Thursday, 14 March 2013


I can already see the shaking heads and wagging fingers of staunch Nigerian foodies, but bear with me a second guys. My veggie makeover of this classic dish is just as jaw-droppingly good as the original. I promise!

And if you haven't heard of buka stew (a.k.a. Ayamashe), it's a pepper-based sauce with an assortment of meats (usually beef, tripe, goat meat and cow leg) cut into small, bite-size pieces and fried in palm oil. Go to any local restaurant in Nigeria and you're sure to find it on the menu.

This veggie version replaces the meat with fresh seasonal vegetables, while retaining the signature 'buka' taste.

3 large tomatoes or 1 large red bell pepper
2 carrots (cut into bite-size pieces)
1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (or two if you're feeling brave)
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
2 tbsp palm oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp crushed garlic
Pinch of salt

Blend the tomatoes/pepper and scotch bonnet pepper with a little water to form a smooth purée.

In a saucepan, bleach the palm oil by cooking it for 3-4 minutes on high heat (warning, your kitchen might get a bit smoky!) Reduce the heat and add the onions and carrots, stirring continuously until the onions soften.

Add the tomato/pepper mixture, along with the almonds, thyme and crushed garlic. Season with salt.

Simmer for 20-25 minutes on a very low heat. Serve on a bed of wild rice or brown basmati rice.


  1. Im not really for 'bleaching' palm oil because it is not a healthy option so I have always cooked my own version of this stew with olive oil and it tastes as lovely even though it does not have the 'mama-put' look.

    1. Yes, olive oil beats palm oil hands down. That's why I used a relatively small amount of it in this recipe. Might try a version with olive oil too. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I'm so glad I've found your website! Thank you so much for all these recipes. I can't wait to try them all.

    I'm not vegan, but I cook veggy or vegan most of the time. For the African dishes, I would just make them traditionally with meat. Now I can finally make these vegan too!!

  3. Oh and how many portions is this one? :)