Give your taste buds some Ayamashe foodgasms

Ijeoma Creative Commons

Growing up in an average Nigerian home in a Lagos suburb came with many perks. We got to attend lots of parties, and if you are familiar with Nigerian Yoruba parties, you would know they are classy with all the local choice food on display.

I remember the first time I tasted this sauce; it was at a birthday party. It looked like nothing I had eaten before so you can guess already that my first reaction was scepticism. However, I was encouraged by the host to try just a spoon before I determined if I wanted it or not. Thankfully, I yielded the advice of the host. The rest, as they say, became history.

Ayamashe is a staple meal found in the Yoruba speaking parts of Nigeria, West Africa. An owambe (code name for extravagant parties with full-on stylized clothes and accessories), is incomplete without Ayamashe sauce in attendance. The Ayamashe sauce, bursting with flavour, is usually paired with rice.

Although this sauce became popular from owambes, it is not uncommon for many families to prepare this sauce either as a Sunday special or to celebrate some special holiday or occasion.

 

How to make your own Ayamashe

Ingredients

4 Green bell paprika pepper
2 Green chilli peppers
2 Green habanero (you may increase this depending on your spice tolerance level)
1 medium sized onion
750 g Assorted Meat (beef, cow tripe, cow skin, liver, kidney) – already cooked
5 Hard-boiled eggs
3 Unripe tomatoes (optional)
Locust beans (optional)
4 Tbs Dried shrimps (optional)
1 Tbs Salt
2 Seasoning cubes
2 cups of oil

Note: You can also cook this with fish as an alternative to beef or as a vegetarian dish by leaving out the meat, fish, shrimp, and eggs.

 

Preparation

  1. Set all the dry ingredients aside.
  2. Blend the paprika, onion, chilli peppers, habanero without adding any water.
  3. Pour the oil into a non-stick pot and heat until it turns a dark translucent brown colour. Pour in the blended pepper mixture and stir from time to time. Let it cook for about 25 minutes or until all the moisture is gone.
  4. Add your assorted meat or fish and let it cook for 5 minutes (you can skip this part if you choose the vegetarian option).
  5. Pour in all the dry ingredients including seasoning cubes, salt, shrimps, and locust beans. Turn down the heat and let it cook on medium heat for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with cooked basmati or jasmine rice

 

Your tastebud has just embarked on a journey to food-heaven. Enjoy the meal!