OBE ATA ~ Nigerian Pepper Soup

Obe Ate or Pepper Soup is one of the most high-profile Nigerian dishes. Like nearly every sauce from West Africa, it has a flavourful base of tomatoes, onions and bell peppers with copious amounts of fresh chillis. It is delicious, yes, but it is almost medicinal depending on the amount of hot pepper used. The idea is to basically blow torch your digestive system to cure what ails you. Obe Ata night in the FlavourFull house is a joyous occasion. Since being introduced to this dish it is one of my favourites to prepare. It was a bit daunting at first due to its novelty but no that I am an old hand at it’s a breeze. Hopefully you will be too
after getting the recipe. This dish takes about 1 hour to prepare and cook.

What You’ll Need

1 kg of meat, we suggest goat but you can also fish, beef or game.

1 tbsp of Olive Oil and another of Palm Oil (if you do not have palm oil olive should do but get some at your local international grocer because it adds the distinctive African flavour)

2 Bell peppers, 1 green 1 red

2-3 Tomatoes 2 Onions,

1 chopped up for cooking the meat the other for the sauce.

2-3 Cloves of garlic chopped Hot Peppers ~ we used 3 super spicy Jamaican “hot chocolate” scotch bonnets. It’s to your tolerance.

1 Can tomato paste

2  seasoning Cubes (we strongly recommend AGAINST the usual MSG laden cubes.) Your local health food store should have Harvest Sun or Go Bio bouillon cubes and powders.

Coarse Salt (we used pink salt)

1-2 tbsps Obe Ata spice blend


This is made up of a mixture of local herbs and spices which are
not readily available in most supermarkets except in stores specialising
in African Foods but similar herbs which can be easily obtained could
be used to achieve almost the same effect.


50g / 2oz aniseed

50g / 2oz aniseed pepper

25g / loz cloves

50g / 2oz coriander seeds

50g / 2oz cumin seeds

50g / 2oz allspice

50g / 2oz dried ginger

50g / 2oz tamarind pods

50g / 2oz fennel seeds


50g / 2oz atariko

50g / 2oz uda

50g / 2oz gbafilo

50g / 2oz ginger (dried)

50g / 2oz rigije

50g / 2oz uyayak

Combine all the ingredients and grind in a clean coffee grinder to
a smooth powder. Store in an airtight jar and use as required. Would
store indefinitely ~ Source Nigeria Online Recipes Section


1) A dutch oven would be best but a large heavy bottomed stock pot will do. Put 1 tbsp of olive oil and another tbsp of palm oil into the heated pan. Once the oil is heated add the chopped onion, garlic and 1 tbsp of coarse salt. Give it a quick stir then add the chopped up meat. Cover on high heat for 15-20 minutes. Add about 2/3 cup of water after this point.

2) While the meat is cooking initially, prepare the sauce. Put all of the other ingredients — bell pepper, onions, hot peppers & tomatoes — in a food processor or blender and puree. Add to the goat once it is well browned and the fat has started to separate from the bone. N.B.Decore the bell peppers and remove the stems from the hot peppers.

Down the chute.

Down the chute.

3) Now add the seasoning cubes, the entire can of tomato paste and the Obe Ata spice blend. Stir well making sure to thoroughly combine all the spices, sauce and meat. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium heat and let cook for 40 more minutes or until meat is very soft.

******THE cooking time will be less if you decide to use fish since it cooks much faster.In that case, prepare the sauce before cooking the fish as it will be ready in about 10 minutes and only require 25-30 minutes of cooking and simmering******

4) This dish goes well with rice. Take a look at another post of ours on how to make a perfect pot of rice. 5) Spoon out rice onto a plate and top with Pepper Soup.

Serves 6-8.

Obe Ata over rice

It’s likely that you will have leftovers. This is even spicier the next day and more flavourful since the spices seep deeper into the meat. I made this for a potluck at work and it was the talk of the whole shindig.

Please Like, Comment, Follow & Share. We would also love to see your own batches of this soup!

Mama FlavourFull


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