Spicy Peanut Stew
“The basis of all African meals is a soupy stew served with a starch,” explains Jessica B. Harris, culinary historian and author of The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent. This West African version gets its distinctive taste from creamy peanut butter and chile-laced chopped tomatoes.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 celery stalk, chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
- 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles
- 1 lb. butternut or acorn squash, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
- ½ lb. cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 head watercress, stems removed
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger and garlic, and cook 5 minutes more, or until vegetables are soft.
2. Add potato and tomatoes. Increase heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in 2 cups water, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer partially covered, 10 minutes. Add squash and cauliflower, and cook 15 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender.
4. Whisk together peanut butter and ½ cup warm water in small bowl. Add to stew, and cook 4 minutes, or until thickened, stirring constantly. Spoon over rice, and top with watercress.
May/June 2007 p.64