Ayamase also known as designer stew is a tasty stew served alongside ofada rice. It’s quite similar to the normal ofada sauce “Obe ata iru” except for some slight changes with the peppers used. It’s a delicacy which is quite popular in the western part of Nigeria especially amongst the Yorubas. It also used to be a ‘best kept secret’ by the natives and popularized by Makeshift roadside restaurants popularly known as Bukas /”Mama-put” but now common in most households. It’s prepared with mostly green peppers and assorted meat or fish hence the name designer stew and like most Nigerian meals, it has got palm oil as a base.
Preparation of the assorted meat and beef stock:
Step 1: When using assorted beef, it’s best to take out time to wash properly. If you intend using Pomo, scrape out the dirty inner part (which is usually Sandy & dirty) including the outer skin thoroughly. If you intend using intestines, turn inside out and remove the saturated fats there (most people keep it in though). If using tripe a.k.a Towel or sharki in the Nigerian local market, wash thoroughly.
Step 2: Rinse the Beef and Assorted meat with clean water and dice into small bits, place in a medium sized pot. Add the seasoning cubes, Salt to taste, a little diced onion and 2-3 cups of water. Leave to cook till tender for about 30 mins to 1hr till tender. Set aside.
Preparation of the pepper puree:
Step 1: Remove the stalks and seeds from the peppers and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Place in a blender or chopper and grind roughly. Set this aside.
Preparation of the Ofada Sauce
Step 1: The first step is to heat up the oil till it becomes clear like vegetable oil. This process is known as bleaching. Bleaching is best done in a ventilated kitchen to avoid being choked by the smoke so ensure you open all the windows if you have to.
Step 2: Once the oil cools off, turn on the burner again. Add the diced onion and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the pepper puree and Iru,stir-fry for about 5 minutes till the oil seperates from the puree (you’d see the oil settle at the top).
Step 3: Add the crayfish, cooked assorted meat and gently add the stock little at a time. Stir and taste to see if you need some more salt or seasoning. Add if necessary, Stir and cover the pot. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Turn off the burner and serve with Ofada Rice
PLEASE BE WARNED! Heating Palmoil above it’s smoke point (Bleaching) is a very DANGEROUS process which requires the skills of an expert. NEVER OVERHEAT PALMOIL OR IT WILL “CATCH FIRE” which would result in serious BURNS.
• Also Note, Bleaching of palmoil is totally unhealthy. This is because, heating the palmoil above the smoke point increases the trans-fat levels thereby making it carcinogenic.
• Also, taking the palmoil above its smoke point reduces its nutritional value i.e The carotene contained in it which helps in the formation of vitamin A, an essential vitamin in the prevention of cataracts, muscular degeneration which is age related, free radicals which cause cancer and night blindness is depleted thereby making the body susceptible to these diseases.