Thursday, March 6, 2008

West African Peanut Stew

This recipe came from another food blog, Veggie Talk. The author, Nava Atlas, has also turned her recipes into a couple of books. Wondering whether I should add one of her cookbooks to my collection, I decided to try out a recipe from her blog.

So here we are: West African Peanut Stew. Tim's response to this recipe: "You add what? With peanut butter? Our peanut butter, from the jar? With cabbage?" Hmm, not a good start. But I was convinced we'd love it. It combines so many of our favorites: peanuts, sweet potatoes, cabbage, garlic and rice. Rice being the 'uber' magic word, since the second Tim heard the stew goes over rice, there was an immediate change and he was on board to at least give it a go. Hooray, so off I went to the store.

For the stew, I must say, the ingredients (mostly veggies) were easy, and required about 10-15 minutes worth of washing and chopping. After that, it was a matter of throwing everything in the pot, and then starting the rice cooker.

Our review: The flavor and idea of it grew on both of us, and we did have a small amount of seconds. But, we both expected the stew to be a little thicker and more 'peanuty', more like a thai peanut sauce. The combo of peanuts and the sweet potato was yummy! I would definitely make this again, although probably not regularly and not for guests. Made good lunch leftovers.

Next time I make it, I will add more peanut butter, probably double the amount. We also used fresh green beans vs. okra (please! what do you think my chances are of finding OKRA in germany?!), and skipped the scallions and peanut garnish (unnecessary for a weeknight meal).

West African Peanut Stew

6 to 8 servings

Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shredded white cabbage
  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • One 15- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or more to taste
  • 2 cups trimmed and sliced fresh okra, or one 10-ounce package frozen sliced okra, thawed (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped scallions for garnish, optional
  • Chopped peanuts for garnish, optional

Heat the oil in a soup pot or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden.

Add the cabbage, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, ginger, and 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, until the sweet potatoes and cabbage are nearly tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the okra, then stir in the peanut butter, a little at a time, until it melts into the broth. Stir in the cayenne or red pepper flakes, then simmer gently, covered, for 10 minutes longer, or until all the vegetables are tender. Add a bit more water if needed for a moist but not soupy consistency.

Season with salt, then serve in bowls over hot cooked rice. If desired, garnish each serving with chopped scallions and/or chopped peanuts.

NOTE: Okra may not be everyone’s favorite vegetable, but in this dish it is very good. However, if you truly want to avoid it, substitute a 10-ounce package of frozen cut green beans (or 2 cups fresh green beans cut into 2-inch lengths) for results that are equally delectable, if a bit less authentic.

Guten appetit!


The Cabrelli's said...

Thanks for stopping by the Bahamas party! I will back visiting to see some more of these yummy looking recipes.

Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

sounds yummy and so different~ darling blog you have here! thanks for stopping by for my apron giveaway!

CC said...

I make this recipie sometimes! It's great!

Anonymous said...

Oh yummy! I am so adding your blog to my reader!! Please, keep the recipe and photos coming!

rockmama said...

I've tried the version of this recipe out of the More With Less Mennonite cookbook (a be-meated version) and the taste was surprisingly good. Who would have thought that spicy peanut butter could be tasty? My father, however, who has digestive issues with nuts, did not fare so well.