Ayamase – Ofada Stew

Ayamase is an increasingly popular Nigeria stew. It’s such a hit at parties and gatherings, you’ll be swooned at the first try. Ayamase is very easy to prepare, even you would be shocked to discover just how easy it is.

Like my Buka Stew recipe, click HERE for the recipe, I’ll be roasting my peppers for added flavour. There’s just something about using roasted peppers for stews and soups, they turn out extra flavourful. Roasting your peppers also cancels out the need for pre-boiling your pepper before frying as this process dries out the moisture. Roasting also makes blending easy, you wont need to add water when blending.

I should also state that I am not an advocate for overly bleaching Palm Oil to the point where it begins to look like clear vegetable oil,  I had a really bad accident while bleaching Palm Oil in 2010, my kitchen was badly charred, I’ve since sworn off it. If you feel the need to, please feel free to do so. Truth be told, I’m yet to  see a difference between heavily bleached and moderately bleached palm oil in Ayamase.

So, let’s get started…


6 Green Bell Peppers (Green Tatashe)

3-4 Scotch bonnet (Ata Rodo)

1 Big Red Onion Chopped

Palm Oil ( Not specified cos you’ll  be frying the meats with it as well)

1 Cup Chicken or Beef Stock (optional)

4 Cups Boiled Assorted Meats( cut into bite size chunks)

2 Heaped Tablespoons Locust Beans (Iru)

1 Cup Shredded Boiled Stockfish (Panla)

2 Tablespoons Dried Crayfish

2 knorr Chicken Cubes or your preferred bullion cube

Salt to taste


If you’ll be roasting your peppers, do so by placing them on a foil tray or roasting tray, place in a preheated oven, 200 degrees and roast them for about 45 minutes. When they’re roasted, blend coarsely and set aside. I haven’t got the roasted peppers photo but do click HERE to have an idea if you’re interested…

Place a big pot on a hob on medium heat, pour in palm oil, enough quantity to fry your meats. Leave to bleach for 15-10 minutes thereabouts, when the oil is bleached, pour in your meats and fry till slightly crisp. When they’re all fried, scoop out the meat and side aside.ayamase ofada stew
Now you need at least a cup of Palm oil. Use the same Palm oil used for frying the meats. If you’ve got up to a cup, that’s fine if not, add more. Leave the pot on the hob.

Forgot to show you earlier, this is how my bleached oil looks for Ayamase, I only ever bleach for 15-20 minutes…..imageAdd the onions. Sauté till fragrant…ayamase ofada stew
Now add the locust beans(Iru), sauté till it releases its flavour and aroma….ayamase ofada stew
Now add the crayfish, be careful not to add too much so it doesn’t overpower the authentic Ayamashe aroma, also add the  shredded Stockfish…

I added a little bit of palm oil as I noticed the earlier quantity wouldn’t be enough, hence the darker colour…Ayamase ofada stew
Fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the blended green pepper…Ayamase ofada stew
Stir to combine, add the knorr cubes and salt to taste. Be careful not to add too much seasoning as you’ll be adding stock later on…
Now cover and let this fry till oil floats to the top. Do check every now and then to prevent burning.
When oil flows to the top as pictured below…

Ayamase ofada stew

Now add the fried meats, combine….

Ayamase ofada stew

Now add the eggs …

Ayamase ofada stew

You can add the stock if you find the consistency too thick as palm oil has a tendency to thicken soups up. Cook for a further 8-10 minutes.

Switch off the heat and let it simmer with the residual heat, at this time, the oil will float to the top. And it’s done..

Ayamase ofada stew
Serve with Ofada rice or any kind of cooked white rice, fried plantain or even yam….Ayamase ofada stewAyamase ofada stew


Does this Ayamase sound like a recipe you would like to replicate? If you do decide to, please leave us a feedback, be nice to know how you get on. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for email updates of new recipes. Enjoy!

69 thoughts on “Ayamase – Ofada Stew

  1. Hi sisi, this was da bomb! I love all your recipes. You have made me a great iya alase in my home. God bless you real good.👏👏😘😘

  2. Sisi Jemimah, I was wondering why Nigerians bleach palm oil before using it to cook. I’m Ghanaian and i’m hoping you would explain. Thanks

    • Dont know how to explain this but ill try. Regular palm oil is a tad too thick for some stew consistencies hence the need to bleach/ thoroughly dissolve first. Bleached palm oil also has it’s own distinct flavor which enhances certain stew types..

  3. Thank u sisi, for the ayamase ofada stew I want to kno if the green bell pepper is the Same as tatase. My cooker doesn’t have an oven how do i burn d pepper can I use microwave

  4. Hello sisI Jemimah! Thank you for all of your amazing recipes.For this ofada stew,can it be done without Iru .would it sill come out nice?

    And also I wanted to ask if you wouldnt mind doing youtube videos for all these sumptous recipes,I think it would be nice

  5. I followed the recipe and when I was done, the ofada stew was bitter- I have no clue how that happened. was it frying the locust beans or roasting the bell pepper? pls help

    • You probably fried your locust beans for too long, roasted peppers shouldn’t taste bitter unless you accidentally burnt them….

  6. Hi Sisi Jemiah i would just like to know where i get the stock from. is it from boiling the meat before its fried?

  7. Hi Sisi Jemimah, stumbled on your blog a couple of days back and must confess that you’re doing an awesome job. You seem to have recipes for everything food. Lol! Please keep it up. However, 2 things;1- the igbo name for locust beans is ‘ogiri’. Dawadawa is hausa. 2- I want to try out the ofada sauce this weekend but I need to be pretty sure of the green bell pepper you mean. You confirmed that the green pepper you mean is the one used for fried rice but I think that will give it a kind of continental dish taste. So kindly confirm again; between unripe tatashe and green pepper. Also, can unripe scotch bonnet pepper be used in place of the red one? Look forward to your response. Thanks!

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by and the lovely comment. Ogiri is not locust beans, they are similar but different. Ogiri can’t be used for this recipe. The Green pepper is the same used for fried rice; Unripe red bell pepper is the same as green bell pepper. Yes, you can use unripe scotch bonnet (green)… Hope this helps.

  8. Hi sisi, thank youuuuuuuu for sharing, no one has ever died from sharing recipes, I totally appreciate, I’ve learnt ayamase, ata dindin and I got it right for d first time, now I need EwA agoin stew plssssssssss… Tnx

    • I really don’t know why I’ve only just seen your comment. I’m so so sorry for the late response. Thanks so much for the lovely feedback, it’s really appreciated. I’ve got Ewa Agyin recipe on the blog already….X

  9. Sisi Jemimah, Thank you for these wonderful recipes. I just stumbled on your site today and I’m already sold. Keep up the good work. Could you please help me with a week long food “time-table” like we call it. I sometimes run out of ideas and I would like to incorporate more variety into my family meals. Thank you in advance.

    • I’m sorry I’ve only just seen your comment. I had a problem with notifications a while back. I’ll work on the timetable and put one up ASAP. Thanks so much for stopping by and you’re very welcome….

  10. Hi there
    I am definitely making this recipe tomorrow
    Can i ask you lovely lady, when you cook your meats ( chicken, beef, shaki, ponmo, cow leg etc) for soups or stews, what do you use to spice them so I mean when you boil meats for Ayamase stew, do you use a lot of seasoning and if yes what type.

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi, thanks for stopping. When seasoning meats for Palm oil base soups and stews, all I use are Onions, Knorr Chicken cubes, Aromat seasoning and Salt. For vegetable oil based stews, I use same but also add Thyme and Curry. Thyme and Curry interfere with the taste of palm oil when added to traditional/native soups hence the exclusion. Hope this helps….

    • If you’re bleaching on very low heat, you can cover the pot but not for high heat. Pepper seeds are very popular and are available in most grocery stores…..

  11. I think the secret to the bleaching is putting it on very low heat while you’re gathering ingredients to get started. By the time you need to use the oil, it will be done. I never open the pot to even check the status until I am ready. Another tip is to bleach enough for about 4 or 5 cookings, take what you need and store the rest.

    • That’s exactly what I do now, Dee. Bleach on low heat for 30-45 minutes and don’t lift the lid till its cooled down. I hardly promote extreme bleaching cos some people still get it wrong and mistakes can be very disastrous.

  12. I almost burnt the house while bleaching the palm oil. Egbami o. It wasn’t just me then. But it turned out well so spicy though.

    • LOL! Story of my life, though I did end up burning my kitchen. Glad it turned out well in the end. Thanks for the lovely feedback..

  13. I think it is really nice u r doing this always wondered how a lot of these meals are cooked unfortunately I am meant to be on a weight control cruise drive so I will be missing all these lovely meals but if you do have recipes for weight watchers or u know of a blog that has this for Nigerians oh PS let us know thank u and well done I will still subs done anyway just to support you…..BigBamo.

  14. Yes I did, taste delicious and it remind me of mama Kafila at the junction while I was young. The smell of her food always makes me and my siblings not want to eat our lunch. But we must not dare go buy or else u are dead if mumsy catch u. My whole house turned to mama Kafila buka and hubby was asking for more. Kudos sisi jemilah. More food recipes please. And in case I don’t have dry pepper for the ewa aganyin what can I use? Thanks

    • Only just seen your comment, I’m so so sorry. I’m glad you loved the recipe, thanks so much for posting a feedback, really appreciate this….

  15. Sisi Jemimah, ore mi alaponle…. I’m loving yr recipes…. Im sure wise married women will take a cue and start spicing things up in the kitchen…. Thanks a lot

    • You’re welcome…Locust beans is Dawadawa in Igbo. There’s no way of showing a photo I’m afraid but you can use Google images….

  16. Thanks a lot for this lovely recipe. I’ve also tried your party jollof rice and the result was quite amazing! Now, I’d like to ask if the green pepper for this sauce is the same one used for fried rice or do you mean unripe tatashe? Also, can we blend some tomatoes with the pepper? Thank you.

    • Hi, yay and thanks for the feedback on the jollof rice, appreciate. Yeah, the green pepper is the same used for fried rice. Ayamase does not require tomatoes at all, so don’t use any…

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