Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (2023)

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by Emmanuel Oyibo

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  • African Cuisines
Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (1)

Do you want to take your taste buds on a spectacular journey? If your answer is ‘yes’, then you need to visit Nigeria. As a West African country with a wide variety of ethnic communities, Nigeria has a varied and rich culinary tradition.

They have a myriad delicacies depending on what part of the country a person is. Numerous ingredients and staples cut across state borders as well.

Nigeria has one of the best cuisines in the world, which comprises dishes or food items obtained from the numerous ethnic group that makes up the country. Nigerian cuisine like those of other West African countries such as Ghana and the Benin Republic contains spices and herbs alongside palm or groundnut oil to produce deeply-flavored sauces and soups with an enticing aroma.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (2)

Rice is consumed in every part of the country either prepared as coconut rice, jollof rice, and fried rice or processed into the traditional dish Pate, which is a combination of rice with ground dry corn, spinach, tomatoes, onion, peppers, garden eggs, locust beans, groundnuts, biscuit bones, and minced meat.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (3)

Pate is commonly eaten in northwestern Nigerian states such as Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Plateau.

Some of the top soups consumed in the various regions of the country include Banga soup, Miyan Kuka, Okro soup, Ewedu soup, Pepper soup, Egusi soup, Afang, and Edikan Ikon soup. The ingredients used to prepare these soups range from local condiments such as processed locust beans (Iru), to vegetables such as spinach, waterleaf, bitter leaf, and pumpkin leaves.

These soups are generally eaten with ‘swallow’, starchy foods such as fufu, Eba, amala, starch, pounded yam, etc. Due to international influence in the Nigerian food culture by Portuguese, British, Dutch, and other European traders in the early days, spices such as Thyme, Curry, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Habanero pepper, and Scotch Bonnet are used.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (4)

Nigerian dishes never run out of protein. Various meats such as beef, mutton, and chicken and different species of fish are often used to garnish it to your relish. Also common in the southern regions of the country is the use of seafood such as prawns, periwinkles, clams, snails, and crabs for preparing soups and stews. These dishes will blow your taste buds!

This is one of the most popular foods in Nigeria and is eaten in every part of the country. You may wonder what it is that can be so highly rated and it will shock you to know that it is simply rice prepared with tomato, onion, pepper, and some other spices.

It is sometimes served with vegetables, chicken or beef and fried fish.This dish is not only popular in Nigeria but also in some other West African countries such as Ghana.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (5)

This is undoubtedly the popular staple food eaten in Nigeria. It is consumed in the majority of the households in Nigeria, irrespective of region or ethnicity. Garri is prepared from cassava. The cassava is first harvested, peeled, washed, and ground.

The grounded cassava is drained of water, some starch and hydrocyanic acid before it is sieved and fried in a hot pan. The result of this process is called garri.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (6)

Garri can then be used to prepare Eba simply by adding hot water into a bowl containing the desired quantity of garri granules. Eba can be eaten with any Nigerian soup such as Egusi soup, Okro soup, Banga soup, Afang soup, etc.

This is a very soft food served in several Nigerian homes and restaurants. It can be enjoyed with a variety of soups such as Ogbono, Egusi, vegetable, and Afang soups.The prepare Pounded Yam, the desired quantity of yam is peeled, washed thoroughly, and boiled to tenderness.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (7)

This boiled yam is then pounded in a mortar until a soft mash is formed. The people of Western Nigeria, called the Yorubas, are known to be very fond of pounded yam, but it is also eaten among the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria.

This is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria. It is consumed in several homes especially during celebrations. Its unique texture and fluffiness are some of the qualities that make this soup a special Nigerian delicacy.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (8)

The Egusi soup is prepared from processed melon seed using ingredients like stockfish, red oil, meat, stockfish, vegetables, seafood, onions, and other condiments. The soup is served with pounded yam, garri, amala, etc.

This is simply nicely cut beef that is spiced and grilled over an open flame. It is served with fresh cabbage, tomatoes, and onions. It is usually wrapped with old newspapers or aluminum foil and eaten during the evening.

This spicy delicacy is a specialty of the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria. A special kind of spice mix called Yaji is usually added to the meat before grilling.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (9)

This is another popular Nigerian delicacy. It is called Kosai in the Northern parts of the country. It is simply bean cake deep fried in either palm or groundnut oil.

The beans are first soaked in water to remove the skin and then ground to a mash that is then deep-fried. Another kind of Akara can also be prepared by frying grated water yam.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (10)

One of the really good foods you can eat in Nigeria that will blow your taste buds is Moi Moi. It is a very delicious dish that has earned its popularity due to its unique taste. Just like Akara, it is made from processed beans but the difference is that instead of being fried it is boiled.

Moi Moi can be garnished with fish, egg or crayfish. The basic ingredients are oil, tomatoes, pepper, salt and some spices. It can be eaten alone or with soaked garri, pap or custard; just do whatever works for you.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (11)

This is also a very common delicacy eaten in almost every part of the country. It usually contains a plethora of beef, chicken, mutton or fresh fish. It is usually sold at bars where it is accompanied by beer.

It is a very healthy soup due to the natural spices used to prepare it. A touch of pepper soup on the tongue leaves an unforgettable taste that will keep you asking for more. It is very spicy, delicious and comes with a nice aroma.

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Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (12)

This is a very common soup among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria. Nkwobi is prepared from cow legs and head, and is mostly a traditional dessert, adequately garnished with Utazi leaves and palm oil. It is usually eaten with a glass of palm wine, which is said to be the best drink to flush it down the belly.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (13)

This is a delicacy that is very popular among the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria. It originated from the Benin Republic. Ewa Agoyin is cooked mashed beans eaten with pepper sauce.

This sauce is made not just from pepper but also involves onion, tomato, crayfish, and some spices. This combination produces a taste that will make you ask for more.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (14)

This is another Nigerian food common among the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria. It is also called African salad. Abacha is prepared from cassava, which is first properly cooked, then grated before being sun dried. These sundried cassava flakes are then used to prepare Abacha.

This delicious delicacy is made with sliced Ugba (oil bean seed) and some fresh vegetables. It is mostly served with fried fish and ponmo (cowskin) and eaten as a dessert.

Ewedu is a delicious soup mostly associated with the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria. It is, however, a very popular delicacy in the country. Ewedu soup is made from the leaves of a Jute plant that is blended into a mucilaginous form such as okra soup.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (16)

Ewede soup is usually garnished with a lot of meat and ponmo (cowskin) and best served with Amala. A tomato-pepper sauce can also be added to the Ewedu soup to accommodate for the slight bitterness possessed by the Jute plant leaves.

If you visited Nigeria and didn’t taste this food, your trip was incomplete. There is an abundance of beans and plantain in Nigeria, therefore preparing this delicious delicacy is not a problem.

This combination is made as portage and richly garnished with dried fish and other ingredients that are meant to increase the quality. Beans and plantain is a very special Nigerian delicacy that I believe you would love to taste.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (17)

This is another important soup eaten in Nigeria. It is prepared from the seed of bush mango (a wild variant of mango) with oil, meat, stockfish, dried fish and other condiments. Ogbono soup is normally served with Eba, fufu or pounded yam.

The slippery texture of Ogbono soup earned it the sobriquet “draw soup”; this characteristic makes it go well with Eba or fufu balls. It is said to be one of the easiest soups to prepare.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (18)

This is a very popular soup in Nigeria, mostly common in the southern region of the country. This delicious soup is made from ripe palm fruit and adequately garnished with meats, fish and other special ingredients that give it a unique aroma and taste. It is mostly eaten with starch and sometimes white rice.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (19)
Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (20)

This is a very delicious Nigerian soup, which is mostly associated with the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria. Efo riro is made with a combination of pumpkin leaves, chicken or smoked fish, and beef. Vegetables like water leaf and spinach can also be used in place of pumpkin leaves.

This is another popular soup in Nigeria. It is mostly associated with the Efik tribe of Southern Nigeria. Afang soup is a vegetable soup prepared with meat, stockfish, and seafood such as prawn and periwinkles.

The leafy vegetable normally used to prepare this delicious soup is the Afang or Okazi leaves. Due to its toughness, the leaf is sliced into very tiny bits. Afang soup is best served with Eba, fufu or pounded yam.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (21)
Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (22)

This a very popular dish is associated with the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria. The word “Tuwo Shinkafa” means “mashed rice”. It is prepared by boiling rice to tenderness and then mashing it into a semi-solid form. It is served with soups like Miyan Kuka, Miyan Kardashi or even bean soup. It is usually eaten as either lunch or dinner.

This is a very delicious Nigerian delicacy, mostly common in the eastern region of Nigeria especially Enugu State. It is a kind of Moi Moi made from a special kind of beans called Bambara nuts.

Okpa is prepared by grounding Bambara nuts into flour and mixing it with hot water and other necessary ingredients. These ingredients include crayfish, palm oil, fresh pepper, pumpkin vegetables (if desired) and salt. The dish is very nutritious and delicious.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (23)

It is a very common practice to cook rice every Sunday in Nigeria. Most families boil white rice, which is eaten with stew or soup richly garnished with fish or meat as the occasion demands. Some of the soups which can be used to eat boiled white rice include Egusi soup, Banga soup, and vegetable soup.

If you ever visit Nigeria, make sure you have a taste of one or more of these wonderful delicacies. You will be glad you did.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (24)

Next check out our ranking of the most popular Nigerian desserts.

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (25)

Related: Most Popular Nigerian Christmas Foods

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (26)

Top 20 Nigerian Foods That Will Blow Your Taste Buds - Chef's Pencil (27)

Emmanuel Oyibo

Emmanuel Oyibo is a Nigerian writer and poet who believes the world can be a better place if we take attitude. Emmanuel is a graduate of Biochemistry and lives in Uyo, Nigeria.

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Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this information.

Reply

Well thought out list. I was very impressed and proud to be Nigerian.
Well done.

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i must say you did a good job writing this article admin it has made me know some new food and recipes to try out. thank you for this lovely article.

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The yam hub in Nigeria is Benue, and pounded yam is a staple of the Tiv people in Benue, Taraba and Nassarawa. Could you expand the pounded yam favour to cover Central Nigeria, Ogoja and Southern Taraba (sometimes considered as part of Central Nigeria though).

There is Tuwon Masara which is mashed maize and Kunun gyada , Masar Bauchi ( Masa) in the Northern part of the country Nigeria 🇳🇬

Reply

You could have given edikaikong a chance in your list because every Calabar restaurant sells it as the most popular eastern delicacy also the foods look better in reals than in your pictures.you could change that pls.

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There is okoho soup a delicacy of the idoma speaking people of North Central Nigeria, that goes with pounded yam. There are other soups like Genge and Beneseed soup from that part.

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The most common i think it should be rice

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Good job. Pls change the dish of gari, its rusted

Reply

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Some of these are not only Nigerian foods but continential food

Reply

Pls Efo riro is made with Efo shoko,Efo tete,Efo ebolo etc

Rice is the most staple food for we Nigerians. Every occasion without rice is a failure
Ricr can be eaten up to 3 or 4 times in a week. And everyone knows in Nigeria homes that rice and stew is a must have on Sunday. When you say copied please be sure to ask. Plus we grow our own rice

Reply

Rice is Asian people’s main food, not the black people’s main food. Nigerian and most of black people’s countries copied “rice” from Asian. This food is not original from black land. Main food is identity. So always keep looking for our black people’s main food. Our black people’s main find is our identity.

Reply

I have not heard so much nonsense in my life

Are you crazy everyone eats rice no one copied asians

What nonsense are you saying everyone eats rice. how can people copy Asians. Go educate yourself.

Are you an idiot? Spanish people eat rice, Asians eat rice, Africans eat rice. Americans eat rice. Everyone eats rice idiot.

Ignorant much you fool

see mumu, abeg go and educate yourself, nobody copied Asian ppl, literally EVERYONE eats rice.

Great list

Reply

Love this list. Appreciate the initative of it. Can you guys consider expanding the list to like 30, so we can see more local dishes. Like Ipowu soup and other native soups in other regions of Nigeria. You know we are a very very diverse people. Like I said , love your list.

Nice list… Stop insulting people

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Who eats tuwo

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Some of your pictures don’t visually represent our beloved Nigerian dishes properly. E.g Pictures of Egusi soup, Peppersoup, Suya, Ogbono soup. The worst is Okpa. I’m an original Enugu, ‘wawa’ girl and I would never think of Okpa if shown the picture you used in isolation. Pls you can represent our foods better as foreigners and expatriates read these blogs. Other than that, your list is comprehensive and well-written. Good job!

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Afang is one of the most Nigeria

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i noticed that while boiling meats you don’t grind the pepper…..why?

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nomnomnom

There are more foods from the north such as biski kunun gyada daneake and many more
Nigeria is blessed

Reply

I didn’t even see
Owho soup from the urhobo/Benin’s

This list isn’t complete without Edikaikong soup, it just has to be there.

Reply

Why did you not mention the Yoruba origins of some of the foods but you mention Igbo and Hausa origins ?

Reply

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FAQs

What is the spiciest Nigerian food? ›

Snail dishes are very popular in Nigeria, however, the most spiciest one is peppered snail. The meal is comprised of boiled snails stir-fried in onions, garlic, peppers, and other spices.

What are the top 10 spiciest foods? ›

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What is the healthiest Nigerian food? ›

Healthy Nigerian Dishes You Should Try
  • Moi-Moi. Made from beans, Moi-Moi is high in protein and contains fibre. ...
  • Edikang Ikong Soup. Edikang Ikong soup is a healthy soup made of two types of vegetables – waterleaf and Ugu. ...
  • Ogbono Soup. ...
  • Asaro/Yam Porridge. ...
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  • Peppered Goat Meat.
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What are the 7 types of food? ›

Food are divided into 7 different groups : drinks, carbs, fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat / fish / eggs, fats and high-sugar foods. Each of these groups provide different nutrients and should be consumed at a different rate.

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Basic foods
  • Baked goods.
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  • Legumes.
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What is the number 1 most delicious food in the world? ›

Rendang, Indonesia

Source Often called "the world's most delicious dish," Rendang is prepared by simmering beef with coconut milk with a mixture of the best of spices including turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, chillies, and galangal.

Which food is famous in the world? ›

Italian pizza is probably the most famous food in the World. Pizza has crossed the borders of Italy a long time ago and nowadays it is consumed all over the world. Pizza is the topmost liked food in the world.

What is the hottest food known to man? ›

The world's hottest pepper is the Carolina Reaper, grown by Ed Currie of the PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Ranked as the Guinness World Record's hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper peaked at about 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units, the scale used to rank how spicy peppers are.

What is the hottest food in the world 2022? ›

Reports of Dragon's Breath Peppers reaching over 2,480,000 Scoville units testify that Dragon's Breath Peppers are even hotter than Carolina Reapers! As of 2022, the Guinness Book of World Records does not consider the Dragon's Breath hotter than the Carolina Reaper, but that could change in the future.

Which country eats world's spiciest food? ›

Mexico. There's no doubt, the Mexicans can make the spiciest food in the world with their penchant for Jalapeno, Pabloan, Habanero, Ancho and Serrano peppers. These chilli and peppers that we just listed out are known to be the spiciest ones that you can find in the world.

Can you train your taste buds to like spicy food? ›

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The core of Igbo food is its soups. The popular soups are Ofe Oha, Onugbu, ofe akwụ, Egwusi and Nsala (White pepper soup). Yam is a staple food for the Igbos and is eaten boiled or pounded with soups.

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Beluga caviar

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  2. Dark Green Vegetables. Eat dark green vegetables at least three to four times a week. ...
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The basic food groups are: breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles and other grains. vegetables and legumes. fruit.

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Agidi, also known as Eko, is a popular breakfast meal in Nigeria. It is served in combination with other foods such as Akara (fried bean cake), beans, pepper soup, and other soups. Ogi or Akamu is corn pudding common in Nigeria, called ogi by the Yoruba and akamu by the Igbo.

What are finger foods in Nigeria? ›

In Nigeria, finger foods are popularly referred to as small chops. Back in the day, these were limited to Battered Fish, Mini Sausage Rolls, Snails, Peppered Gizzards, Barbecued Goat Meats (Asun), Puff Puffs and the like. But these days, some imported world recipes have joined the Nigerian Small Chops family.

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What is the top 7 cuisine in the world? ›

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  • 1st. Japanese. You cannot avoid the sushi, but Japanese cooking is so much more. ...
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  • 4th. Mexican. ...
  • 5th. Chinese. ...
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What is the most delicious fruit? ›

Top 10 Most Delicious Fruits
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  2. 2 Strawberry. ...
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What is the spiciest African food? ›

Some of the most popular spicy African dishes include West African chicken stew, Jollof rice, Curry goat, Chakalaka, Banku and okra stew, Kebabs, Egusi soup, and Pepper soup, among others that will be discussed in this blog post. So, without further ado, let's get started!

Is Nigerian food very spicy? ›

Nigerian cuisine, like many West African cuisines, is known for being spicy.

What is the spiciest food ever? ›

The Carolina Reaper pepper is a human-engineered pepper that is the hottest in the world to date. What is this? It's a hybrid of the ghost pepper and habanero pepper with a Scoville rating of 1.6 million units.

What is the number 1 spiciest thing in the world? ›

The Carolina Reaper is officially the Worlds Hottest Pepper as ranked by Guinness Book of World Records. It's hot, and by hot, we mean HOT! The Carolina Reaper can top-out at 2.2 Million SHU!

Which African country cooks best? ›

Ethiopia. Africa's oldest independent country offers the best of both worlds: an ancient cultural heritage and a unique, delicious cuisine consisting of vegetables, spicy meat, and varieties of bread.

Which African country cooks the best food? ›

Ethiopia is the perfect place for food lovers because of the variety of food. Ethiopian cuisine is unique, which makes it one of the best African countries to visit.

What is the number one food in Nigeria? ›

1. Fufu. Fufu (or foofoo, foufou) is one of the most commonly eaten Nigerian foods. It refers to a staple food made from cassava (fermented or unfermented) that's been boiled, pounded, and then formed into balls.

Which country eats the least spicy food? ›

Denmark Has the Least-Spicy Food in the World.

What are the top 20 hottest peppers? ›

These are the twenty spiciest peppers in the world.
  • 8 7 Pot Chili.
  • 7 Gibraltar Naga.
  • 6 Infinity Chili.
  • 5 Naga Viper.
  • 4 Chocolate 7 Pot.
  • 3 Trinidad Scorpion Butch T.
  • 2 Moruga Scorpion.
  • 1 Carolina Reaper.
12 Oct 2018

What is the 2nd hottest pepper in the world? ›

Dragon's Breath is a chili pepper cultivar officially tested at 2.48 million Scoville units, which would make it the second-hottest chili on record after Pepper X (which as we mentioned also remains unconfirmed by Guinness World Records as of 2021).

What is the top 10 hottest chilli? ›

2022 Top 10 Hottest Peppers
  • Carolina Reaper, 2,200,000 SHU.
  • Moruga Trinidad Scorpion 2,009,000 SHU.
  • 7 Pot Douglah 1,854,000 SHU.
  • Primo 1,469,000 SHU.
  • Butch T Trinidad Scorpion, 1,464,000 SHU.
  • Naga Viper, 1,349,000 SHU.
  • Ghost, 1,042,000 SHU.
  • 7 Pot Barrackpore, 1,000,000 SHU.

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