Obe Ata Dindin – Lafenwa Stew

Obe Ata Dindin – Lafenwa Stew is a very popular fried stew recipe from the Egba people of Abeokuta, Western Nigeria. It is also referred to as  Itoko Stew.

Well, I’m definitely not Egba so I’ll tell you how I came to know about this amazingly tasty stew. A lovely lady and friend, Abbey Jimba of Chop’N’Lick posted this stew on Instagram a couple of months back, I fell in love at first sight. She captioned it “Itoko Stew”, curiously, I tried to search online for recipes and background information but found none, so I was forced to contact her, She was really kind enough to send me the recipe that same day and also sent me background information about this lovely stew recipe.

Apparently, it’s served at Nigerian parties in London these days and it’s called, “Iyawo Ole” meaning, “The wife of a thief”, please don’t ask me why….LOL! This, I’ve confirmed from an aunt who lives in London. Interesting!

What really makes this stew stand out is the fact that you don’t need too much condiments or seasoning to make it look and taste great. The Shawa fillet incorporated gives it a very tasty and distinct flavour. Curry and thyme are a No No! Tomatoes are also not used for Obe ata Dindin – Lafenwa Stew.

It’s taken me a while to put up this recipe, that’s only because I wanted to taste this stew first from an Egba person before attempting it. I had the pleasure of tasting it at the weekend at a friend’s, she actually made it after I’d disturbed her for weeks. One word, Amazing!! Well, then, I knew I had a point of reference…Yay!

After I’d finished making this stew and tasted it, it tasted sweet just like my friend’s but I still kept wondering why….and then it struck me, The Onions! You fry them to an extent that they begin to taste sweet and you do need lots of onions as well to get the authentic Lafenwa Stew taste.

I must mention beforehand that this stew consukes quite a lot of Palm oil, so if you’re not one who fancies palm oil, then this recipe is not for you.

I won’t bore you any further with my introduction, let’s get to it…




Assorted meats ( Shaki, Ponmo, Beef, Goat meat, Inu eran (Offals) are ideal)

4 Red Bell Peppers (Red Tatashe)

3 Green Bell Peppers (Green Tatashe)

30gms Dried Chilli Peppers (Ata Ijosi)

2 Whole Onions

1 Chopped Onion

3 Tablespoons Iru (Locust beans)

2 Cups Shredded Fish (Eja Shawa)

2 Tablespoons Ground Crayfish

Boiled Eggs (Optional)

1 Full Cup Palm Oil

3 Knorr Chicken Cubes

Salt to Taste



Boil your meats, remember to boil bloody Offals like Kidney, Liver and Heart separately. When they’re cooked, fry the goat meat or beef or you can choose the healthier alternative; grilling. I grilled my Shaki and Cow leg too…Obe Ata Dindin 1
Soak your dried pepper in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes…Obe Ata Dindin
Wash your green and red peppers thoroughly, then blend roughly with two onions, the dried peppers and with very little water. This is the consistency you should achieve….Obe Ata Dindin 3
Add the dried Shawa to the blended pepper, add the Knorr cubes and salt to taste, place on a hob on medium heat, boil till most of the moisture in the pepper dries off.Obe Ata Dindin 4
While that’s boiling, get another saucepan, place on medium heat, when it’s hot, add the palm oil
The Oil should not be smokey or bleached, you can throw in a slice of onion, when the onion turns black, you’ll know it’s hot enough.

Add the chopped onions, sauté till brown, be careful not to burn it, then add the Iru to release the flavour. The onions should look like this….

Obe Ata Dindin 8Please, ignore the foaming mess in the background, the palm oil I recently got is one heck of a nuisance?!

Check on the pepper, when it’s boiled and looking like this…

Obe Ata Dindin 7Slowly, add the palm oil, along with the Onions and Iru into the stew, also add crayfish. Leave to cook for 5 minutes, turn the heat down to low..

Be careful not to add too much Crayfish, this is so that the very potent flavour of crayfish does not overpower the authentic flavour of the stew.

Obe Ata Dindin

Now, add the boiled eggs, taste for salt/ seasoning, adjust if necessary, leave for 2-3 minutes….

Obe Ata Diondin
Then add the meats, stir and combine, leave to cook for 7-10 minutes with the low heat…

Obe Ata Dindin
And it’s done…You’ll see the oil flowing to the top at this time…

Obe ata DindinObe Ata Dindin
Serve with boiled rice, plantain, pasta, yam or potatoes….Obe ata dindinObe Ata DindinObe Ata Dindin

I should mention as well, I’ve got recipes for similar and amazingly delicious stews, please click on whichever one interests you from the options below;

Buka Stew

Ofada Stew – Ayamase


You’ll love, love, love this Obe Ata Dindin – Lafenwa Stew recipe, so, please give it a try soon. Let’s know how you get on with it by dropping a comment below. Be sure to ‘Share’ this recipe with friends and family, using the ‘Share’ options below and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for automated notifications of recipes. See you in my next post!

48 thoughts on “Obe Ata Dindin – Lafenwa Stew

  1. I tried it two months ago and everybody was asking me where did u learn it??? So delicious . Because i am from cameroon. My husband went to lagos for his business trip, because of you i asked him to bring back some locust beans, dried small peppers and dry sweet red peppers (the bigs one) . I also did your designer stew and chicken stew …they are wondering if i am not nigerian girl 😂 Even my brother who lives in UK and is around now said it is more delicious than the ones he used to bought from nigeria mama in london. So tomorrow i am about to do this lafenta stew. I just cook because i am on diet i didnt get the cgance to try it,i just. Cook for them & they enjoy. Life is not fair. But once i will lost my 10kgs i will try all. Thanks a lot for your blog Sisi Jeminah😘❤

    • Your feedback put a smile on my face. I’m super glad thee recipe worked out great for you, thanks so so much. You’re very welcome…x

  2. Tried this some weeks ago.came out superb and it was a big pot.We finished in a few days.Making it again today.Very sure it will turn out fab as usual.
    Well done Sisi.

  3. I tried it out and it was really tasty.. thanks a lot.. I read your blog before I cook and now I think I’m not such a terrible cook.. you’ve really helped me.. greater success for you

    • Sorry for the late response. I’m glad my recipes work great for you and you’re very welcome. Thanks so much for the feedback…

  4. I live in and grew up in a Nigerian neighbourhood in London (Peckham), get this at my local Nigerian takeaway and always love it. Sometimes however, their cowfoot or their tripe is a bit tough. How do I make sure it’s not when I cook it?

    Love the blog too.

    • Hi Dave, sorry for the late response. When cooking Shaki or cow leg, avoid adding salt to it from the start, blend in onions, ginger and garlic and leave to soften before adding spices and yeah, they need to be slow cooked too, high heat won’t soften them so much. Hope this helps and you’re very welcome….

  5. I have made this stew twice and it is absolutely delicious. Infact my husband prefers it to tomatoe stew. Its also quiet quick to make. Thanks a lot.

    • Sorry for the late response Sofie. Thanks for taking the time to leave a feedback, I’m glad you and hubby love the recipe. you’re very welcome….:)

  6. U doing a great job?but please I want to know what the green tatashe does to atadindin,,then you didn’t add Rodo or tomatoes…why?

    • Thanks Ayo. Frankly, not all stew recipes require tomatoes and Atarodo. If we include them in all recipes, they’d all taste the same. This recipe requires none of both….

  7. Well done sisi J… I tried this receipe ystrdy; d taste was fantastic! However, I wasnt too pleased as d SEEDS frm d dry pepper broke out into my sauce…cos these seeds are hard, my hubby and I didnt enjoy d meal althou taste was one in town!
    Pls, ow do I prevent this frm happenin nxt time?
    Thanks as I look 4ward 2 ur response.

    P.s- I av tried several of ur receipes and they all turned out nicely…save this..*smiles..

    • Hi Funmi, thanks for trying the recipe and the lovely feedback. You probably got a bad batch of Ata Ijosi as mine never breaks out in the stew. Assuming you got the real deal, Did you soak it in hot water first before using? This would have helped the soften the seeds as well. Really trying to figure out what went wrong and those are the only two maybes I can come up with. So sorry about this….

    • I’m sorry for the late response. I have no idea. It’s sold in African stores here and they are referred to as Shawa fillet….

  8. Thanks for posting the recipe for this stew, I’m cooking it now as i’m typing, can’t wait to eat with rice also with ewedu and amala.

    • You’re very welcome and God bless you too. Yes, you can use Stock fish but try to get Shawa as well to really get the signature taste….

  9. Such painstaking details, Bless your kind heart. My hubby is egba, I’d try this and put up pics. I haven’t seen ata ijosi in all the African shops I’ve been in though. Kindly suggest a close alternative….

    • Hi, thanks so much for the kind words, I really do appreciate. Ata Ijosi is very easy to find in African Stores, they come already pre packaged. You can also try crushed Chilli flakes, those are very popular, even Asian stores sell them….

    • This will depend on your location. It’s pretty common in the UK, most African stores stock them. I got the last pack from an Asian shop. It’s everywhere in Nigeria as well…

  10. It looks very delicious…..would most definitely try it out this weekend and possibly “harass” my colleagues with it at work (hopefully it turns out like what’s in the picture)….thanks Jemimah…..brighter days ahead for you.

    • It is truly delicious, you’ll be amazed. Will look forward to your feedback, I’m sure you’ll nail it perfectly. Amen to your prayer, God bless you,..

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