Mama Put Stew: Authentic Buka Stew

People queuing up at shacks at lunch time to be served food laced with the authentic Buka Stew is a common sight in Nigeria. You will see several of these shacks known as bukas close to office buildings. Mama Put is derived from the expression people use to place their orders. “Mama put rice and beans for me.” “Mama put N100 rice, N50 beans, N50 plantain with 2 ponmo for me.”

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Nigerian Mama Put Stew (Buka Stew)

Buka Stew (Mama Put Stew) [Video]

Recipes Related to Buka (Mama Put) Stew:

Buka (Mama Put) Stew Ingredients

Please read the notes below for more information.

  • 1kg soft, gone off tomatoes
  • Peppers
    • Tatashe
    • Shombo (a type of cayenne)
    • Habanero peppers (atarodo)
  • Assorted meat
    • Beef cuts
    • Beef intestines (roundabout)
    • Cow tripe (shaki)
    • Cow skin (ponmo, kanda)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 150g tomato paste
  • 1 big mackerel fish
  • 4 small seasoning cubes
  • 2 onions
  • 1 teaspoon thyme or to your taste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • Salt to taste

Notes on the Buka Stew ingredients

  1. For buka stew, you need tomatoes that are very soft, that have developed a special kind of taste. See the video below for how to simulate that in your kitchen if you are not in Nigeria.
  2. Shombo has the same shape as tiny cayenne peppers but it is not as hot as cayenne peppers.
  3. If you do not have tatashe, use fresh paprika peppers.

Before you prepare Mama Put Stew

  1. Clean the tomatoes, de-seed the tatashe and blend the peppers and tomatoes with the heavy duty grinders in Nigerian markets (see video below). These grinders do a better job blending the soft tomatoes with the “plastic” skin than home blenders. If you do not have a heavy duty grinder close to you, use your home blender.
  2. Slice some of the onions and chop some.
  3. Clean the mackerel and cut into 1 inch thick slices.
  4. Clean the meat. Turn the intestines inside out and clean very well else your buka stew will taste badly.

Directions for making Buka Stew (Mama Put Stew)

  1. Pour the tomato puree in a big enough pot, boil on the stove till all the water dries up.
  2. Add the tomato paste, mix very well and set aside.
  3. Cook the meats with onions, 3 seasoning cubes and thyme.
  4. Boil the fish with onions and 1 seasoning cube to get the fish stock.
  5. Heat some vegetable oil in a pot. Add some onions and fry the fish till golden. Set aside.
  6. Add more onions to the oil and fry the tomato puree till perfect. Click here for how to fry your best tomato stew base for Nigerian cooking.
  7. Add curry powder, the meats, the fried fish and the fish and meat stock.
  8. Stir very well and add salt if necessary.
  9. Cover and leave to simmer and it’s done!

Serve with boiled white rice, boiled beans, boiled white yam, fried plantains, fried potatoes, you can even dip stretchy soft bread (also known as Agege Bread) into it. Yummy!

Watch the video below to see the Buka Stew recipe in living colour because written words are not enough.