Sunday, January 10, 2010

West African Peanut Stew

West African Peanut Stew

This stew can change the stereotypical image of vegan food. It’s the newest addition to my list of favorite dishes! Much thanks to Alissa who is an intern at work with her efforts developing this vegan dish and for providing us a sample. It was so good that I went back and begged for seconds and the recipe.


It’s not just a vegetable stew, which could sound like plain health food. Complex in flavors and textures, totally whipping a typical beef stew in a fight, it’s spicy, sweet, tart, salty, both creamy and crunchy. What I particularly like about this dish is the combination of tomatoes and peanut butter. I’ve never thought how well they could marry and this is where the sweet, tart, salty and creaminess come from. But truly each ingredient serve a purpose of imparting its own unique flavor and texture to the whole blend of the wonderful dish that none can be left out. It’s very nutritious, full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’ll not only keep you warm, but it will also satisfy your stomach for rest of the day. This is the original recipe Alissa shared with me with the modifications I made in parentheses.

Recipe of the Day - West African Peanut Stew

West African Peanut Stew

Ingredients (serves about 6-8):
2 c onions, chopped (used 1 large)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cayenne powder
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ginger, minced
2 c cabbage, chopped (used 4 c savory cabbage)
1 c green bell pepper, chopped (used 2 c which was 1 whole pepper)
3 c sweet potato, peeled, cubed
3 c tomato juice
1 c apple juice
1 tsp salt
2-16 oz cans diced tomatoes in juice
2 c okra, chopped
1/2 c peanut butter (used natural crunchy kind)
Cilantro for garnish

In a large pot, sauté onions in oil for about 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, garlic and ginger and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add cabbage, green pepper and cubed sweet potatoes and then cover for 3-4 minutes. Mix in tomato juice, apple juice, salt and tomatoes. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in okra and peanut butter. Simmer on low-heat until ready to serve. If stew is too thick, add water or more juice if desired. Add more spices or salt to taste if desired. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!


  1. Wow this stew looks so colorful and delicious. Good job on developing a perfect vegan soup! :)

  2. This sounds absolutely amazing, and if it were possible, I feel healthier just reading the recipe. Cannot wait to try it.

  3. oh wow this looks amazing great job, tweeting it lol

  4. Wow, this actually sounds amazing...I am definitely printing this to try soon! I'm loving that the veggies are a little different than what I eat on the regular.

  5. Peanut is a perfect partner for root veg and turns a plain stew into an inspiration. What a great idea. Thanks.

  6. This is a perfect winter dish. Fresh, healthy and delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This looks different and delicious. But what amount of Peanut Butter - 1/2 cup??

  8. Thank you everyone!

    Yes, but that's only if you eat the entire pot of this stew, which is A LOT!! LOL.
    Per serving, it ends up about 1 Tbsp, which is less than the standard serving size of PB listed on the food label. :)

  9. Sounds fine to me. Your ingredients list doesn't say 1/2 cup. It just says 1/2. That's why I asked. You should probably fix it :-)

    Will try this recipe soon for sure!


  10. >Bonnie
    Oh sorry!! LOL
    Yes, it's 1/2 cup. I'll fix it right now. Thanks for pointing that out!

  11. Yum!! I'm cooking this tomorrow for dinner.

  12. any idea if this freezes well?

  13. >Anonymous
    The sweet potatoes can get a little mushy, so I recommend using single portion, freezable, microwavable containers. Don't over-stir!

  14. Thank you for an african dish. It is still a unexplored, mysterious kitchen here in germany.

  15. this looks so good. i need to make it, thanks for the recipe!

  16. That was so tasty. I served it with cous cous and left it very thick. Seriously YUM.

  17. >Julie
    Great idea to serve with cous cous!
    Thanks for your report. :)

  18. Hello again! I posted about the peanut stew you inspired me to make. Thanks again. :)

  19. This dish is incredible! I didn't have a lot of the stuff needed, so I altered it a little bit. Veggies: sweet potatoes, chickpeas, cauliflower and all the tomatoes and juices. Spices: cayenne, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika. I added a little plain yoghurt, too, just for a thicker stew.

    Thanks so much for the base recipe. Never would have thought to make this!

  20. I just made this stew (with some modifications) and it was great! I absolutely love stews with nuts/nut butter. I make cashew based veggie stews all the time, so good.

    Here are my modifications:
    Substituted 1.5 cups applesauce for the apple juice
    Added carrots (2 large ones)
    Used mini onions and left whole
    Next time I might add some extra peanuts for added crunch

  21. Thanks for sharing your feedback! Those are great suggestions!

  22. This looks so unbelievably healthy and yummy!

  23. In sub-Saharan West Africa, Senegal, Gambia etc. it is called domida (which I may well have spelled incorrectly)and the nuts are fresh roasted and ground, tastes even better done this way and is usually served with rice. In Ghana it is called nkatsi nquan and is likely served over fufu.

  24. thanks for this recipe! I lived in Ghana for two years and this is definitely a dish that I miss. It's a little different there though. Most people cannot afford to add more than one vegetable to a dish, so you don't normally see more than onions in this stew. We were lucky if there was carrots sometime haha.
    Anyway, i loved this version!

  25. Made this tonight- delicious!! My new favorite stew! I did not add the apple juice and it worked fine. Just added water instead.

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  28. In West Africa, for authentic Domoda(Gambian name) we use lime juice or lemon juice(not apple juice of course)towards the end of cooking and we serve it over steamed rice, millet couscous or fufu (thick paste made from cornflour, yam flour or cassava flour) quinoa or Morrocan couscous are good substitutes. You can use any vegetable even spinach or other leafy greens. Sometimes,I chop the leafy greens into the couscous.

  29. Hi,

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