Garden Egg Stew is a yummy Nigerian stew made with fresh garden eggs. I first tasted this stew at my neighbours’ back then in Nigeria, I must have been in secondary school then. They had had with boiled yam and I absolutely loved it.
I was reintroduced to Garden Egg stew when I visited a friend sometime in 2012 and I was swooned… again!
Now, some people prefer to boil their garden eggs first before adding to the tomato sauce, I don’t. They boil the garden eggs so they can easily peel off the skin, I cook mine, skin and all. I love a little bit of crunch in my garden egg stew and boiling never guarantees that. Though not researched yet, I have a feeling that prolonged boiling takes away some of the nutrients. If you do feel the need to peel the skin off, try steaming rather than boiling, this should limit the mushiness as well.
When buying white garden eggs, do ensure you get the ones that are slightly yellow in colour, like a buttery colour, these are really ripe and this way you’re assured the garden eggs won’t be bitter.Alternatively, you can use Eggplants/Aubergines if you can’t find garden eggs, they are of the same family as garden eggs though slightly softer though you won’t get any crunchiness from them. You’ll get a pretty close result all the same.
So, Garden Egg Stew, let’s get started…
8-10 White/Green Garden Eggs OR
2 Medium Aubergines/Eggplants
1/2 Cup Palm Oil
2 Big Red Bell Peppers
1 Big Tomato (Optional)
2 Scotch Bonnets (Ata Rodo)
11/2 Medium Onions
1/2 Cup Smoked Prawns
1/2 cup Dried Eja Shawa Fillets ( You can also use shredded Smoked Fish)
3 Tablespoons Ground Crayfish
1 Maggi Crayfish or any Bouillon Cube of your choice
Salt to Taste
Using the pulse function on your blender, blend your garden eggs roughly and set aside. You can also use a mortar and pestle to pound roughly. Don’t be alarmed if your garden eggs turn a little darker or brown, they oxidise and turn a little brownish when exposed to air, just like apples.
If you’re choosing to boil or steam your garden eggs first, then chop into smaller sizes, boil or steam till it’s easy to peel the skin off, peel and then blend the garden eggs roughly or just mash them up if you prefer them a tad bit chunky, set aside…
Blend the bell peppers, scotch bonnet, tomato if using any and 1 whole onion roughly and set aside.
These are the ingredients I’ll be using…
Add the palm oil into a medium pot, place on a hob on medium heat, when it’s hot, add 1/2 sliced onions, sauté till fragrant…
Now add the blended pepper mix, Maggi crayfish and salt to taste, fry for 10-12 minutes, at this time the quantity of the pepper would have reduced by almost half….
After 10-12 minutes, add the Shawa or any dried or smoked fish of your choice, also add the crayfish and smoked prawns, fry for 2-3 minutes. Do stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Then add the garden eggs. Cover and cook till garden eggs soften, this should take 5-6 minutes…
If you’re using pre boiled garden eggs, add the garden eggs and cook for only a minute or two….
And it’s ready…
Serve with Boiled Yam, Plantain or Potatoes…