Buka Stew…. Iya Basira’s recipe!

” Buka stew”, the Queen Bee of Fried Stew!Buka stew is very different from our everyday fried stew in lots of ways.  Buka Stew takes longer to cook compared to and requires Palm oil to achieve the authentic taste, unlike the regular fried stew which is prepared with Vegetable/Sunflower/Olive oil. With Buka Stew, you don’t need too much tomatoes, you use more of bell peppers; a mixture of red and green. It’s important to note that Buka stew does not require lots of seasoning, all you need are Salt and Bullion cubes. No Curry, no  Thyme. You can include Curry and Thyme in the meat seasoning though.


4 Big Red Bell Peppers (Tatashe)

2 Big Green Bell Peppers (Green Tatashe)

1/2 Can Plum Tomatoes plum or 3 medium size tomatoes

2-3 Scotch Bonnet (Atarodo)

2 Big Onions, 1 whole, 1 chopped

Assorted meats (Roast turkey, Shaki, Ponmo, Beef, Lamb are ideal)

Palm Oil

Vegetable oil

3 Knorr  chicken cubes

Salt to taste


Wash and season your meats, boil them till tender on medium heat. Remember to boil the tougher meats for a while before adding tender meats. When that’s properly boiled, take them out and set aside. Keep the stock as we’ll be using it later.
I always start off by roasting my peppers. This helps to dry off the moisture and also adds a smokey flavour to my Buka Stew. This step is optional. If you choose to do this, preheat your oven to 200 degrees, pop the peppers in a roasting tray and roast for 30-40 minutes.image Blend the peppers along with an onion and the 2 scotch bonnet to a smooth paste and set aside.
Pour an equal amount of palm oil and vegetable oil into a pan.

I can’t give a precise amount of both cooking oil as this would depend on the amount of assorted meats you’ll be using.imageNow add the boiled meats and fry till brown on all sides….image When that’s done, take the meats out and set aside.
Leave the oil used for frying in the pan, you need about a cup full, decant the rest if you’ve ended up with more than that. imageI switched pots here cos I soon realised the earlier pot would be too small for the amount of meats I had.

Now, pour in the chopped onions, fry till fragrant and translucent.image
Next, add the in the blended pepper mix, 3 knorr cubes….imageFry until the pepper mix loses its sourness and the oil starts to flow to the top a little.image
Now, add the meat stock, you’ll need to add 2 cups to avoid using water. Water will water down the taste of the stew but if you haven’t got stock, you can use water but just a cup. imageLet this boil for 5 minutes.image
Now add the meats….image
Stir and let it cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Buka StewYou’ll know it’s reached its final doneness when the oil settles on the top. buka stew

buka stewimageI’m sure you would love to try this recipe out and if you do, please remember to drop me a feedback. Also remember to subscribe for email notifications of new recipes using the feature on the homepage and yeah….feel free to use the “Share” buttons below.


57 thoughts on “Buka Stew…. Iya Basira’s recipe!

  1. Hello Sisi, thank u so much for dis recipe, I can’t wait to try it. pls I want to ask do u also roast d scotch bonnet and also do u use fresh palm oil or u just use d one u use for frying? Also can I also use ata Ijosi too?

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Im so glad I found your site. I made this buka stew today, step by step and you know what? It was a big hit. My husband and kids loved it and I just kept eating without self control. It was delicious. Thanks for putting up this recipe. I have always prided my self as a very good cook but im learning so much more from your site. Thanks again

    • I’m so so sorry. WordPress has a way of hiding comments and notifications. I know this is 6 months laye but better late than never. Thanks di much for your lovely feedback, it’s well appreciated. I’m glad your family loved it and you find my recipes useful. You’re very very welcome….x

  3. Sisi jemimah, I made this yesterday and there’s barely enough for lunch today with the way everybody wanted second helpings. I looked everywhere for iru and couldn’t find it but I still cooked without it, I also threw in one red pepper with the mix and it turned out well. Thanks so much. I’m never boiling peppers/tomatoes again, roasting all the way

    • Hi, I’m so sorry for the late response. I never got the notification. Better late than never still. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a feedback and I’m glad the recipe worked out great. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and you’re welcome….x

  4. Sisijemimah the Queen of absolute good cooking,big ups to you, this weekend was fun as I tried the buka stew,Jollof rice and puff puff following all your recipes.It was absolute good cooking.Thanks a lot and God bless you.Also I refer people to you blog all the time.

    • Hi Vivienne, thanks for your lovely feedback(s) and for referring people to the blog, it’s thoroughly appreciated. God bless you more darl….X

  5. Ore mi Sisi, ( in Jenifa’s voice) “Thanking you ooooo, for this reciping ooooo.

    Had my Yoruba friends overduring the last bank holiday and served them this stew and you won’t believe they carry my pot join.

    I am making it again today for my family as they can’t stop talking about it.

    Thanking yous again. ? ? ? ? ?

    • I’m so so sorry for this late response. My notification settings keep switching up on me. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for the lovely feedback. You’re very welcome….x

    • H Fifi. Plum tomatoes are blended with the roasted peppers. If you do decide to use raw Roma tomatoes, then they should be roasted before blending. I’ll update the recipe shortly….

    • Sorry for the late response. Not sure how I missed your comment. I’m glad the recipe worked great for you. I really do appreciate the feedback….X

  6. Wow! Wow!wow every recipe on your blog from Jollof rice to buka stew to Asaro with ata dindin was a hit back to back. Thanks for sharing, you’re the best. Well done

  7. I tried out the buka stew exactly the way you described and it came out well…I love the smokey taste…Thanks for the recipe..Please I need to learn how to make special salad cream to get that eatery salad taste..kindly share…

    • Hi, sorry for the late response. Thanks for the lovely feedback, glad you loved the outcome. I’ll work on a recipe for Naija Salad cream and post as soon as I’m done. Thanks once again and happy new year….

  8. I tried out the buka stew exactly the way you described and it cm out well…I live the smokey taste…Thanks for the recipe..Please I need to learn how to make special salad cream to get that eatery salad taste..kindly share…

  9. Hi Jemimah what did you do with the tomatoes you shown in ingredients needed? You seemed not to have any directions of it when explaining the cooking procedure.

    • Thanks for pointing that out Rose, I’ll update the recipe shortly. It’s blended with the roasted peppers. I used canned tomatoes though, if you’re using raw tomatoes, they should be roasted along with the peppers, then blended…..

  10. I tried out the Egusi soup. At first was scared of using just peppers and not adding tomatoes as well as not frying the egusi but i decided to follow your guide strictly and the result was .. amazing! You are a blessing dear.


    • Yay! Awesome feedback, thanks for trying out the recipe and taking the time to drop a comment, I’m glad you loved it. Loads of people are used to the frying method but I think its all too much work for nothing, the boiling method works just fine when done properly. Thanks once again 🙂

  11. Hi SJ.. I must commend your blog. You’re doing a fab job. Would love to confirm if the palm oil should be semi bleached before frying the meats. I want to try this out tomorrow. Thanks

    • Hi Ekaete, you don’t need to bleach if you’re frying the meats with the palm oil, it’ll bleach a little as you cook but you can bleach the oil for frying the pepper if you want, though it’s not necessary. Thanks for stopping and the kind words, I totally appreciate….

  12. wow. hubby thought yorubaland was in our rivers state kitchen this afternoon. Sisi Jemimah ,AAAAHHHH. thank YOU

  13. I tried your jollof rice recipe yesterday and it came out very nice. Thank u very much for this. Will surely try this Buka stew tomorrow. More wisdom SJ.

  14. Hello Sisi,

    This is my first time on your blog, i really love the way you did this recipe…i will share this recipe with bae so i can have a taste of these stuff i am seeing here…THANKS a bunch

  15. SJ u r doing a gr8t job, God bless u richly.. Is der a substitute to d red bell peppers cos dey r quite expensive here in phc, can one use d regular pepper? Tanx

    • Hi Aijay, thanks so much for stopping. If by regular pepper, you mean Shombo, yes you can use Shombo. Red bell peppers are Tatashe though….

  16. I tried this and it came out perfect but dont know it got burnt whilst still trying to boil the pepper,i had to change to another pot.thanks so much

    • Just seeing this, I know right, boiling pepper can be so tricky, take your eyes off for a minute and it gets burnt. Still glad it came out perfect. Thanks for the feedback and you’re very welcome….

  17. Ur recipes and steps are everything… Thank you really…! Pls keep it coming. I have tried this and yr jollof rice and lawd what a wow…lol

    • Aww, thanks so much for the lovely feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed it, definitely more recipes to come…:)

  18. ….and this one (made it alongside the minced meat stew). I could have sworn iru was involved somewhere. Perhaps from some other recipe. Well I blended some iru with the peppers (that and I didn’t smoke my peppers). The aroma, *swoon*….The taste, *slow clap*

    • I’ve actually added Iru to Buka stew a couple of times before and it tasted wow, though I didn’t think to blend it in with the peppers. I’ll try your twist, sounds interesting, I’m glad you loved it….

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