Nigerian Boiled Tomato Stew
Boiled tomato stew is light and fresh tasting. Most Nigerians like their stew fried, it is what we know and it is what we are used to. Sometimes I believe our palate has genetically adapted to the Nigerian fried tomato stew with the trio of peppers used in the tomato mix.
I remember there was this stew our cook would sometimes prepare when I was little, the tomato stew was very fresh tasting and didn’t taste good like my mother’s stew. Upon reflection, I know it was boiled tomato stew that didn’t go the distance. The family except me, of course, lapped it up.
Boiled stew is real stew according to the definition of stew because of its long cooking time, unlike other Nigerian stews. The other Nigerian stews are more of fried sauces than stews. Boiled tomato stew needs to be simmered for a long time.
When making boiled stew try and buy the beat plum tomato you can find e.g UTC tomato in Nigeria, Roma tomatoes or any sweet tomatoes. Grind the tomato mix down to a puree including the seeds and skin of the tomato and peppers, if your grinder is not powerful enough use the commercial grinders in the market if you have access to them, this is more for presentation than anything.
To prepare Nigerian boiled tomato stew
6 cups Tomato mix 1 kg Whole tomato 150g Tatashe (paprika pepper) 50g shombo (Cayenne) 300g onions (3 small) Scotch bonnet 1 cup sliced onions 4 cubes seasoning cubes (4 teaspoons seasoning powder) 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder 1 1/2 teaspoons dry thyme salt 3 cups meat stock + water 2-4 tablespoos vegetable oil Coconut powder, sugar or pureed carrot (optional)
Season the meat with seasoning cube, salt, 1 teaspoon each of curry powder, dry thyme and onions, boil till almost soft.
Remove the meat and fry or just set aside.
Strain the stock and set aside.
Remove seeds from tatashe, wash tomato, tatashe, shombo, onions and scotch bonnet.
Grind to a smooth puree. It will give about 6 cups of tomato mix without added water.
Put puree in a large pot and place over high heat.
Add sliced onions, seasoning cubes, curry powder, dry thyme, salt, stock, water and vegetable oil.
Add 1 teaspoon of coconut powder or sugar if using. Stir and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer with heat at medium low.
Cook for 20 minutes.
Add meat and continue cooking for another 10-20 minutes till the stew has reduced and thickened.
Taste and correct seasoning, if there is still some bitterness add a little sugar, see notes on dealing with sourness in tomatoes stews.
Serve stew with your preferred staple, Boiled white rice, boiled or fried yam, plantain, sweet potato, Irish potato, couscous, Spaghetti, bread etc.
- If using the carrot to sweeten your stew, add 1 carrot when grinding the tomatoes.
- Try and use non-reactive cookware anytime you are cooking tomato sauce or stew like Stainless steel pots, seasoned cast iron pot, wooden spoons. Tomato is acidic and will react with aluminium to give the sauce or stew a metallic taste.
- Fresh fish is very awesome with this type of stew. Season and steam the fish for a few minutes and add to the stew at the lat 5-8 minutes of cooking.
You will also enjoy my Easy Nigerian tomato stew, Fresh tomato sauce, Quick and easy tomato sauce and Palm nut stew (Stew akwu). Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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