The cuisine of Niger draws on traditional African cuisines. Various spices are used and meals include grilled meat, seasonal vegetables, salads, and various sauces. Meals in Niger usually start with colorful salads made from seasonal vegetables. Moringa leaves are a favorite for a salad.
Typical Nigerien meals consist of a starch (rice being the most popular) paired with a sauce or stew. The starches eaten most often are millet and rice. Staple foods include millet, rice, cassava, sorghum, maize and beans. Couscous is saved for special occasions. Porridge, wheat dumplings, and beignets are some of Niger's popular snacks.
Plant agriculture production in Niger is significantly reliant upon rainfall to provide water for plants, and droughts have adversely affected Niger's agriculture production in the past, threatening the country's domestic food supply.
Some spices were brought to Niger by Arabian travelers, and include ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, saffron, and cloves. Hot spices are also used in Nigerien cuisine. Sometimes spices are used to marinate meats to add flavor.
- Jollof rice
- Dambou, dish made from cereals and moringa leaves
- Moringa, prepared with leaves of the "drumstick tree", the pods and flowers of which are also edible
- Stews and soups
- Millet porridge
- Palm nut soup
- Hope for a Better World – Monique Mitchell. p. 110.
- Niger – Rabah Seffal. p. 115.
- Cuisine in the Sahara FoodSpring.com Retrieved 2012-03-22
- Von Braun 1995, p. 176.
- "Niger food and drink guide".
- The Recipes of Africa – Dyfed Lloyd Evans. pp. 101-103.
- Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine - James C. McCann. p. 112.
- Farmer-based Financing of Operations in the Niger Valley Irrigation Schemes. p. 5.
- Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine - James C. McCann. p. 133.
- Von Braun, Joachim (1995). Employment for Poverty Reduction and Food Security. Intl Food Policy Res Inst. pp. 174–196. ISBN 0896293327