Boise has a handful of places where you can enjoy cuisine from various parts of Africa.
Ethiopian food? Check.
Grub from North Africa? Once again, you’re covered there.
But what about fare from West Africa? There hasn’t been much (if any) of that stuff around the Boise area. Well, you are about to get a dose of the bold flavors of Africa’s most populous country when the Taste of Nigeria African Cuisine (TONAC) food truck debuts early next month.
Starting Monday, Oct. 1, owner Zainab Abimbola will be setting up shop in the Standard Restaurant Supply parking lot (6910 W. Fairview Ave.) next to Bad Boy Burgers. This is where you will find Abimbola about five days a week dishing up food from her homeland.
The cuisine of Nigeria is a hodgepodge of flavor profiles from the country’s diverse ethnic groups. Rice, beans and yams, along with meats and seafood, make up the daily diet in Nigeria. Her menu focuses on the traditional dishes that she grew up eating.
“We do lots of rice in different ways, and we do yam porridge. So I have that for people to try,” Abimbola said.
“That’s what we eat.”
Nigerian fare is known for its heavily spiced, deep-flavored soups. Stop by and taste the tilapia-pepper soup ($15), verdant okra soup ($2), and eba and egusi soup ($9), a porridge-like concoction made with boiled-down cassava flakes and ground melon seeds, finished with spicy stewed greens and smoked fish.
And let’s not forget about the yam porridge ($9), slow-cooked with tomato sauce and topped with fried plantain and your choice of beef or chicken. Or you could go vegetarian with this dish. Another noteworthy pick is the stewed pottage beans riddled with chili pepper, plantain, dried shrimp and fish ($9).
Besides hearty soups, stews and porridges, also expect to find spicy jollof rice ($5), doughy meat pies stuffed with seasoned beef and veggies ($2.50 each) and other West African specialties.
“The meat pies are different than samosas (deep-fried meat pies common in East Africa). It’s made with sugar, salt, spices and ground beef, then baked,” she said.
“Some people don’t like fried food, so that’s why we bake them.”
For now, TONAC will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Monday and closed Tuesday. Abimbola eventually might drop the Sunday hours, based on whether or not she does much business on that day.
Check out her social media updates at facebook.com/tonac2018, and go to tonac.org to view the menu.
For large orders and catering, call 208-971-8293.