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Recipe for Buka Stew

Buka stew is basically stew that is prepared and served in roadside restaurants. However, the classic buka stew is made by the Yoruba. It is prepared with palm oil without the addition of curry and thyme.

Buka stew as you know is different from the homemade stew. While it is made for the owner’s profit and the patrons’ enjoyment, the homemade stew is made for the family’s enjoyment and nourishment with no interest in profit whatsoever. Thus, while tomatoes which are expensive are used more in the homemade stew, they are used less in the buka’s where it’s augmented by the scotch bonnet and red bell peppers.

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For today’s recipe, I used 1500 blender jug full of pepper. That I said jugful of pepper does not mean I omitted tomatoes oh! Tomatoes dey there but pepper plenty pass.

 Ingredients for Buka Stew

Fresh tomatoes

Scotch bonnet peppers

Red bell peppers (tatashe)

Palm oil

Assorted meat


Stock cubes


How to Prepare

Rinse meat thoroughly. Put the meat in a clean pot. Season with onions, curry, thyme, stock cubes and salt. Cook till tender on medium heat.

Please, mention must be made of the fact that in cooking assorted meat, it’s best to start with the toughest.

When the meat is tender, separate it from the stock and fry till golden brown. Scoop the meat out of the vegetable oil and into a paper-lined sieve. Set aside for later use.

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Rinse the peppers and tomatoes. Add these to a clean blender jug. Peel and rinse two large onions. Chop one of the onions into the blendable size and add it to the blender jug. Add enough water to get the blender blades moving and blend till you have a smooth puree.

Pour the blended mix into a clean pot and boil on medium heat till the pepper reduces to half its volume. Dice the remaining onion and set it aside for later use.

Pour palm oil into a small pot. Cover the pot and bleach. Please, if you don’t know how to bleach palm oil, you can check here for tips. When you’re done bleaching, turn off the heat and allow the palm oil to cool.

When the oil is cool, get a pot that’s large enough to accommodate the stew that you’re about to make. Pour about three-quarters of the bleached oil into it and reheat.

Fry the diced onions in the oil till it’s translucent. Next, add the blended pepper mix to the pot. Also add a reasonable quantity of water and meat stock to the pot. This will loosen up the consistency of your pepper.

Leave the pot open and allow the pepper to boil till [the water] reduces. Let me mention at this point that this will test the patience of the sharp sharp cooks.  But those who are used to boiling rather than frying stew know the drill.

After about 30 to 45 minutes, you’d notice changes in the consistency of your stew, colour and taste of the stew. Most importantly, you’d notice the ring of palm oil around the pot as the stew bubbles in the middle.

Once you see that ring of palm oil, you are almost at your destination. Keep watching your stew and when the ring of palm oil starts to widen, add the remaining bleached palm oil, salt and seasoning cubes.

After about 5 minutes of making this addition, you’d notice the flavour of your stew intensified.

Add the fried meat and stir. The meat needs at least 10 minutes to absorb the flavour of the stew. Once this is done, your stew is ready. Turn off the heat and enjoy.


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Obiamaka Angela Udevi

Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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