This Nigerian pepper sauce with beef recipe is one of the most famous and popular African stews. It is filled with an incredible blend of savory flavors that pairs well with many other foods.
You can serve this pepper stew with rice, yam, plantains, or Amala. But there really are no limits!
Why I Love This Nigerian Pepper Sauce With Beef Recipe
First, what is a Nigerian pepper sauce? This dish is also known as Obe Ata or Ata Dindin. In reality, it is a tomato or pepper stew base to which a variety of meat can be added. That includes beef, pork, and chicken as well as seafood.
It is arguably one of the most popular and versatile African stew recipes out there. There are countless variations for this recipe and even more ways you can serve it!
Virtually, the only thing they all should have in common is that they use bell peppers, tomatoes, and chilis!
This recipe is a Nigerian hot pepper sauce. I use habanero or Scotch bonnet chilis to add an uber spicy flavor. You can add more or take out some if you’d like.
I also use simple flavoring ingredients like garlic, ginger, beef stock, and Nigerian curry powder. None of these are difficult to find and are very affordable.
Some other more traditional ingredients my friends add are crayfish powder and locust bean powder. These add an even more savory flavor. But you don’t need to add them.
This recipe is also incredibly easy. Unlike other stews that have a ton of carefully laid-out steps, this one only has a few. The process still takes a while (like any stew), but it is well worth the wait. After all, while the stew is simmering, you don’t have to stand and stir constantly.
Variations of This Nigerian Pepper Sauce Recipe
The main variations people make to Nigerian pepper sauce recipes mostly relate to the amount and ratio of tomato and red bell pepper they use. Obviously, the seasoning ingredients do vary as well, but they aren’t as essential compared to the above-mentioned elements.
Many people also like to make this stew with roasted tomatoes. That adds a super rich caramelized flavor. I love to make the pepper stew this way if I have more time on my hands.
And finally, the type and amount of chili you add are also flexible. But, this pepper sauce recipe is supposed to be spicy. So, don’t cut back on too much.
Tips For Making My Nigerian Pepper Sauce With Beef Recipe
Having all of your ingredients prepared before you start making this stew is crucial. That will save you a lot of time. And more importantly, it will help avoid under or overcooking ingredients because of timing issues.
For the bell peppers and chili peppers, you can wash and deseed them. This step will help you get a smoother sauce. Once cleaned and prepped, you can cut them into chunks.
When browning meat, always work with small batches. This way, you don’t overcrowd your pan which will prevent the beef from browning nicely.
The reason I like to use a food processor for this recipe is that you can control the texture. If you use a blender (like most other recipes) the mixture will have a smooth consistency. But, in a food processor, you can make it textured or smooth. It just gives you more options.
What do you serve with Ata?
My Nigerian pepper sauce with beef is best when served with its traditional accompaniments. That includes Amala, rice, cassava, or plantains. These are only a few options and there are a ton more. It is easy to pair, packed with flavor and protein and will be the richest dish on your dinner table.
What is Nigerian pepper sauce used for?
This sauce is more of a stew base than an actual sauce. It isn’t drizzled over items. Instead, you cook the ingredients inside it. That can include other vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, and even seafood. Tripe is also especially popular.
What does Obe Ata (pepper sauce) taste like?
Obe Ata is a very spicy pepper sauce that isn’t for the faint of heart. You make it from real chili peppers, not black pepper spice. It has a prominent tomato-like and bell pepper flavor that is very savory and simultaneously fresh.
Can you make Ata Dindin less spicy?
You can make this recipe less spicy, but don’t take away the spice. You can also use chili peppers that are less spicy, like banana chilis.
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Nigerian Pepper Sauce With Beef – A Delicious Easy Recipe
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 pound beef, cubed
- 4 red bell peppers, prepared
- 3 habanero or Scotch bonnet chili peppers, prepared
- 3 large red tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 small brown onion, diced
- 2-3 cups liquid beef or vegetable stock
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp Nigerian curry powder
- Fresh chopped coriander, for garnish
- 4 Boiled eggs (optional)
- To start, prepare all of your ingredients. That includes cleaning and preparing your red bell peppers and chili peppers. Look at my tips section on how you should do this. Then, you can also measure out and prepare the other ingredients.
- Once your ingredients are prepared, you can brown your beef cubes first. Then, heat oil in a frying pan over high heat (not smoking). Add the beef cubes and fry them until they are evenly browned on all sides. You don't have to cook them through. They need to get some color and a meaty flavor. Set the batches aside until you need them later.
- Next, place the diced bell peppers, chili peppers, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, and ginger in a food processor. Blend until you have a uniform mixture.
- Now start frying the diced brown onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook it until it becomes translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the blended pepper mixture to the cooked onions. Bring the sauce to a simmer and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. It will become thick as it is reduced.
- Next, add the browned beef cubes, 1 1/2 cups liquid stock, dried thyme, and curry powder. Give the mixture a good stir to incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Then, lower the heat and allow the stew to cook until the meat is tender and juicy, but cooked. That can take up to 2 hours depending on the type of beef cut you are using and how large the cubes are.
- Keep an eye on the mixture as it cooks and add more stock if needed. Stir your Nigerian pepper sauce with beef frequently to prevent it from burning at the base.
- Once your stew has finished cooking, Stir in the boiled eggs and leave to simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes serve it immediately with freshly chopped coriander on top.