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Obe Ata Dip

Prep Time
Cook Time

March 15, 2021 by Max Baroni

Dip into this slightly sweet and perfectly spiced dip with our Sea Salt Fonio Chips — we promise this dip is worth the wait. Inspired by traditional Nigerian Obe Ata stews, this recipe hones in on simple ingredients to bring a powerful punch of flavor. If you aren’t scared away by the 2 plus hours it can take to complete, you’re in for a treat. The extra cooking time allows the oils to break from the sauce and sauté the vegetable purée, further deepening its flavor. If you’re short on time, you can stop at the end of step 4 and still have a fabulous dip.

If you can’t find red palm oil, order in advance here. You can substitute with another oil but we don’t recommend it. Palm oil is a great staple to have in your house, a key to West African cuisines, and it delivers an earthier, sweeter flavor. It’s best served warm and lasts up to a week in the fridge or a few months in the freezer.


Makes 1 Large bowl (about 3 cups)
    • red bell peppers, stemmed, cored, and roughly chopped
    • tablespoons West African palm oil
    • cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
    • large plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
    • Fresno chili peppers, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
    • habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
    • 1½  large red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
    • One  2-inch segment peeled fresh ginger, roughly chopped
    • cups chicken stock, low-sodium broth, or vegetable stock
    • tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
    • ½  teaspoon Nigerian curry powder (any curry powder will work)
    • ½  teaspoon ground chipotle powder
    • Salt


      • 01 .  

        Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

      • 02 .  

        In a large bowl, toss bell peppers with 1 tablespoon of the palm oil. Season with salt. Transfer in an even layer to one of the baking sheets. In the same bowl, toss the garlic, tomato, Fresno chili, habanero, onion, and ginger with 2 tablespoons of the palm oil. Season with salt. Transfer in an even layer to the other baking sheet.

      • 03 .  

        Roast the vegetables, rotating baking sheets once or twice during cooking, until tender and slightly charred in spots, about 45 minutes for the bell peppers and 30 minutes for the tomatoes, chilies, and onions.

      • 04 .  

        Scrape all of the roasted vegetables into a blender or food processor. Add the curry powder and chipotle powder before blending. Pulse until a smooth purée forms.

      • 05 .  

        Transfer vegetable purée to a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. Stir in chicken stock, remaining 1 tablespoon palm oil, and canola oil. Bring to a simmer. Season lightly with salt, then simmer (uncovered) until sauce thickens to a dip-like consistency, about 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.

      • 06 .  

        Transfer dip to a heat-proof bowl and let cool. This dip can be enjoyed at any temperature but we like it best chilled.


      VeganNachoswith Tangy Baobab!Fonio Chips