our newbies, the KFB foodie talk column – handled by Dobby of Dobbysignature – is basically for ladies and
‘guys’ that are interested in learning how to cook better ;).
Today, Dobby discusses how to make Homemade Buka Stew
pronounced “Boo-car”: A name used to describe makeshift restaurants
where local Nigerian meals are sold at extremely cheap rates.
to see a friend of mine some years ago was when i confirmed the power of
well prepared buka stew. There was no light and food at her place so
she suggested we strolled out to get something to eat. Right where the
major market was located was a little buka close to the main road with
“Mama Friday buka ” written boldly in front.
I laughed when we passed the door and told her i wasn’t hungry anymore.
She said it was her favorite eating place and wasted no time in
ordering beans and stew with pomo and egg. After a while when i couldn’t
take it anymore, i decided to “manage” the white rice and stew. Before i
knew what was happening, i had ordered a second round plus “take away”
for later on…lol!
Contrary to all
ambiguities associated with the preparation of this delicacy, buka stew
is simply a palm-oil based stew made with a mixture of tomato and
different varieties of pepper. In this post, i’d be teaching you how to
make buka stew right at home so you won’t go longing for it outside
your home anymore ;).
The major base of buka stew is palm-oil. As we all know, normal cooking
oil could be quite expensive especially when cooking for commercial
purposes. A cheaper and more affordable substitute is palm-oil. this
helps keep the balance as well as adds a distinct flavor to the stew.
When making buka stew, you have to prepare the oil first before it can
is to heat up the oil till it becomes clear like vegetable oil. This
process is known as bleaching. Bleaching is best done in a ventilated
kitchen to avoid being choked by the smoke so ensure you open all the
windows if you have to.
the oil in a dry empty pot. It’s best to use an iron pot (preferably an
old one) because bleaching tends to stain pots. Cover the pot and heat
up on medium for about 10 mins then turn off the burner (Don’t open up
to check while it’s being heated else it’d catch fire when exposed to
air and you might end up setting your kitchen on fire). Leave it closed
some few minutes after bleaching to ensure the smoke reduces and till
the oil cools off. Please note that timing is very crucial during this
process so you have to be careful to avoid the situation where the oil
catches fire. Once the bleaching is done, the palmoil would look more
like vegetable oil as shown below.
using assorted beef, it’s best to take out time to wash properly. If
you intend using Pomo, scrape out the dirty inner part (which is usually
Sandy & dirty) including the outer skin thoroughly. If you intend
using intestines, turn inside out and remove the saturated fats there
(most people keep it in though). If using tripe a.k.a Towel or sharki in
the Nigerian local market, wash thoroughly.
and Assorted meat with clean water and cut into smaller chunks, place in
a medium sized pot. Add the seasoning cubes, Salt to taste, 1 chopped
onion and 2-3 cups of water. Leave to cook till tender for about 25-30
mins till tender. Set aside.
For this step, you’d need tomatoes and a variety of peppers. what buka
stew makers do is to look for tomatoes that are already soft. This is
because in the local market, these types are usually sold far cheaper
than the stronger tomatoes due to their perishable tendencies. The green
bell pepper is optional but to get a better flavor, it’s best to add
it. Remove the Seeds from the Tatashey, remove the stalk from the chili
pepper and scotch bonnet. Wash the peppers thoroughly and place in a
blender with the Tomatoes and the 2 remaining onions. Blend into a very
smooth puree. All buka stew makers make use of commercial mills to
achieve this. With the commercial mill, the tomatoes and peppers is
ground more than once to give it the very smooth texture. Pour the blend
into a medium sized pot and cook till the the liquid evaporates leaving
the concentrated tomato and pepper paste.
bleached palm-oil into the concentrated paste and fry for about 5 mins.
Make sure you stir once in a while to prevent the paste from burning.
Once it’s well fried, you’d notice the oil separate from the paste.
Gently add the meat water, assorted meat and washed panla fish (if
you’re using any). Check for salt and seasoning, add more if needed.
Cover the pot and leave to cook for about 15 minutes. Once the time is
up, you’d notice the oil would settle on top of the pot. Turn off the
burner and leave to cool for a while.
the peeled eggs into the pot. The stew can be served with boiled rice,
yam, beans potatoes or even as a side for various soups.