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Ata Dindin - Nigerian Fried Pepper Stew

Ata Dindin - Nigerian Fried Pepper Stew

Nigerian cuisine is known for its vibrant and spicy flavors, and one of the most popular dishes that embody these qualities is fried pepper stew, also known as ata dindin. This dish is made by sautéing onions and bell peppers in vegetable oil and then simmering them with tomatoes, spices, and chili peppers until a rich, fragrant sauce is formed. It is commonly served with rice, plantains, yams, or any starchy side dish. Whether enjoyed as a main course or a flavorful topping, it is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

To make Nigerian fried pepper stew, the first step is to gather the necessary ingredients. These include:

  • 5 large red bell peppers
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup vegetable oil


  • Once the ingredients are assembled, the first step is to blend the bell peppers, tomatoes, habanero peppers, onion, and garlic in a food processor until smooth. 
  • Then, heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the blended pepper mixture and tomato paste, and stir to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the dried thyme, basil, salt, and pepper.
  •  Allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have melded together. Be sure to taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Once the sauce is ready, it can be served immediately with a starchy side dish of your choice. Some popular options include boiled rice, boiled or roasted plantains, or boiled yams. Fried pepper stew is also a great topping for grilled meats like chicken or beef.