janet @ the taste space

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on December 8, 2010 at 5:52 AM

As a Canadian, I don’t like to get confused with being an American.  So, I wonder whether it is offensive to call this an African dish? I mean Africa is a big place, with a lot of variation from country to country, and here I am lumping this dish with the whole continent. 😛 I am not worried about offending anyone because this dish was so delicious that every country should be fighting to claim it as their own. 🙂

Despite recently travelling to Morocco (more about that later!), I am no expert in African cuisine. I didn’t come across any peanut stew in Morocco. A bit of research tells me peanut (or groundnut) stews are typical of sub-Saharan cuisine. I recently made an African pineapple, kale and peanut stew, and was intrigued to try peanut butter in a savoury dish again. Adapted from Vegan Planet, this is a delicious vegetable stew. Again, we have a nice mixture of sweet from the sweet potatoes and tomato, with the salty and smooth from the peanut butter, with a touch of heat from chili flakes, ginger and garlic. Cumin and cinnamon make this a savoury dish indeed. Red kidney beans add substance and I enjoyed their mouth feel (I had forgotten how much I like kidney beans – it has been too long!).

In fact, with only 2 tbsp for the entire dish, the peanut butter is not a dominant flavour. I felt like it was more to add creaminess but occasionally I would get a hit of the peanut butter. I don’t think it mixed in as well as I had thought. My advice is to add to taste, mix it well, but you don’t need much. Another nut butter could easily be substituted.

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Huan from Eat.Read.Live.

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, deseeded and chopped (I used red but the recipe calls for green)
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp peeled and grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1 & 1/2 lbs sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups cooked red kidney beans (or 19 oz can)
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts (optional)
salt, to taste

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and add onion.  Fry for 5 minutes, until softened.

2. Add garlic and bell pepper, fry, stirring regularly for 5 minutes.

3. Add spices, tomatoes and vegetable stock.

4.  Add sweet potatoes.  At this point the sauce should be quite thin and runny – it will thicken up once the peanut butter is added.

5. Cook for 30 minutes, covered, until sweet potato is soft.

6. Add kidney beans, and heat them through.

7. Pour the peanut butter into the pan, and heat through.  The sauce will now thicken slightly. Taste, and add salt as necessary.

8.  Serve with dry roasted peanuts sprinkled on top if desired, with couscous or your favourite grain on the side.

Serves 4-6.

  1. Stew looks seriously irresistible..

  2. wow, that looks sooooooooooo tempting and delicious.

  3. I used to make a stew very much like this–the original recipe had peanut butter but I subbed almond since peanuts are a no-no on the ACD. This looks lovely–great photo! Now I want to make it again. I bet yours is delicious!

  4. That is one tasty sounding stew!

  5. Ooooh yum, this sounds so yummy! Great for those chilly nights :)!

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  7. You’re taking me to a Zanzibar food moment! Never been but have an urge to cook more East African now, so glad to have found your blog, thanks!

  8. Mmm this looks nice and comforting! I made a soup not too long ago that only called for about 2 tbsp peanut butter and I couldn’t taste it so was disappointed. But I didn’t think about how it was probably there to add creaminess, as you said.

  9. […] Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew Adapted from Once Upon a Cutting Board who adapted from the taste space Makes one large pot of […]

  10. […] dinner, Rob made my African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew. I like how he scoured my blog for a recipe he knew I would like (I am very predictable that way!). […]

  11. […] including the super fast chickpea curry and South African sweet potato stew (very similar to my previously shared recipe).  The rasam soup was a bit too tart for me, but at least it wasn’t mind-blowing spicy. In […]

  12. […] limited to breakfasts and desserts, and even though I had stirred it into stews before (hello, African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew), this version is easily made in a slow cooker, simplifies the spices with curry powder, swaps […]

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