Vegetable sauce (stew) combines fluted pumpkin leaves, tomatoes, spices and other simple ingredients to make a delicious sauce for rice.
In this article, I will show you exactly how I prepared the delicious-looking plate of rice and vegetable stew below and why I think this sauce beats the conventional tomato stew to a pulp.
You will also find this recipe on page 12 of the ultimate Nigerian cookbook.
For me, it has not always been just about foods; it has been a lot more. Last year I started talking about healthy Nigerian foods, how to eliminate junks from foods, heck! I even wrote an article about foods that fight heart diseases.
I doing all this I was only hoping for ways to incorporate healthy foods into our daily diet and of course, eliminate junk. We live in a continent where so much junk is daily served as foods.
I have always maintained there is a direct correlation between the foods we eat and our total wellbeing.
Making this vegetable sauce was amazingly easy, you can do it is less than 45 minutes, the good thing is that it goes with rice, beans or even boiled yam.
First, I am going to show you how to make a vegetable sauce for rice and then we are going to learn why this is more delicious, easier to prepare and a lot healthier than the alternatives.
Ingredients For Vegetable Sauce
Preparation Time: 60 minutes
4 cups of sliced fresh tomatoes.
Sliced fresh pepper (To taste).
1 cup of sliced onions.
3 seasoning cubes
1KG of assorted meat.
Half teaspoon of beef seasoning spice
One big bowl of sliced fluted pumpkin.
3 spoons of ground crayfish.
200ml vegetable oil.
Salt to taste.
Assorted meat is a combination of different parts of cow meats (liver, kidney, intestine, tripe, etc.)
There are different brands of beef seasoning spice, you can pick any of them. With time, you will get better with your choices.
Start by washing and slicing the tomatoes, I recommend you use really fresh tomatoes; also slice the pepper, onions and set them aside in a plate.
Wash the fluted pumpkin and slice to a bit, the seller usually does this if you patronize Nigerian local markets, it is best to wash the leaves before you slice them.
Parboil the meat with two seasoning cubes, beef seasoning spice (kitchen glory or any other), half cup of sliced onions, allow to simmer for 5 minutes, add a cup of water and cook for more 30 minutes. Add half teaspoon of salt and cook till the meat softens (this should take extra 10 minutes).
You should have a table looking like below.
Set your cooking pot on heat, add 250ml of vegetable oil, allow to heat before adding the sliced tomato/pepper/onions. Allow to fry and dry for the next 10-15 minutes, remember to stir occasionally to avoid burning. See image below.
Add the cooked meat, remaining cube of maggi, salt to taste, crayfish and stir, allow to simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
Taste for salt, you may add another seasoning cube
Add the leaves (vegetables), stir properly and taste for salt. Allow simmering on low heat for 3-4 minutes and you just made a delicious pot of vegetable sauce for rice.
I combined vegetable sauce with white boiled rice and served as lunch or dinner. You can also pair with either beans or yam.
In my case, I served with white boiled rice and added some fried plantain cubes.
Now My Comparative Analyses
Which do you really think is better, if you ask me, I would go for the vegetable sauce; not just because
it is easy to prepare; I find it very delicious and healthier than the alternative. They have also proven olive oil to be healthier than groundnut/vegetable oil.
At some point, you will start knowing the difference between these choices and how one differs from another. For me, it is not just about foods, they must be healthy too.
If you like, you can even omit the oil completely, just boil the meats, once it is soft, add the sliced tomatoes, pepper, onions to it, allow to cook together for 10-15 minutes, add the crayfish, etc. As long as you are using fresh tomatoes, it would taste very nice.
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Vegetable Sauce Recipe
- 4 cups of sliced fresh tomatoes.
- Sliced fresh pepper To taste.
- 1 cup of sliced onions.
- 3 seasoning cubes
- 1 KG of assorted meat.
- Half teaspoon of beef seasoning spice
- One big bowl of sliced fluted pumpkin.
- 3 spoons of ground crayfish.
- 200 ml vegetable oil
- Salt to taste.
- Wash and slice the fresh tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
- Slice the vegetables (fluted pumpkin) to tiny bits. Wash before you slice.
- Season the assorted meat with two seasoning cubes, half teaspoon of beef seasoning spice, a teaspoon of salt and cook for 30 minutes.
- Heat your frying pan, add 200ml of vegetable oil, once heated add the sliced onions, then the tomatoes and peppers. Let them fry for 10-15 minutes, stir in-between.
- Add the cooked meat, the remaining seasoning cube, salt to taste, ground crayfish and stir, let it simmer for 4 minutes.
- Add vegetables, stir, taste for salt.
- Let it simmer on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve this vegetable sauce (stew) with rice, beans or yam. I decided to throw in some fried ripe plantain.