Saturday, 14 February 2015


'Buka' is a slow cooked, smoky tomato and pepper stew which is popular amongst Nigerians and a perfect accompaniment to most African dishes. The sauce can be cooked with any preferred meat, boiled eggs and offal, (tripe etc).

 The secret to making the best smoky Buka from my perspective, is by using a clay pot and slow cooking the sauce to a rich dark sauce. The classic recipe requires more palm oil than my recommendation, however I prefer to use less oil in most of my dishes. In my next recipe I use the smoky Buka sauce for Jollof rice. 

Serves 8

3 red bell peppers 
1 green bell pepper
3 large red onions
2 habanero chillies
15g ginger (optional)
4 large sun ripened tomatoes
2 tablespoons of spicy Palm oil ( Zomi)
2 Shrimp cubes
Salt to taste


Blend together the onions, ginger, shrimp cubes and chilli
In a clay pot/ saucepan melt the palm oil till it just begins to smoke. The clay pot gives the stew it's  smoky flavour.

 Lower the heat and add the onion and chilli paste. 
Don't rinse the blender at this stage, as you will blend the other ingredients later. 

Cook the mixture on a slow heat for about 15 minutes, making sure you stir the mixture constantly, to avoid burning the sauce.

In the blender, add the red pepper, green pepper and tomatoes and blend to a smooth paste. 
Add the red pepper mix to the reduced sauce, adding a bit of water to clean the blender, pouring the contents into the saucepan and cook slowly (35 -45 min) till you have a richer and darker sauce. 

At this stage you can add your preferred cooked meat and it's juices to the sauce. 

Cook for a further 10 -12 minutes.

Add salt to taste and serve. This mixture can keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze for not more than 3 months. 

I prefer to make my Buka stew in a big batch without any meat, serve into batches and freeze. This allows me to use different meats with my Buka sauce. 

Best with rice and black eyed beans. 
All photos are by the owner of this blog.