Nigeria is a country that is as diversified as its people, with over 250 different languages and cultures. The country is the largest black nation in the world. The people are known to be very hospitable and kind to visitors. They expect you to eat when you visit, and it is part of their culture to prepare special meals for visitors. These meals are as diversified as the people.
One of such is the Ofada Rice and Stew also known as Ayamase. This mouth watering delicacy is native to the Yorubas in the western part of Nigeria but in recent times its appeal has got other people from other parts of the country craving for a luscious dish.
HOW TO PREPARE
Nigerian Ofada Rice and Ofada Stew/Sauce recipe
•Prep time: 30mins
•Cook time: Over an hour
•Region : Western Nigeria
•Misc : Serve Hot
Ofada Rice is not a very interesting dish to make as it comes with its rigours. This local rice is not as posh as the long grain parboiled rice hence the need to wash thoroughly to remove sand and stones that come with it. Ofada Rice is cooked with a small portion of vegetable oil and some pinches of salt to taste. Leave to cook for thirty minutes. Wrap in wrapping leaves or served in plates.
•2 Cups Palm oil
•10 Green bell pepper
•1 Red cotch bonnet pepper (Ata rodo) Hanabero pepper
•2 chili pepper
•1 (Red Bell pepper a.k.a Tatashey
•1 Cup Locust beans rinsed (iru)
•500g Assorted meat: i used; Cow Intestines, Tripe a.ka. Sharki, pomo
•500g Beef (Red meat) cut in chunks
• Crayfish: 3tbsp. Ground
•1 Red Onion, diced
•2 Seasoning Cubes
•Salt to taste
Preparation of the assorted meat and beef stock:
Step 1: When using assorted beef, it’s best to take out time to wash properly. If you intend using Pomo, scrape out the dirty inner part (which is usually Sandy & dirty) including the outer skin thoroughly. If you intend using intestines, turn inside out and remove the saturated fats there (most people keep it in though). If using tripe a.k.a Towel or sharki in the Nigerian local market, wash thoroughly.
Step 2: Rinse the Beef and Assorted meat with clean water and dice into small bits, place in a medium sized pot. Add the seasoning cubes, Salt to taste, a little diced onion and 2-3 cups of water. Leave to cook till tender for about 30 mins to 1hr till tender. Set aside.
Preparation of the pepper puree:
Step 1: Remove the seeds from the green bell pepper and the red bell pepper thoroughly with clean water. Remove the stalk from the red Scotch bonnet (Ata Rodo) and chili and place in a blender. Puree till smooth.
Step 2: Pour the pepper puree in an empty pot and cook till all the liquid evaporates leaving the puree concentrated puree. Set aside.
Preparation of the Ofada Sauce
Step 1: The first step is to heat up the oil till it becomes clear like vegetable oil. This process is known as bleaching. Bleaching is best done in a ventilated kitchen to avoid being choked by the smoke so ensure you open all the windows if you have to.
To bleach, pour the oil in a dry empty pot. It’s best to use an iron pot (preferably an old one) because bleaching tends to stain pots. Cover the pot and heat up on medium for about 10mins then turn off the burner. Leave the pot covered and do not open till the oil cools off. Please note that timing is very crucial during this process so you have to be careful to avoid the situation where the oil catches fire.
Once the bleaching is done, the palmoil would look more like vegetable oil.
Step 2: Once the oil cools off, turn on the burner again. Add the diced onion and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the pepper puree and Iru,stir-fry for about 5 minutes till the oil separates from the puree (you’d see the oil settle at the top).
Step 3: Add the crayfish, cooked assorted meat and gently add the stock little at a time. Stir and taste to see if you need some more salt or seasoning. Add if necessary, Stir and cover the pot. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Turn off the burner and serve with Ofada Rice.