An authentic west african peanut stew that is packed full of flavour and can be made with chicken or vegetables to make it vegan. Served with rice and garnished with fresh chilli, coriander and chopped peanuts, its a beautiful AND tasty meal!
One of my favourite things about travelling is being able to try all sorts of ethnic cuisine. From Chilean hot dogs made by street vendors in Santiago to finding the best kebab in Berlin – I love discovering the culinary delights of places I visit.
I’ve been very fortunate to have traveled a lot in my twenties but given I am about to embark on an even more exciting and scary journey (parenthood) I’m afraid my travelling shoes will closeted for a few years.
To continue my love of exploring ethnic food I thought I’d start an “Around the World” recipe series where I try my hand at a new world cuisine. I’m excited to share today’s; a West African Peanut Stew. In West Africa, many families grow and raise their own food. Traditional foods consist of a number of plant species and animals, and are important to those whose lifestyle depends on farming and hunting.
Though there are obvious differences among the local cuisines in West Africa, there are also many commonalities, mainly in the ingredients used. Many dishes are enriched with a base of tomatoes, onions and chili peppers. They season their recipes with hot spices and chilli peppers, or sauces such as peanut. This stew is also known as Groundnut Stew (Maafe) and is common to much of West Africa, and mostly popular in Gambia, Mali, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. Although Maafe recipes vary, the commonalities include groundnuts (peanuts), tomatoes, onion, chillies and often use beef, chicken or mutton. Maafe is often eaten from a large communal bowl using bare hands and traditionally served with couscous, white rice or Fufu (a mixture made from cassava, yams and often combined with plantains or cornmeal).
I researched many recipes and have adapted my version from this one. I’ve made mine with chicken but you could use beef or fish if you prefer. If you’re vegetarian/vegan, substitute the meat for extra sweet potato and eggplant and use vegetable stock in lieu of chicken. It really is a delicious meal that should be enjoyed by everyone.
Although it has a lot of ingredients, the recipe is very easy to make. First you brown the chicken the stew it on the bone. You can either leave the bones in the chicken or fish out the bones before serving. It’s definately worth stewing on the bone though as this adds a rich flavour to the stew.
The spices are all critical to the flavour of the stew but you might want to adjust the cayenne pepper if you don’t like your recipes hot. Me? The hotter the better.
Hope you enjoy my first instalment of my “Around the World” recipe series. If you ever have any recipes you’d like me to develop and share for you, please drop me a line in the comments.
Don’t forget to hashtag #cookwiththemacadames when making my recipes. I love to see how you went and get a peek at your kitchen table.
What you need:
- Dutch oven or stew pot
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
- 1kg bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped ginger
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 4 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- Cayenne pepper to taste, I used 1/2 teaspoon
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 3⁄4 cup organic crunchy peanut butter
- 1L good quality chicken stock
- 1 cup diced tomatoes or 1 400g tin of canned tomatoes
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
- 175g okra, cut into thick pieces
- For serving: Cous cous or white rice, fresh red chilli (sliced), roasted peanuts (roughly chopped), handful fresh coriander (torn)
1. Heat a good lug of olive oil/coconut oil/ghee in your pot over medium-high heat.
2. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and add to pot; cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.
3. Add remaining oil to pot. Add ginger, onion, sweet potato and chilli and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes; add spices, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Stir in peanut butter, and then return chicken to pot along with chicken stock and tomatoes, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, until chicken is half-cooked, about 25 minutes.
5. Add eggplant and okra, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and eggplant and okra are tender, about 30 minutes.
6. Season with salt to taste. Serve with rice or cous cous and garnish with red chillies, chopped peanuts and fresh coriander.
Storage: in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or up to three months in the freezer.
Like this recipe? Yum it on Yummly.
For another “Around the World” recipe, try my French beef bourguignon.
Anisa – The Macadames. xx