Cookery Corner: How To Prepare Ofada Stew or Ayamase

Hi lovely people, weekend is at the corner and we are sure you must be planning lots of things to serenade your family with and we are so sure that food is part of your plans. (lol)

If you’ve been wondering how to prepare a simple sauce as Ofada stew but have not gotten it the right way, don’t worry. We have been able to put up a write up on how you can get it right but first, let’s get to know how Ofada stew came about.

Ofada sauce or stew, also known as Ayamase or designer stew, is a spicy pepper sauce prepared with green bell peppers, chillies, palm oil, locust beans (Iru) and assorted meat; It got its name from a specific rice simply called Ofada rice which is a popular rice grown here in Nigeria; it is named after a town called Ofada in Ogun State and it is traditionally served in an uma leaf or on a large green banana leaves. This sauce is one of the sweetest sauces you will ever come across because it is rich and flavoured. Apart from serving ofada stew with ofada rice, fried or boiled  plantain or yam can be used in its place as well.

Locust bean is key ingredient in ofada stew as it adds lots of nutty flavour to the sauce. One good thing about ofada stew is that you can make use of different types of peppers, especially the green bell peppers (tatashe) to make this sauce, and you can as well use only red bell peppers to make the red version of ofada sauce, but this depends on what you want. Ofada stew/sauce or Ayamase is usually served with local or brown rice, but you can choose to pair this with the regular basmati rice if you can’t get ofada rice.

Ofada stew/sauce ingredients

  1. (5 large green bell peppers(green Tatashe)
  2. 4 large red bell peppers (optional)
  3. 2 medium red onions, thinly chopped
  4. 3 Scotch bonnet peppers(Ata Rodo)
  5. 1 kilo of assorted meat (goat meat, beef shaki and ponmo)
  6. Boiled eggs (optional)
  7. 3 Tablespoons locust beans (Iru)
  8. 1 cup of palm oil
  9. 1 tablespoon of grounded crayfish
  10. 1 cup of stockfish or dried/smoked fish
  11. 3 seasoning cubes (maggi)
  12. Salt to taste

Steps on how to prepare Ofada stew

  1. Season the assorted meat with onions, pepper, maggi, and salt and cook until tender.
  2. Combine all the peppers, onions and blend, but it shouldn’t be so smooth.
  3. Place the pepper mix in a pot and cook until the liquid dries and the mixture thickens.
  4. Add palm oil into a pot, cover the lid and place on heat to bleach on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes, put off heat and let the oil cool completely before you open the pot.
  6. Bring the pot back on a medium heat, add onions and locust beans and fry until translucent.
  7. Add the pepper mix and stir-fry continuously for 10 minutes or until you notice patches of oil at the top. Season the sauce with some seasoning cubes, 1 tablespoon of grounded crayfish, stir, and then cover to cook gently for 5 minutes more.
  8. Bring the cooked meat into the sauce and stir-fry; this should take about 10 minutes.
  9. If the sauce appears too thick, add about some of the meat broth (the spicy water from the cooked meat) and stir to combine. If you have a very rich broth, you won’t need much of the stock cubes so that your sauce don’t turn out salty at the end. Just one will be enough.
  10. Add the boiled eggs, stir and taste for salt and adjust; then put off heat when the ofada stew is well cooked.
  11. Serve ofada stew/sauce with boiled ofada rice or regular white rice and enjoy your meal.

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