Tomatoes is a favourite staple in Nigeria, and so, a large number of locals who cannot cope with the inflation in its price are hesitant to make the widely enjoyed stew and are now seeking alternative ways to make sauces with which to complement their daily meals.
In a bid to find a solution, here is a list of 5 economical and local stews and sauces that can be made without tomatoes.
1) Garden egg sauce
A very popular delicacy in the southern parts of the country, Garden egg sauce can substitute for the tomato stew any day. The basic ingredients needed include: Garden eggs (either purple “aubergine”, white or green) palm oil, smoked fish, ground pepper (either chili or scotch bonnet), iru (rinsed), onion, crayfish and salt to taste. It can be used to eat rice, yam or plantain.
2) Banga stew
Popularly referred to as Ofe Akwu, banga stew is a palm nut stew native to the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. While making this stew can take a lot of time as you have to extract the juice from the palm nuts, it is usually worth the stress in the end as the taste is absolutely yummy. The only ingredients you need include: palm fruits or palm fruit concentrate, beef, dry fish, vegetable (scent leaves for ofe akwu or dried and crushed bitter leaves for Delta-style banga soup), onions, crayfish, stock cubes, iru, salt and chilli pepper (to taste)
3) Ofada stew
Also called “Ayamase”, Ofada stew is usually made to go with a special kind of local rice referred to as Ofada rice. The sauce can however be used to eat normal white rice, yam, plantain and even spaghetti. The sauce is pretty easy to make and the only ingredients you need include: unripe habanero peppers, green tatashe or green bell peppers, locust bean seasoning (iru, ogiri okpei or dawadawa), red palm oil, onion, crayfish, assorted meat and fish.
4) Miyan Kuka
A delicacy from the northern part of the country, Miyan Kuka is also known as the Boabab leaf stew. It is a favorite of the Hausa tribe and is usually served with white rice. The key ingredients for preparing this stew include: beef, onion, dried fish, hot peppers (washed, soaked and flaked), kuka [baobab] leaves (pounded to paste), dawadawa (fermented dried seeds of the African locust bean pressed into a ball or a cake), yaji (suya seasoning), a pinch of potash, palm oil, seasoning cubes and of course, salt to taste.
5) Pumpkin leaf sauce
Pumpkin leaf, otherwise known as Ugu, is one of most widely used vegetables in Nigeria. Pumpkin leaf sauce which is not only very tasty but also very healthy is basically a sautee of fluted pumpkin leaf and onions. It certainly does not taste a long time to cook. The ingredients needed include: chopped pumpkin leaves, seasoned beef or chicken, sliced to strips (optional), meat stock, vegetable oil, chilli pepper, onion bulb, seasoning and salt to taste.