Ofada stew or ayamase is a traditional Yoruba stew made of green bell peppers and atarodo (scotch bonnet peppers). The traditional way of cooking it calls for quite a lot of bleached palm oil. 
 
Bleaching is a process of heating oil above smoking point, which deodorises and decolorises it. This crude refining process triggers the production of cancer-causing free radicals, leaving you with a harmful, unstable substance that really shouldn't go anywhere near your food.
 
Ofada stew is also typically made with beef stock and garnished with beef, offal and boiled eggs - all rich sources of cholesterol and saturated fat.

Despite not being the healthiest dish, ofada stew is incredibly delicious. This recipe is a healthier version with very little oil, no bleaching and no animal fat. The recipe includes oyster mushrooms and garden eggs (a white variety of eggplant) for the chunky texture. Garden eggs are a highly nutritious food, rich in potassium, B-vitamins and trace minerals. They also have a very neutral flavour - like mushrooms, they act like a sponge and easily take on the flavours of whatever dish you incorporate them in. As they have a very high water content, I baked them to dry out some of that water before adding to the stew.
 

CategoryDifficultyBeginner

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time35 mins

 10 Green bell peppers
 4 Scotch bonnet peppers (atarodo)
 4 White eggplant (garden egg)
 1 Medium red onion
 2 cups Chopped oyster mushrooms
 2 tsp Minced garlic
 3 tbsp Red palm oil
 1 Wrap of ogiri
 2 tbsp Iru
 2 tbsp Soy sauce
 Salt to taste

1

Blend the bell peppers and atarodo with a little water - just enough to get the blender going. Pour the puree into a wide pot or saucepan and leave to simmer until thickened and almost dry. The puree should turn a darker shade of green

Eat Right Naija Ofada-stew-step-1
2

While the puree boils down, dice up the garden eggs and spread out on a lined baking tray. Bake on medium heat for about 15 minutes, until they dry out a little. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't become charred

Eat Right Naija Ofada-stew-step-2
3

Chop the onion and mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Throw them into the pot with the puree along with the baked garden egg, ogiri, iru and soy sauce. Stir well to make sure the ogiri dissolves fully; add a bit of water if necessary

4

Add the palm oil and stir well to combine. Cover the pot and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn, and add small amounts of water as needed. Taste the stew and adjust spices as needed - only add iru, salt, pepper or soy sauce; any other spices or seasonings will change the taste

Your ayamase is done when the taste of palm oil is no longer overpowering

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Ingredients

 10 Green bell peppers
 4 Scotch bonnet peppers (atarodo)
 4 White eggplant (garden egg)
 1 Medium red onion
 2 cups Chopped oyster mushrooms
 2 tsp Minced garlic
 3 tbsp Red palm oil
 1 Wrap of ogiri
 2 tbsp Iru
 2 tbsp Soy sauce
 Salt to taste

Directions

1

Blend the bell peppers and atarodo with a little water - just enough to get the blender going. Pour the puree into a wide pot or saucepan and leave to simmer until thickened and almost dry. The puree should turn a darker shade of green

Eat Right Naija Ofada-stew-step-1
2

While the puree boils down, dice up the garden eggs and spread out on a lined baking tray. Bake on medium heat for about 15 minutes, until they dry out a little. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't become charred

Eat Right Naija Ofada-stew-step-2
3

Chop the onion and mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Throw them into the pot with the puree along with the baked garden egg, ogiri, iru and soy sauce. Stir well to make sure the ogiri dissolves fully; add a bit of water if necessary

4

Add the palm oil and stir well to combine. Cover the pot and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn, and add small amounts of water as needed. Taste the stew and adjust spices as needed - only add iru, salt, pepper or soy sauce; any other spices or seasonings will change the taste

Your ayamase is done when the taste of palm oil is no longer overpowering

Healthy ofada stew