Tomato in Nigeria market is like gold at the moment. Cooking stew is no longer fun for women.
A song writer says: “Men may not understand…”.
As prices of food items go up, the calculation skill of most women is finding expression now.
Really, people who do not know how much value the naira is losing find the answer in the market.
Since the protest by some farmers in the north, there appears to be a permanent shift in the cost of tomato.
The surprising thing is that sellers of tomato still use the cupcake-like pan to display it for customers to buy.
But when you look at the quantity you get, you will find that things have really taken a different turn.
Tomato is getting out of the reach of a common Nigerian.
The price of tomato now makes it necessary that families begin to look at stew alternatives for rice.
We have explored some very healthy alternatives and here are a few you too should try.
1. Stew/Vegetable Sauce
One good thing about this rising cost of tomato is that it will give people an opportunity to eat healthier meals.
We know that it will not be easy to totally look away from tomato. Some will even wonder how rice will taste without stew.
As a result of this tradition of eating rice with stew, we make this recommendation.
This combination does not take away tomato from your meal, but it offers you an opportunity to buy little tomato for stew while you also buy more vegetables.
Instead of spending so much on tomato, you should buy more of vegetable. Get different varieties.
Prepare a small amount of stew with the tomato and then prepare the vegetable in a way that it will contain bits of meat or chicken, fish, blended crayfish, spice and other things you also add to stew.
Ensure the vegetable sauce contains little water.
This alternative will give you more nutrients than the tomato stew you usually consume.
2. Banga Stew
Interestingly, this is not new to people from the southern states in Nigeria.
Here, you use palm fruits to prepare a soup that you will add some spices and vegetable (scent leave) into.
Onions (half ball)
Fish & meat
Stock fish (optional)
Dry fish (optional)
Cocoyam powder or yam as thickener
Boil your palm fruits until it is ready. Pound or mash with your hands in a pot or bowl (ensure it is not hot).
Add clean water to it and wash out the oil. Filter it into a pot and then place it on fire.
Ensure that you have bought banga spices and scent leaf.
Add your fish, meat and other things you need to have in the banga stew. Add the scent leaf and allow to steam for some time.
You can thicken with yam, or cocoyam. When it is ready, the aroma will be very alluring and then there will be some form of oil on top.
Watch how to make Banga Stew
3. Egusi Soup
Egusi soup is another nice alternative to stew when tomato is expensive.
All you need is one or two cups of Egusi (depending on the number of persons in the family), palm oil, fish and meat, stock fish (optional), onions, crayfish (ground), locust beans, thickener (cocoyam powder or yam) and vegetable.
Prepare the normal way you prepare your egusi soup.
You can watch how to cook egusi soup to get more insight.
Note that using too much oil to prepare your egusi soup is not healthy, since egusi seeds have so much oil.
4. Nsala (White) Soup
This white soup is not so much of a popular soup, but it is rich in nutrients as a result of the ingredients.
Get your fish and meat, ask for white soup spices, crayfish (ground), dry fish (optional), Stock fish (optional).
While this is a great soup for white rice, women traying to conceive should make sure there is no uda in the spices mix.
Kindly read our earlier article on uda.
To prepare, boil your meat until it is soft, add your fish and then other ingredients and allow to boil for few minutes before you add your spice. Add the thickener and when it thickens, add your salt to taste.
Serve the soup in one plate and then the rice in another.
5. Okra Soup
Okra soup is also a nutritious soup to eat your rice with. But it is not that type that is very slimy.
To reduce the slimy nature, add onions to it.
For most persons, the slimy nature of the soup makes it a ‘No’ for them when you serve as stew alternative.
As a result, making sure it is not slimy is key.
You will also need a bit of vegetables in it.
Ensure that it does not cook for so long, in order not to lose the nutrients.
Watch how to prepare your Okro for rice.
6. Cucumber Sauce
Finally, you may want to try our cucumber sauce.
This is one amazing sauces you can enjoy your rice with.
It is prepared with a small amount of tomato, and then other ingredients you will love to have in your usual stew.
Fry the cucumber for 4 to 5 minutes add your chicken of meat stock, tomato, other ingredients like curry, natural seasoning, your fish and meat and then salt (to taste).
Actually it is easy to prepare. However, make sure you eat some of the cucumber before you use them. Some cucumber are bitter.
To bring in more nutrients, you can add carrot and beetroot to the mix while frying it.
Kindly share other alternatives people can try in the comment section.
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