Easy Nigerian vegetable Sauce
This might be the simplest and easiest sauce you have come across. I get the feeling that the original recipe developer prepared this easy Nigerian vegetable sauce as a way to utilise left over Nigerian salad ingredients. The similarity is just too striking. In fact, it is sometimes called Salad stew. Vegetable sauce is commonly served in Nigerian parties, accompanied by white rice especially basmati rice, alongside Jollof rice, Fried rice and moi moi. The Christmas period is ideal to enjoy it.
It is a minimalistic vegetable sauce, yet beautiful, nutritious and rich in presentation. It is a reliable go to recipe for any culinary challenged or stressed home cook. If you are running out of time, this is the sauce to make because it is ready almost as soon as the meat used is ready. In which case, instead of cooking the meat whole, just shred and cook.
Making a perfect sauce starts with the taste of the meat stock. It has to be well seasoned and then some more because, once the vegetables are added, it gets watered down a bit.
The vegetables can be cut into small cubes or large chunks, it all depends on your preference, also on the time you have, and what it is going to be served with. If, for example, you are serving it with boiled or roasted potatoes, my suggestion will be to cut them large for ease of eating. If you are serving it with rice, it can go in any direction, for spaghetti, cut vegetables into small sizes etc. Easy Nigerian vegetable sauce is thickened with cornstarch or alternatively, wheat flour. This gives the sauce a lovely glossy finish.
As you can see, it is a versatile sauce that can go with a lot of sides. If you have a lot of leftover sauce, remove the vegetables then freeze the sauce, when next you want to eat it, cut fresh vegetables, saute and add to the sauce. If it has watered down, just thicken slightly and it will be as good as new. Try making my other awesome sauces, tomato sauce, mackerel sauce, coconut curry sauce etc.
To prepare the easy Nigerian vegetable sauce
500g chicken 2 cubes chicken seasoning cubes 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 teaspoon dry thyme 2 cloves garlic 1 inch root ginger salt 1 small onion 1 scotch bonnet
1 medium onion 1 big (200g) carrot 1 small (40g) red bell pepper or tatashe (paprika pepper) 1 medium (150g) green bell pepper 1/2 small (100g) cabbage 40g green beans
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 seasoning cube 2 teaspoons light soy sauce 2 teaspoons oyster sauce 2 teaspoons white pepper salt 3 tablespoons cornflour
Cut chicken into bite sized chunks with or without the bones, put in a pot. Roughly cut up onions, garlic, ginger and scotch bonnet, add to the chicken. Add seasoning cubes, curry, thyme and salt, stir, cover and place over medium low heat.
Cook till chicken is soft and has yielded it own liquid.
Add a little water if it is getting too dry, but it is unlikely this will be necessary.
Meanwhile, chop the medium sized onions, scrape and cut carrot into quarter-inch slices. Deseed and cut up both red and green peppers, cut green beans and shred cabbage roughly, set aside.
Remove the cooked chicken from the pot into a plate, set aside. Add 1 cup of water to the stock and strain into a bowl using a fine sieve. Rinse out the pot to be sure there are no bits of bone etc. Pour strained stock back into the pot, you should have about 2 cups, if not add water to make up the difference. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, seasoning cube and white pepper.
Bring to a boil, taste, add salt and 1/2 teaspoon each of curry and thyme, if needed. Boil till spices are well blended about 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix cornflour with 3 tablespoons of water making sure there are no lumps.
In a deep frying pan, put vegetable oil, when hot, add onions, carrot and green beans, add a little salt and saute over medium heat till onions is transparent and carrot and green beans have soften a bit, about 5 minutes.
Add green pepper and red pepper saute for a few minutes.
Then separate cabbage bits, add and stir around, take off the heat. Do not overcook because it is still going to be cooked further in the stock.
Dump the vegetables into the well seasoned stock, stir and taste. Place over medium high heat, stir the cornflour and pour into the sauce stirring all the time so that no lumps will form.
Leave to boil till thickened and there is no rawness from the cornflour. Take off the heat.
- The times given are for thickly cut vegetables. If you cut your vegetables into small sizes, the timing will be considerably shorter.
- Do not cover while still hot because the steam will settle on the pot cover and go back into the sauce as water making it watery.
- Also do not leave your metal spoon in your sauce when you have taken it off the heat, this will also make it go watery.
- Chicken can be substituted with beef. Goat meat will be too gamey for this sauce.
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