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African Peanut Stew

by , featured in Vegan Eats
Published by Ebury Press
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My mum spent many summers in Sierra Leone, where her dad comes from, and this peanut stew was one of her favourite dishes. She usually had it with chicken, but when I made this plant-based version for her to try, she had the biggest smile on her face. This recipe is a definite winner in our house, perfect for when you want a really hearty and comforting dinner with a nice touch of spice to set your taste buds tingling. My favourite way to eat this is with plantains and coleslaw or a light fresh salad.

Scotch bonnet chillies can be really hot depending on where they're from and how ripe they are. For a more gentle heat, you can place half a Scotch bonnet - deseeded but not cut up - into the stew to cook, then simply remove it before serving. This way the chilli flavour can infuse the stew but without adding too much heat. This is a great option if you are new to this quite fiery chilli pepper.

Image of Rachel Ama's African Peanut Stew
Photo by Haarala Hamilton


Serves: 4

For the stew

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 500 grams sweet potatoes
  • 1 x 400 grams tin of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ fresh red scotch bonnet chilli pepper (deeded and kept whole - optional)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 x 400 grams tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500 millilitres vegetable stock
  • 125 grams natural smooth peanut butter
  • 200 grams spinach (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
  • 2 spring onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 fresh red chilli (deseeded and finely sliced)
  • salt
  • black pepper

For the paste

  • 2 onions (roughly chopped)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • ½ - 1 fresh red scotch bonnet chilli pepper - to taste (deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • 1 pinch of salt


African Peanut Stew is a guest recipe by Rachel Ama so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. Place all the paste ingredients in a food processor and blitz into a coarse paste.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or shallow frying pan. Add the paste and saute over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little more oil if the paste starts to stick to the pan.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, Scotch bonnet chilli (if using - see introduction) and tomato puree and mix to combine. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock, add the peanut butter, season with salt and pepper and stir in well. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, leaving it to wilt in the pan for 5 minutes. To finish, add the lemon juice, coriander, spring onions and sliced chillies and check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

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What 1 Other has said

  • I love this recipe. West African Peanut Stew is in my rotation.

    Posted by Cedars on 9th September 2021
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