This Ofada stew is different from ‘ayamase’ simply because of the choice of pepper. Green bell pepper is used for ayamase but if you want the proper ofada stew local taste, then I think you should try it with the red bell pepper and some tomatoes. To be honest I didn’t discover ayamase until I was in my 20’s. In my early young and upcoming years, I found out all the women I knew that cook and sell food for a living, used red bell peppers and tomato and it was always the bomb. You can’t fault it. In fact, I sometimes think they washed something else inside the food because you keep going back for more regardless of the distance you have to travel because you want to enjoy the authentic ofada stew.
Ofada rice is very tasty and rich in flavour but needs to be handled with care when cooking. You might need to pick out stones from the rice and also blow out some chaff too. I know someone who said they call ofada rice ‘Oh God rice’ because of the stones it contains. (You know what I mean if you have been a victim before as every second mouthful contains a stone) Can I also point out that one of the processes involved for this wonderful meal entails bleaching the palm oil which can be very dangerous if not handled with care. I recommend you bleach on a low heat in a well ventilated kitchen.
What you will need
Serves 5 adult and a child
4 Large red bell peppers
3 medium size tomatoes
2 – 3 scotch bonnet chilli
500g of cubed assorted meat ( I used fresh ponmo, shaki and beef)
6 boiled eggs peeled
2 tbsp Iru woro (locust beans)
Seasoning (used knorr beef cubes)
Salt to taste
5 cooking spoon of palm oil
2-3 tbsp ground crayfish (optional)
Boil assorted meat with 2 seasoning cubes, one onion and salt.
On a low heat, pour palm oil in a shallow pan and bleach till palm oil is transparent but not black (this should take about 30 minutes if done on a low heat)
While waiting on the palm oil to bleach, blend bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and scotch bonnet chilli on a pulse and bring to boil
To cook the sauce
If you see residue in the oil, allow the palm oil to cool down a bit and swap pan to a clean one then carefully pour the oil leaving the dirt out.
Place the swapped clean pan on a medium heat, and then add the chopped onions, then the locust beans. After about 30 seconds of frying add cubed assorted meat and fry for another 3 to 5 minutes
Add the boiled pepper and cook for about 5 minutes
Add boiled eggs
Add 2 seasoning cube and salt to your taste, add crayfish if using but I didn’t use it
Continue to cook until stew sizzles and palm oil floats on the top.
Plate up the ofada stew warm and serve with plantain or bean.