The cuisine of Niger takes after many traditional African cuisines, and a significant amount of spices are used in dishes. Grilled meat, seasonal vegetables, salads and various sauces are some of the foods consumed.
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 stews are usually made with vegetables because meat is very scarce. 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.
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