Ofada Stew (Ayamase) – The Designer stew

Ofada Stew ,ayamase

     Ofada stew or Ayamase is a tasty,spicy stew that you eat and just can’t forget.
      It used to be a ”best-kept-secret’,’ and was only known by the natives and a few Mamaput/Buka(road side cooks)  in  south-western Nigeria; no wonder people just can’t get enough after a visit to the Buka. 
      Well, now we can all replicate these stew in our homes. So here’s the Ofada stew (Ayamase) recipe and below are frequently asked questions about this native stew. …  hope you enjoy.
*Video recipe here 

Ingredients for Ofada stew (Ayamase)
*7 Large Green bell peppers
*4 Green scotch bonnet peppers(atarodo)(It’s okay if it has some red spots)
*500 grams Assorted meat (beef,kpomo, cow foot,tripe(shaki)… or as desired)
*Assorted dry Fish (stock fish or dried fish)(optional)
*1/4 cup Crayfish (about a handful)
*1 wrap OR 1 tablespoonful Iru/dawadawa OR ogiri
*3 large Onions
*2 Stock cube/seasoning cube
*Salt to taste
*600ml Palm oil
*4 Hard Boiled eggs(without shell)

Tip: in the absence of stockfish(dried codfish), you can make use of fresh cod fish.

Ofada sauce ingredients,ingredients for ofada stew ayamase

Cooking Directions

* Grind the iru and the crayfish together and set aside

* If you’re using stock fish and dried fish, wash and cook until tender, and set aside

* Wash and Cut the meat into bite sizes; season with onions, one stock cube and salt to taste. You can season the meat as you like 🙂
    Cook until tender. It is always better to cook the tougher meat first, which in  my case is the cow foot and the tripe(shaki). Then after 20 minutes ,add the beef and kpomo(cow skin).
    When the meat is done cooking, you can grill or fry or simply set aside for later use.
Tip: the natives fry the meat in palm oil or grill it on homemade grill.

assorted meat and fish for ofada stew ,ayamase
Assorted meat&fish(I used fresh cod fish)

* Coarsely blend all the peppers &1 large onion together in a blender. You can add a LITTLE water to help move the blender blades.
    Pour the blended mixture into a dry pot and heat up to dry out excess liquid from the peppers.

green peppers for ofada sauce ayamase

 TIP: Another method is to pour the pepper mixture through a sieve(with a tight mesh), press down with a cooking spoon to make sure that you get out, as much liquid as possible, then set aside until needed.

Ofada Stew (Ayamase) - The Designer stew

* Now ,place the palm oil on heat ,add some onion rings(adding the onions is optional but it gives extra flavor).
       Cover the pot and bleach the palm oil on medium heat until  the onions are completely burnt black and the palm oil changes from red to light brown in color.
       If you didn’t add onions, the color will be light yellow(just like the color of vegetable oil).
       Put off the heat, and let the oil cool completely without opening it. If you don’t cover it, THE OIL WILL SMOKE A LOT AND WILL SMELL ALL OVER THE HOUSE, and might start off the smoke alarm(if you have one).

* Place the bleached oil back on the stove-top(remove the burnt onions) and heat up a little, then add chopped onions, and the dried out peppers .
     Cook for about 20 minutes and add the assorted meat and fish, ground iru,crayfish,the second stock cube and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and simmer for 10 minutes.
      Then add the peeled hard boiled eggs.
 And your Ofada stew (Ayamase) is ready.  Serve with Ofada rice(or any rice of choice), boiled yams, potatoes or plantains.

ofada stew , ayamase stew , ofada sauce, designer stew

Frequently asked Questions

* Why is it called Ofada sauce?
This tasty sauce got it’s name from Ofada Rice, which is a local Nigerian Rice that is served with it. It is also known as ”Designer’s Stew” and is simply delicious.

* Why is the color of the stew different in some places?
    The color of the stew (either greenish brown or
reddish brown) and consistency of the stew might differ from place to
place, due to the method of cooking.The longer you cook the ayamase, the darker it becomes.

* Do I need to bleach the palm oil before frying the stew?
 Yes you have to. Bleaching the palm oil is one of the steps that gives Ofada stew (Ayamase) it’s distinct taste and aroma.

*I’m feeding a large group and the stew looks like it won’t go round, Can I add tomatoes to give the stew bulk?
 Well, the ORIGINAL recipe doesn’t call for tomatoes, but if you don’t have more green bell peppers ;you can add a FEW tomatoes to increase the quantity of the stew. 
  Some of the restaurants I know, usually add a little blended tomatoes to the peppers they use for their Ofada stew (Ayamase), to help increase the quantity of the stew, That is why some ofada stews come out ”reddish brown”(mamaput has to make some money naa?..Lol )
  If you want to do that, make sure that the tomatoes does not ”overpower” the green bell peppers. So that you don’t end up with Obe ata dindin.
  So for the recipe provided above, you can add 3 fresh tomatoes.

* Why do you use only green scotch bonnet peppers for your Ayamase. Can I use red peppers or dried peppers?
 Yes you can.The original recipe calls for all green, but hey! it won’t hurt to mix it up a bit,I assure you that you won’t notice the difference at all.

* How do I keep my green scotch bonnet peppers from going red before I’m ready to cook the stew?
 If I get them all green, I always freeze mine and that stops it from turning red or orange.

* How do I bleach the palm oil without setting of the smoke alarm?
 Lol.. all you need to do is cover the pot and heat up the oil on
low-medium heat for about 20 to 35 minutes. Then turn off the heat and
let it cool completely.Don’t open the lid/cover until the oil

is cool.

* Do I need to serve it with Ofada Rice?
 No dear, you can serve with any rice of choice. It 
also goes well with plantains, yams and potatoes.



  1. Busola Oladehinde
    September 30, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Is it large green ball pepper or the small ones? If the small one is used, will it make the stew extra peppery? Spicy

    • October 22, 2018 / 6:13 pm

      It is the large green bell pepper which is used for fried rice (not peppery at all) Of course the small one will make it extra peppery, you only need just a little of the small one (please read the recipe for clarification)

  2. Busola Oladehinde
    September 30, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    Is it large green ball pepper or the small ones? If the small one is used, will it make the stew extra peppery? Spicy

  3. Anonymous
    April 5, 2017 / 6:52 am

    Do I need to remove the seeds of the green bell pepper before grinding?

  4. Rosie
    August 8, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    Ofada stew has now become one of my best stew. All thanks to you. Since living in the UK, l have never enjoyed Nigerian delicacy as l do now since finding your website. Can't be grateful enough to you for all the useful and time saving ideas that you have taken the trouble to publish. Do you know where l can get Ofada rice in London. I have checked in the African shops but could not find it or does it have a different name? If l cannot get it, is there another rice that is similar in both taste and texture?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 8:44 pm

      Hi Rosie, the long grain white rice will do just fine.

  5. Anonymous
    April 7, 2016 / 4:57 am

    Please where can I get the ofada rice here in the USA because that's the only thing stopping me from making this stew. I really love ofada rice. #intearsforofadarice. Lol.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      The stew also taste great with normal long grain rice.

  6. Anonymous
    March 15, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    wow ive looked for methods for ofada but urs is simply and easy to go by,thanks alot, good food keeps home happy.thumps up

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 8:38 pm


  7. Lydia
    January 28, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    Thanks, this is going to be my sunday special

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      u're welcome Lydia

  8. Unknown
    October 8, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    I am not a stranger to cooking dis sauce but what I did find educating is d use of green bell peppers. I only use d green Scotch bonnets. I'll try using it next time. Thank u for dis maam

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 8:37 pm

      u're welcome

  9. Anonymous
    October 8, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Good job, what is habanero?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 27, 2016 / 8:36 pm

      fresh hot pepper, ata rodo

  10. Unknown
    September 16, 2015 / 8:28 am

    I cooked this for my husband and he was just thanking God for a nice meal.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      October 4, 2015 / 12:27 am

      thanks for your lovely feedback 🙂

  11. Sola
    July 27, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    Very easy recipe. I just made it and it tastes good…my 2nd attempt at Ofada stew ever! Sure my husband will enjoy it. Thank you. Meanwhile, i added one yellow bell pepper to mine as I had only two green peppers at home and I desperately wanted to make the stew 🙂 Turned out good still…And oh the oil-bleaching tip, fantastic! My whole house was so smoky the first time I made the stew.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      August 7, 2015 / 1:55 am

      I'm so glad that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for your lovely feedback hun 🙂

  12. Gina Hun
    April 25, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    Hi Nky. You are very good with your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      April 27, 2015 / 9:22 am

      You're welcome dearie 🙂

  13. Gina Hun
    April 25, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    Hi Nky. You are very good with your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Anonymous
    February 21, 2015 / 3:52 pm

    Well done for the good work dear am going to try ur recipe

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 23, 2015 / 8:54 pm

      ok dear, keep me posted.

  15. Anonymous
    January 13, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    oh my god! I cooked this for the first time yesterday and guess what? My fiance was all commenting me. He loved the dish and was eating it for the first time ever. Thank you ma. I will try another recipe for him today. Who knows…………winks. God bless you.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 22, 2015 / 6:11 pm

      I'm so good you both enjoyed it. Keep me updated on any more recipes you try out. God bless you too hun 🙂

  16. Ella
    January 5, 2015 / 7:09 am

    Hello it wasn't stated when I'm supposed to add the stock or water:( I love your blog..:)

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 5, 2015 / 2:27 pm

      Thanks dearie ,You don't need stock or water for ofada stew.

  17. ibkay!
    December 1, 2014 / 5:53 am

    Thank you for this recipe.I'll be making this soon. How many servings is this recipe for?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 1, 2014 / 9:44 am

      You're welcome dearie.It serves about 5 to 8 persons.

    • ibkay!
      December 3, 2014 / 5:42 am

      I just made it. It took me a while to get it right, but when I did it turned out amazing. Thanks again.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 6, 2014 / 2:06 pm

      You're always welcome. I'm so glad you got it right dearie and also enjoyed it 🙂

  18. unknown person
    October 10, 2014 / 5:04 pm

    Thankz for your simple and onpoint recipe. Its so straight to d point and not difficult at all unlike other food blogs. Im so goin to try it out

    • Nky Lily Lete
      October 14, 2014 / 9:52 pm

      Hi unknown person, thanks for your comment, I'll be expecting your feedback.

  19. Zainab Igwe
    September 24, 2014 / 11:58 am

    Please which is the scotch bonnet pepper? Cos m not sure if seeing the green ones in the market. Can the red b used? Would appreciate a picture. Though I know I can find the green bell pepper.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 25, 2014 / 10:08 am

      Hi dear, scotch bonnet pepper is the same small peppers (atarodo) you use for your red stew,and even though this recipe calls for green ones(as in the picture above), you can make use of the red one if you can't find the green.

  20. Anonymous
    August 21, 2014 / 12:01 pm

    Hi. Thanks for ur recipe. Pls I have a qtn. Is the ogiri in this recipe the same as dt used in oha soup

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 4, 2014 / 1:45 pm

      Yes dear, it's the same.

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