How to Make Ofada Stew/Sauce – Ayamase (Designer Stew) Recipe

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Ofada sauce is a spicy pepper sauce prepared with green bell peppers, chillies, palm oil, locust beans (Iru) and assorted meat; Ofada stew/sauce which is also known as ayamase or designer stew got its name from a specific rice it is usually served with (ofada rice). Ofada rice is a popular rice grown here in Nigeria; it is named after a town Ofada in Ogun State,

ofada stew is very spicy and filled with lots of meat like Buka stew recipe, and it is specifically called Ayamase stew by the Yoruba people, this delicious dish is great for lunch or dinner and it is traditionally served in an uma leaf or on a large green banana leaves. This sauce is one of the sweetest sauces I haveever come across, it is rich and flavourful. Apart from serving ofada stew with ofada rice, fried plantain or yam can be used in its place.

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 these 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 are where you cant get ofada rice.

Important tips for making Ofada stew/ sauce

  • When preparing Ofada stew, you need to be very careful while bleaching the palm oil as it can easily catch fire (palm oil is highly flammable when heated).
  • Make sure you bleach the oil on a low heat with the lid covered and it shouldn’tsit more than 5 minutes. You will also need to open the doors and window of your house to allow ventilation while on this process.
  • Once the oil is bleached to your liking, put off the heat and wait for the oil to cool down first before you open the lid to add the needed ingredients.
  • Once the oil is cool, place it back on heat and add your ingredient to fry. This is just a simple way to make this sauce with the bleached palm oil. But if you don’t want to take the risk of bleaching palm oil on open fire, please just heat the oil until hot then fry the rest of your ingredients, it will still turn out fine. After all, there are different ways of making a particular dish, however, you can simply combine cup of palm oil with cup of vegetable oil making it one whole cup for this sauce, and it will still taste fine.
  • Ofada stew is usually prepared with green peppers, but I decided to include few red bell peppers to mine. It’s a matter of preference.
  • Before you blend the peppers, take a little time to remove some of the seeds first to avoid too hot and spicy afada sauce especially if are the type that can’t cope with spicy and hush food.
  • Iru or locust beans are important ingredients in ofada sauce (ayamase), make sure you add it to this sauce for that unique flavour.
  • You can choose not to add crayfish to this sauce if you want, but if you must do, add just a little quantity because it’ssupposed to be mild and not intense, so that it won’t overpower the taste of other ingredients. Boiled eggs are optional; you can still prepare ofada stew without them.
  • Additionally, ofada rice (unpolished) rice has this strong aroma (pungent smell) when it is been cooked, soak it in hot water and rinse properly before cooking.

Ofada stew/sauce ingredients

  1. (5 large green bell peppers(green Tatashe)
  2. 4 large red bell peppers (optional)
  3. 2 medium redonions, thinly chop
  4. 3 Scotch bonnetpeppers(Ata Rodo)
  5. 1 kilo of assorted meat (goat meat, beef shaki and Ponmo
  6. boiledeggs, as desired optional
  7. 3 Tablespoons locust beans(Iru)
  8. 1 cupspalm oil
  9. 1 tablespoon of ground crayfish
  10. 1 cup of stockfish or dried/smoked fish
  11. 3 seasoning cubes(maggi)
  12. Saltto taste
Ingredients for making afada stew
Ingredients for making afada stew

 

Steps on how to make afada 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 shouldnt be so smooth.
  3. Place the pepper mix in a pot a 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 ground 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 cup of the meat broth and stir to combine, if you have a very rich broth, you wont need much of the stock cubes so that your sauce dont 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 of heat ofada stew is well cooked.
  11. Serve ofada stew/sauce with boiled ofada rice or regular white rice and enjoy your meal.

Simple steps on how to prepare ofada sauce with pictures

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 shouldnt be so smooth. I like mine with chunky consistency.

Blended pepper for making ofada stew
Blended pepper for making ofada stew

 

3. Place the pepper mix in a pot a cook until the liquid dries and the mixture thickens, to save time, you can just strain out the liquid using a colander.

4. Add palm oil into a pot, cover the lid and place on heat to bleach on a low heat for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, put off heat and let the oil cool completely before you open the pot. The palm oil must not turn black, once it is clear thats fine.

5. Bring the pot back on a medium heat, add some chopped onions and locust beans and fry until translucent with sweet flavour.

Bleached palm oil- once the oil is light, you can put off heat and wait for it to cool first
Bleached palm oil- once the oil is light, you can put off heat and wait for it to cool first

 

Frying of Onions and Iru (locust beans in bleached oil
Frying of Onions and Iru (locust beans in bleached oil

 

6. Bring the pepper mix into the oil and stir-fry until you notice patches of oil at the top, this should take about 10- 15 minutes. Season the sauce with some seasoning cubes, 1 tablespoon of ground crayfish, stir, and then cover to cook gently for 5 minutes more.

The pepper mixture should be allowed to fry a little bit longer for at least 10 minutes
The pepper mixture should be allowed to fry a little bit longer for at least 10 minutes

 

Once the pepper is properly fried you will notice traces of oil on top, you can now season it with one tablespoon of crayfish and seasoning cube
Once the pepper is properly fried you will notice traces of oil on top, you can now season it with one tablespoon of crayfish and seasoning cube

 

7. Add diced meat and stir-fry continuously for 10 minutes or until almost golden.

8. If the sauce appears too thick, add about cup of the meat broth and stir to combine, if you have a very rich broth, you wont need much of the stock cubes so that your sauce dont turn out salty at the end just one will be enough.

Assorted meat can now be added to the sauce
Assorted meat can now be added to the sauce

 

After the meat, stir properly and leave the stew to cook for a while to infuse delicious flavour
After the meat, stir properly and leave the stew to cook for a while to infuse delicious flavour

 

9. Add the boiled eggs stir and taste for salt and adjust, then put of heat; ofada stew is well cooked.

Ofada stew is ready once all the ingredients are combined
Ofada stew is ready once all the ingredients are combined

 

10. Serve ofada stew/sauce with boiled ofada rice or regular white rice and enjoy your meal.

Rich and spicy ofada stew/sauce recipe
Rich and spicy ofada stew/sauce recipe

 

Serving of Ofada rice and stew together
Serving of Ofada rice and stew together

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