Nigerian tomatoe stew is generally eaten both at home and parties. It’s usually made with the mixture of tomatoes, pepper and onions for it’s flavour.
The main ingredients are
▪Chicken, meat or fish ( of choice )
▪Fresh tomatoes ( 20 plum or choice )
▪Tatashe ( 6 ground medium size )
▪Fresh peppers ( to taste )
▪Tinned tomatoes ( 210g )
▪Garlic ( 5 crushed cloves )
▪Ginger ( ground half finger )
▪Onion ( 2 chopped big sized )
▪Chicken, goat or fish flavour (of choice )
▪Curry powder (1 tbsp )
▪Thyme (1 tbsp )
▪Vegetable oil ( of choice )
▪Stock cubes ( of choice )
▪Salt ( to taste )
▪Nutmeg (1 tsp of ground )
▪Crayfish ( 2 ground tbsp )
▪Red bell pepper (2 medium size)
▪Black pepper ( 1 ground tbsp )
▪Paprika powder (1 tsp )
▪Bay leaves ( 4 leaves )
▪Scent leaf ( a handful )
▪Curry leaf ( a handful )
▪Stew mix spices (1 tbsp )
▪Chicken, goat, beef or fish
▪Curry powder or curry leaves
▪Fresh or tinned tomatoes
▪Dry or fresh garlic/ginger
▪Thyme or rosemary
▪Stock cube or bouillon powder
▪Vegetable oil or palm oil
▪Seasoning flavours of choice
•The Nigerian tomato stew is a unique blend of tomatoes, onion, fresh peppers, fried in vegetable oil and to which meat, chicken or fish is added, with various spices.
•By tomato stew, I mean stew used to prepare the Nigerian Jollof rice, coconut rice, rice and beans, and pasta.
•This recipe is a guide on how to cook tomato stew.
PREPARATION BEFORE COOKING
•Chop some onion into big chunks and slice some onion into small pieces.
•If you are going to use it, grind the crayfish.
•Wash the vegetables and de-seed the tatashe.
PROCEDURE FOR COOKING STEW
Cooking the Nigerian tomato stew involves 3 major steps:
1. Precooking the blended/grounded tomato mixture.
2. Parboiling the meat ( chicken, goat, lamb, beef or fish ).
3. Frying and cooking the stew.
Precooking the blended/grounded tomato mixture. ( 1st step )
•Wash, chop and blend/grind the fresh tomatoes, fresh peppers, tatashe or bell peppers, chopped onion, garlic and ginger until smooth. If you are using blender, try blending small quantities at a time so that the mixture blends properly and that you don’t overwork your blender.
•Pour the tomatoes mixture into a pot and boil on high heat until the water is dried and set aside. Do not allow it to burn. You can also boil the tomato mixture half way and sieve it, in order to get rid of the water in it very fast.
Parboiling and frying the meat ( chicken, goat, lamb, beef or fish ). 2nd step
•Wash and cut your chicken/meat into bite sized pieces. In a separate pot, season your chicken/meat with some sliced onions, thyme, curry powder, ground pepper, crushed garlic and ginger. Do not add any water. Let the chicken/meat cook in its juices until almost dry; then pour in some water and adjust the seasoning with salt, cover and let it cook until soft. Remove the chicken/meat from the stock and set it aside in order to drain/remove any excess liquid or particles.
•In a deep frying pan or pot, heat up some vegetable oil, put in few pieces of onion and fry until brown, but not burnt ( the onion helps to season the oil and add flavour to the chicken/meat); then remove the onion and discard. Fry the chicken/meat until golden and crisp, but not burnt.
•Drain the fried chicken/meat pieces unto a paper towel.
•Make sure you fry the chicken/meat in batches until done.
•Alternatively, steaming and grilling the chicken/meat is a healthier option.
•If you are grilling the chicken, place the chicken on a rack and cook in the oven at 330 degrees fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes or until it has become golden brown and set it aside.
•The steaming time of your chicken depends on the types of chicken you are cooking with. The rooster or cockerel cooks much faster than the hen, but the hen is definitely tastier than the rooster.
•Also the cooking time of your meat depends on the type of meat you choose to use, but it is important you allow your meat or chicken to boil until it is tender.
The third step is the frying and cooking the stew.
Place a clean pot on fire, pour oil into it but I prefer vegetable oil. Once it’s hot, add a pinch of salt, the diced onions and stir together. Add the parboiled tomatoes mixture and keep frying until you notice the water is dried. Add the stock and the meats, add salt and seasoning. Cover and leave to steam for ten minutes.
Tomatoes stew is ready. Serve with any desired food but I prefer taking my tomatoes stew with rice.