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June 10, 2024

5 Nigerian stews you can make without tomatoes

5 Nigerian stews you can make without tomatoes

In this article is a compiled list of five economical, locally sourced stews that can be made without tomatoes

By Efosa Taiwo

With Nigerians staunch consumers of stew, tomatoes are a beloved staple, central to many traditional dishes.

But recently, the price of tomatoes have soared in the country with many Nigerians forced to search for alternative sauces to complement their daily meals.

In response, we’ve compiled a list of five economical, locally sourced stews and sauces that can be made without tomatoes:

Stews you can make without tomatoes

1. Garden Egg Sauce

A popular delicacy in southern Nigeria, Garden Egg Sauce serves as an excellent substitute for tomato stew. Essential ingredients include garden eggs (purple aubergine, white, or green), palm oil, smoked fish, ground pepper (chili or scotch bonnet), rinsed iru, onions, crayfish, and salt to taste. This versatile sauce pairs well with rice, yam, or plantain.

2. Pumpkin Leaf Sauce

Known locally as Ugu, pumpkin leaves are widely used in Nigeria. Pumpkin Leaf Sauce is not only flavorful but also healthy, consisting of a sauté of fluted pumpkin leaves and onions. Quick to prepare, this sauce requires chopped pumpkin leaves, seasoned beef or chicken (optional), meat stock, vegetable oil, chili pepper, onions, seasoning, and salt to taste.

3. Banga Stew

Known as Ofe Akwu, Banga Stew is a palm nut stew native to the Igbo tribe. Although extracting palm oil juice from palm nuts can be time-consuming, the resulting dish is deliciously rewarding. Ingredients needed are palm fruits or palm fruit concentrate, beef, dry fish, vegetables (scent leaves for Ofe Akwu or dried, crushed bitter leaves for Delta-style Banga soup), onions, crayfish, stock cubes, iru, salt, and chili pepper to taste.

4. Baobab Leaf Stew

A northern Nigerian delicacy, Miyan Kuka, or Baobab Leaf Stew, is a favorite among the Hausa tribe and is usually served with white rice. Key ingredients are beef, onions, dried fish, hot peppers (washed, soaked, and flaked), pounded kuka (baobab) leaves, dawadawa (fermented dried seeds of the African locust bean), yaji (suya seasoning), a pinch of potash, palm oil, seasoning cubes, and salt to taste.

5. Ofada Stew

Commonly called Ayamase, Ofada Stew is typically served with Ofada rice, a special local variety. However, it can also accompany regular white rice, yam, plantain, and even spaghetti. The simple ingredient list includes unripe habanero peppers, green tatashe or green bell peppers, locust bean seasoning (iru, ogiri okpei, or dawadawa), red palm oil, onions, crayfish, assorted meat, and fish.

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