Nigerian Buka Stew (Obe Ata)

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This buka stew is the classic yoruba stew that has been made popular by local buka joints in western Nigeria. The distinctive characteristic of the stew come from the use of palm oil and open flame cooking. It’s traditionally prepared with numerous parts of cow which are deep fried before being added to the stew.
This is an authentic recipe that was passed down to me by a great aunt. When she shared the recipe, she made a point of telling me no two buka recipes taste the same for a great reason; because it’s more of an art than a science. The sellers often go for whatever is cheapest a the point of shopping. I like to be very particular with my cooking, so this recipe was developed, tried and approved . Do try it and let me know how it goes.


(Part A)

  • 2 large red bell peppers (Tatashe)
  • 2 large green bell peppers (green tatashe)
  • 1 large red onion (chopped)
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 scotch Bonnet peppers (Ata Rodo)

(Part B)

  • 1/2 small red onion (chopped)
  • Meat (goat meat, ponmo, shaki (tripe), panla (dried cod) and any other choice of meat)- Pre-cooked
  • 4 Boiled eggs (optional)
  • 1 cup palm oil
  • 3 cubes Knorr or maggi
  • Salt to taste



  • Combine Part A  in a blender or food processor, puree to a fine paste

  • Pour the pureed mixture into a medium pot, set on high heat. Cook for 20mins to remove excess water.
    • Alternatively you can microwave the mixture for 10 minutes on high. DSC03613


  • Set a large pot on medium heat, add in half of the  palm oil , bleach for about 2-5 minutes, add in the chopped onions and fry until dark. Remove and discard the onions.



  • Add in the parboiled pureed mixture, ½ – 1  cup water (depending on how thick you like your stew), Knorr cubes  and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes


  • Reduce the heat to below medium, add in the precooked meat and eggs (if using). Combine.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.



  • Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add in the left over palm oilDSC03639
  • Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. The stew is ready to serve when oil floats to the top.

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Serve on white rice or as a sauce for Okele.


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Lose It Nigerian

By |March 22nd, 2011|71 Comments


  1. SAMUEL December 21, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I am in New york and the person we rely on for cooking disappointed us so i want to show my cooking skill but i dont have recipi 4 boiling meat

  2. […] queen of Yoruba stews doesn’t require tomatoes and it is one of the most delicious things you will ever […]

  3. EWEDU ELEGUSI SOUP | AfroDelicacy March 13, 2017 at 11:35 am - Reply

    […] (Jute + melon seed) is a yoruba dish that is traditionally served with Gbegiri (beans soup) and or palm oil based stew. This combination is often reserved for amala (fermented yam dumpling) and served as everyday lunch […]

  4. ify March 5, 2016 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Gud day I just made dis ,thanks to ur recipe and guidelines. It was amaziinnnnnggggg .wondering why I hadn’t tried it since. Love it. Thank u.

  5. Brooke February 18, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    What meat did you cook with here? Looks great!!

  6. sagat January 30, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    This has too much oil which is not good for you. This is the reason the average Nigerian suffers from stroke, heart disease and other related diseases. We should be using less oil and everything in moderation

    • Nth January 30, 2016 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      Okkk, no one touted this as healthy. You are, however, at liberty to cook what you please or select from any of the other healthy recipes available on this site…or elsewhere.

    • Ah October 7, 2017 at 11:52 pm - Reply

      What is this Sagar frothing about? Where did you get your statistics re: stroke and Nigerians? Here we go again with some ignoramus pushing an opinion as fact. Who told you palm oil is unhealthy? Go cook with sand then!

  7. […] a class thing. According to my grandma, it takes money to cook a proper pot of stew (Obe ata), which is why we don’t have lots of one pot […]

  8. shuga December 4, 2015 at 2:13 am - Reply

    Pls d palm oil added after everything is it part of d heated 1 r just straight from d bottle?

  9. chineze July 19, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Am definitely going to try this out. Am an Igbo girl and I live in the east I have never tried any recipe except my traditional recipes and the Western recipes, I think am up for some food adventure! I know my husband will like this. Thanks.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 19, 2015 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      He sure will! do let us know how it turns out.

  10. danny June 13, 2015 at 3:28 am - Reply

    I tried it and the aroma was inviting it was served on oke le and letter rice. Thanks so much keep the good work on.

  11. Ugo May 22, 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Just happened to stumble on this blog while looking for moi-moi recipe. I must say, its fantastic.I tried the buka stew this night couldn’t wait till morning and it turned out really well. Im so excited about trying out a lot more. Thank you sooooooooooo much!
    Please do you have the recipe for sea food okro?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie May 24, 2015 at 8:55 am - Reply

      awww, thanks much for the feedback. Yes we do, you can find it here

  12. Hannah May 19, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Please 9jafoodie can you do a post of how to make the okro sauce, the one in this post ( I am soooo looking forward to making this.

    Just wanted to say fantastic work with everything. Your site is my numero uno and only for cooking authentic Nigerian delicacies. 🙂

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie May 19, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you much. Sure thing! I will add the recipe.

  13. Iris April 13, 2015 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Sounds delicious, it’s just difficult to get some of the meat stuffs here.

  14. […] a beans based soup popular among the Yoruba people, it’s often served with Jute soup (Ewedu), Buka Stew and Amala. The soup is also cooked by the Hausa people, it’s called Miyan Wake and typically […]

  15. […] Recipe : Nigerian Stew […]

  16. Nma Nazzy December 8, 2014 at 12:32 am - Reply

    This Christmas is for me and your blog. Expect feedback. Congrats on having Ara; she’s adorable.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      Thank you so very much. looking forward to feedback!

  17. Nayomi October 4, 2014 at 6:21 am - Reply

    This is so cool I luv u 9jafoodie

  18. | Lee Loves Quotes August 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    […] Stew – Obe-ata […]

  19. yetkol August 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Must it always be green pepper? Can I substitute for yellow pepper instead of green or it doesn’t give the same result?
    Secondly can I use vegetable oil instead of palm oil?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      The red pepper is the most important part.. substitute yellow or orange peppers with the green. You can use vegetable oil but the taste wont be the same.

  20. Deola August 3, 2014 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Hubby enjoying my food more,thnks to u!!!!!!! My num.1 Naija recipe book. God bless u more.

  21. Nasa July 15, 2014 at 5:46 am - Reply

    Will make this for hubby this weekend!

  22. Pamela pius June 23, 2014 at 3:25 am - Reply

    Wow dis looks good cant wait to try it

  23. DVees June 6, 2014 at 6:02 am - Reply

    We can spell we promise 🙂 *Nigerian

  24. DVees June 6, 2014 at 5:58 am - Reply

    We featured your buka stew recipe in our 10 essential niegrian dishes to know 🙂

  25. CharliseA February 25, 2014 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Did you add peanut oil in your recipe?

  26. Anonymous February 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    The left over palm oil you pour after putting the pre cooked meat has it been heated before now .

  27. Gal February 2, 2014 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Would like to try this and cook it for my bf…but i don’t know what are these different oils, im not Nigerian but my bf is so i want to surprise him

  28. TallChica November 17, 2013 at 3:58 am - Reply

    I have heard some people use Annato oil for flavoring and color instead of Palm oil…I’ve never tried is though, o!

  29. Ashley November 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Should I add the boiled egg in whole to the stew or should I cube it up before I put it in? Thank you!!

  30. YETTI October 7, 2013 at 10:36 am - Reply

    what if you do not eat palm oil for health reason is there a way you can still get the taste using an alternative? or just none?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      You can try with Groundnut oil… but you need palm oil for the authentic taste

  31. Remi October 6, 2013 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Wow, so mouth watery yet so deadly!
    Is there a way to cut down on the frying and the palm oil in the main pot without clogging up our arteries?

  32. Myra October 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    What’s the egg for?

    • e__victor
      e__victor October 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      I believe its optional. Some people* put eggs in everything 😀

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      It’s added into the soup with other proteins

  33. Anonymous October 5, 2013 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Me likey! Wanna have this now. Can I ve some dear?

  34. Anonymous September 15, 2013 at 7:46 am - Reply

    Omg,tried it yesterday.
    Bless you. Xx

  35. Anonymous July 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    If you are using Palm Oil, you do not need peanut oil .It’s one or the other. For a more authentic flavor, use fresh tomatoes blended with onions, celery, e.t.c .Tomato paste or puree should be added and let simmer for a good hour to take that tart taste off. now you have an authentic stew.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie September 15, 2013 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. Peanut oil and palm oil both add to the flavor profile of the stew.
      Tomato paste and celery have no place in local stew.

  36. Roseline April 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    okay, So I’m staarring hard at how delicious this must taste and all of a sudden I’m smelling this obe ata through my computer screen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So trying this…………Never thought of adding the eggs

  37. Roseline April 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    okay, So I am working at work and all of a sudden I’m smelling this obe ata through my computer screen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So trying this now

  38. Yinkasma March 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    I made the sauce for egusi first –which was delicious. Then I used the remaining sauce for a stew a few days later. What a time saver to make ahead and store!!!! Thank you!!!

  39. Nollywood REinvented February 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you. Thank you… Thank you…. was scouring the internet for this all day

  40. nky April 2, 2012 at 11:41 am - Reply

    I wish i can have dis now

  41. Gbemi January 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Mouth watering!!
    Now I need to drag myself out of bed and go cook something :o)

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      Lol…. I have missed you!!

      • Jackson July 21, 2015 at 2:40 pm - Reply

        I just finished cooking this awesome stew, thanks a lot for the recipe

        • 9jafoodie
          9jafoodie July 26, 2015 at 7:30 am - Reply

          Great! you are welcome

          • fan November 26, 2016 at 4:43 am - Reply

            Just want 2 know if I can use gnut oil at d initial stage instead of bleaching palm oil. Then add d palm oil later

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