A Guide to Cooking Nigerian Tinned Tomato Stew


Nigerian cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and aromatic spices, and one of the staple dishes that represents the heart of Nigerian cooking is the tinned tomato stew. This traditional stew is a versatile and flavorful base that can be used in a variety of Nigerian dishes. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply craving a taste of Nigeria, this article will guide you through the process of preparing a delicious Nigerian tinned tomato stew right in your own kitchen.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 cans (400g each) of tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 stock cubes (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 or 2 Scotch bonnet peppers (ata rodo), chopped (for those who enjoy some heat)

Step 1: Sauté the onions and garlic
Start by heating the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, stirring occasionally until they become translucent and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them.

Step 2: Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato paste
Once the onions and garlic are sautéed, add the tinned tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. If using Scotch bonnet peppers, this is the time to add them as well.

Step 3: Season the stew
Add the dried thyme, curry powder, paprika, dried basil, dried oregano, stock cubes, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir well to ensure all the spices and seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the stew.

Step 4: Simmer and cook
Reduce the heat to low and let the stew simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. This will allow the flavors to develop and the stew to thicken.

Step 5: Adjust the seasoning
Taste the stew and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. Add more salt, pepper, or spices as desired. Remember, cooking is an art, and you have the freedom to tailor the flavors to suit your taste.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy
Once the tinned tomato stew has simmered to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy. This flavorful stew can be paired with a variety of dishes such as rice, Nigerian jollof rice, fried plantains, yam, or beans. The options are endless!


Nigerian tinned tomato stew is a delightful and versatile dish that is adored by many. With the right combination of ingredients and a bit of patience, you can recreate the authentic flavors of Nigerian cuisine in your own home. This article has provided a step-by-step guide to cooking a delicious tinned tomato stew that will leave your taste buds craving for more. So, grab your pots and pans, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary journey to Nigeria as you savor the flavorsome delight of this traditional dish. Happy cooking!

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