My Cousin, Chichi, was the first person to serve me boiled yam and this yummy stew. In case you don’t know, garden egg stew is a local Nigerian stew prepared with fresh garden eggs. The best garden egg for this sauce are white garden eggs. The slightly yellow ones are perfect -they are ripe and are not bitter. This sauce is prepared with palm oil and locust bean. The oil adds colour to it while the locust bean gives this stew a unique native flavor.
Locust bean (ogiri-okpei)
How to cook
Rinse the garden eggs very well and remove the stalk. The next step involves turning the garden eggs into puree. There are two ways to achieve this. You can either blend or pound the garden eggs. Please note that some people prefer to boil the garden eggs before blending or pounding. I prefer blending to pounding. However, I do not boil the garden eggs before blending. I simply cut them into small pieces, put them in the blender and add some water. Then, I blend as smoothly or as roughly as I desire. I’ve never tried pounding garden eggs to make this stew. But Chichi insists on boiling the garden eggs till they’re tender first. Afterwards, she peels the skin off the garden eggs before pounding with mortar and pestle. Either way, once the puree is ready, set aside for later use.
Next, cut the onions then blend the pepper, crayfish and locust bean. Prepare the smoked fish and boil the pomo till it’s tender. The ingredients are ready so it is time to start the cooking proper.
Pour the garden egg puree into a clean pot. Cook till the water is almost dried up then set aside for later use. Please bypass this step if you boiled the garden egg before pounding. Then, pour the palm oil in a clean dry pot. Place on medium heat. When it’s hot, add the diced onions to it and sauté.
Add the ogiri-okpei, crayfish and pepper blend. Fry on medium heat for about six minutes. Add the garden egg puree and stir for a bit. Cover the pot and cook-fry. Stir and monitor the sauce to avoid burning. After about three minutes, add the smoked fish and cooked pomo and stir. Then add stock cube and salt to taste. Stir, then cover the pot. Let the content simmer for a minute then turn off the heat.
Your garden egg sauce is ready. Serve with boiled yam or plantain. Bon appetite.
Featured image source: Onyx Food Hill