This is a stew that originated from the Ijebus in Nigeria. I had it for the first time a few years ago and fell in love at first bite. It’s a dark green stew and is uber spicy. If you don’t like heat, this would probably not be for you, though you could reduce the scotch bonnet pepper, it just wouldn’t be the same.
When done right, it should have your nose runny after the first couple of bites. That said, this is my first time making it, so I’ll share some of my findings at the bottom of this post. You can find it at most Nigerian restaurants and it is mainly served with white rice. For ingredients with a star at the side, info can be found below for that.
To learn how to make this, here’s what you’ll need:
3 large green bell peppers
1 s red onion
*5 green scotch bonnet/ habanero peppers
15-20 pieces goat meat
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Palm Oil
1 tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning w/ pepper
1 tbsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tsbp red pepper powder
3 Maggi cubes
2 Knorr cubes
6 garlic cloves
1. Preheat pot on stove over medium heat.
2. Cut meat into small/medium pieces. Rinse, add to pot.
3. Add seasonings (incl. 2 chopped garlic cloves), minus oil and Knorr cubes. Work into meat and let sweat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add enough water to cover meat. Let boil for 2-3 hours till soft.
4. In small batches, blend green bell peppers, onion, 4 garlic cloves and scotch bonnet peppers (include most of the seeds and you want to blend in smal batches as you don’t want a smooth consistency, it should be somewhat chunky).
5. In another pot, heat oils over medium heat. Let oils get smoking hot (literally; open your windows). Add blended peppers. Let boil for 30-45 minutes over medium heat.
6. Meat should be soft now, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Layer a baking pan with foil. Spray with cooking oil spray. Layer meat on foil. Let bake/brown for 10-15 minutes.
7. Add browned meats to boiling pepper. Stir, still over medium heat. Let boil 5 minutes, then taste. If needed, add the 2 Knorr cubes. (If it thickens up too much, add 1 tbsp stock at a time, it shouldn’t be watery).
8. Let boil another 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Serve with white rice.
*Though I used 5 scotch bonnet peppers, it wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be. Maybe I got some fake pepper, who knows?! I used the red scotch bonnet/habanero peppers, but you should probably use the green ones. I also think the green ones are spicier, so gauge the number you add carefully; 3 might suffice.
Anyways, if you decide to use the red ones, depending on how hot you can handle it, you can up it from five to 7 or more. Some add Iru (Locust beans) to it and actually at the Nigerian restaurants I get this from, I always see it there. I didn’t add any to mine, I just didn’t think to and I’ve never cooked with Iru before, it stinks yet makes food taste good! Weird, eh!
So, here are the things I didn’t do that you should do: (not to worry, these are already incorporated into the steps above)
I blended everything at once, as such, as you can see, it was a tad over-blended. Like I mentioned, this stew is supposed to be somewhat chunky
I didn’t blend the seeds. It was later I realized I usually see some seeds in the restaurant’s recipe. You don’t have to use all the seeds, maybe from just one bell pepper or two will suffice.
This dish is usually made with goat meat and shaki, all cut into small, bite sized pieces. I didn’t have any shaki on hand, so I made do with just goat meat. Even though all blended, it looks light green color, not to worry it will get darker.
I’m not sure if the recipe uses tomatoes, but I didn’t use any and even though it’s only pepper and onions, it came out well. Tomatoes generally are used to temper the heat in stews and liquefy the consistency a bit. You could add a small one if you prefer.
Some also call this ‘designer stew.’ For my first time though, I think I did pretty good! Though it’s mainly eaten with white rice, I think you can eat it with whatever you choose really, be it pounded yam/iyan or eba/garri, maybe even amala.