How to Make Ofada Stew/Sauce – Ayamase (Designer Stew) Recipe
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 specific rice it is usually served with (ofada rice). Ofada rice is popular rice grown here in Nigeria; it is named after the 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 leaf. This sauce is one of the sweetest sauces I have ever 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 a 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 are where you cant get ofada rice.
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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 low heat with the lid covered and it shouldn’t more than 5 minutes. You will also need to open the doors and windows 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 the heat and add your ingredient to fry. This is just a simple way to make this sauce with bleached palm oil. But if you don’t want to take the risk of bleaching palm oil on an 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 a cup of palm oil with a 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 you can add few red bell peppers. 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 is supposed 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
- (5 large green bell peppers(green Tatashe)
- 4 large red bell peppers (optional)
- 2 medium red onions, thinly chopped
- 3 Scotch bonnet peppers(Ata Rodo)
- 1 kilo of assorted meat (goat meat, beef shaki and Ponmo
- boiled eggs, as desired optional
- 3 Tablespoons locust beans(Iru)
- 1 cup of palm oil
- 1 tablespoon of ground crayfish
- 1 cup of stockfish or dried/smoked fish
- 3 seasoning cubes(Maggi)
- Salt to taste
Steps on how to make 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 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 off heat ofada stew is well cooked.
Serve ofada stew/sauce with boiled ofada rice or regular white rice and enjoy your meal.