of Nigerian stock – this twinned spices make a world of difference and add distinct sweet and warm notes to any pot.

I use 2 – 3 tablespoons of curry powder, 1 of dried thyme

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Need I say more – salt to taste.

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Yes. I list it as an ingredient :). I haven’t made mine with wine or beer or anything other than water.

Optional Ingredients

Sometimes, I add these – on a whim 🙂

  • Black/ white pepper – whole or ground
  • Coriander seeds
  • Bay leaves

To Cook

Place your ingredients in a pot. For a 5 litre stock pot,  I tend to use

  • 2 – 3 large onions
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 – 2 chilies 

And adjust the other ingredients to my taste. Then I cover it all with water.

Once Cooked

When my stock is ready, I put into bowls or jars. The fat will collect at the top but I don’t worry – I refrigerate or freeze and remove that layer before use.

Some people re-purpose that ‘fat’. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.


So there – my way to Nigerian style stock. What’s yours?


  1. Hey there!
    I’m new to Nigerian cooking, and I’m noooot good at mixing spices in the right ratios.
    1. For the 5L what are the quantities of each ingredient?
    2. I’m assuming I cook the meat with it at the same time

    Can’t wait to feed this to my nigerian husband

  2. This stock base sounds delicious! One question – do you mix the curry yourself, or is there a particular brand of curry powder you prefer? I like to make my own curry powder as I like a bit more cardamom than usual, but I would prefer to buy pre-made curry to save time when trying your stock recipe.

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