Nigerian Ayamase / Ofada Stew Recipe
Funny enough, the Ofada sauce got it name from the local rice it is usually served with (Ofada rice), the sauce itself is called Ayamase . The pairing is however so perfect that when people talk about ofada rice they automatically associate it with the ayamase stew. First time I tried Ofada sauce was in 2003 at that time it was the best thing I had tasted.
After several trials and tribulations and speaking to loads of people in Nigerian local food industry, here is a complete recipe of how Ayamase is prepared. As with many Nigerian dishes, recipes often vary but the common premise is the same. Ayamase is made with green peppers, hot, contains several cow parts, palm oil is bleached and the star of the dish is Iru (LOCUST BEANS).
You can choose to serve the sauce with regular rice but the local Ofada rice definitely adds something to the dish.
- 5 large green bell peppers (Green Tatashe)
- 1 large red onion (Albasa) (Divided)- Thinly chop half
- 3 Scotch Bonnet peppers (Ata Rodo )
- 1 cup each – boiled Goat meat, shaki and Ponmon (chopped into small pieces)
- 4 boiled eggs – optional
- 6 Tablespoons locust beans (Iru) (Divided)
- 1 1/2 cups palm oil*
- 3 cubes maggi
- Salt to taste
- In a blender, combine the peppers, half locust beans and half onion. Blend until almost smooth
- Pour the blended pepper mix into a strainer (ase) and let excess water drain out
Some choose to parboil the pepper mixture to remove excess water, this is an unnecessary step as you can achieve the same goal by simply straining.
- Set another large pot with a tight fitting lead on medium heat, add in the palm oil. Bleach the oil for 5-10 minutes. Just until the oil changes to a lighter color
It will definitely get smoky, leave the pot covered throughout the bleaching process. If you have a backyard or balcony, gently take the pot out when the oil is bleached. Open the pot and leave outside until all the smoke is gone. If you cant take the pot outside, turn off the heat, open the pot slightly and leave to rest until all the smoke is gone.
- Return the oil to high heat, add in the chopped onion and left over locust beans. fry until the onion is a bit golden
- Add in the parboiled meat and fry until lightly browned (Stir often so the meat doesn’t stick or burn)
- Add in the pepper mix, eggs, salt and maggi. Stir to combine
- Decrease the heat to low-medium, cook the sauce until oil floats to the top (45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your stove)
- Remove and discard the excess oil before serving, the point of using lots of oil is to help the sauce fry. Enjoy!
Serve sauce on Ofada or regular rice.