Recipe courtesy of Gabi Odebode for Food Network Kitchen

Obe Ata

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
In southwest Nigeria, there is a delicious dish the Yoruba tribe calls obe ata, which translates to pepper stew or soup. It is made with red bell peppers known as tatashe, which are blended with tomatoes, onion and habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper. This stew is very dear to me because my husband, who is from the Yoruba tribe, taught me how to make it. His recipe doesn't incorporate garlic, but I like to add fresh garlic to give the stew a robust flavor. You can choose from a variety of proteins when making obe ata--chicken, goat, beef or fish--and vegetarians can replace the meat with mushrooms. Beef is my protein of choice because I enjoy the rich flavor it adds to this dish. Obe ata is usually served with steamed rice, yam, plantains and, at times, bread. It can also be served alongside pasta and potatoes.



  1. Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes. Rinse with water, then transfer to a bowl. Season with the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, if using, 1 teaspoon of the thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt, rubbing it into the beef. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the beef until dark brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a clean bowl. Reserve the Dutch oven and the oil.
  3. Blend the garlic, red bell peppers, tomatoes, habanero, if using, and 1 cup of the chopped onion in a food processor to a puree. Place the Dutch oven over medium heat and heat 3 tablespoons of the reserved beef oil. Add the remaining chopped onion and cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomato and bell pepper puree and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer until the vegetables start to break down, release liquid and become saucy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the seared beef, curry powder, bouillon powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and stir to combine; the stew should be reddish-orange. Simmer on low, uncovered, until some of the liquid reduces, the stew thickens slightly and a layer of oil appears on the surface, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust with salt if needed. Pair the stew with rice and sweet plantains.