A veggie sauce packed with Nigerian flavours. The heat has been softened in this version, but it’s still got a kick – add more chillies if you like it fiery! Ayo serves it over cauli rice, but plain rice is also lovely.
For the paste
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
- 4cm/1½in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- generous pinch red chilli flakes, plus extra if desired
For the sauce
For the cauliflower rice
For the paste, put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to form a smooth paste.
For the sauce, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for 6–8 minutes, or until softened, stirring frequently. Add the paste and fry for a further 1–2 minutes. Stir in the chilli powder, paprika, bay leaf, sugar, allspice, ½ tablespoon salt and a generous pinch pepper. Fry for 1–2 minutes until the spices are aromatic. Stir in the tomato purée and then add the chopped tomatoes. Pour in around 100ml/3½fl oz water. Stir well and cook over a low heat for 35–40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water if it looks too dry. Check and season with salt and pepper if needed and add additional chilli flakes to reach your desired heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Meanwhile, for the cauliflower rice, coarsely grate the raw cauliflower into a bowl (or use a food processor to pulse in batches until it resembles fine crumbs or rice). Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium–high heat and fry the bacon, garlic, onion and ginger for a few minutes, stirring frequently. When the bacon is crisp, add the cauliflower ‘rice’ and yellow pepper. Fry for a couple of minutes to soften.
Crumble in the stock cube and pour in 75–100ml/2½–3½fl oz boiling water. Stir to dissolve the stock cube. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is dry and has a fluffy texture. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, divide the cauliflower rice between serving plates and spoon the sauce on top. Scatter with chopped basil to garnish.