Meatless Monday: African Stew

A couple of weeks ago I see this on Twitter:

Making an African stew for photo shoot tomorrow. Smells like curried ginger sweet potato peanut butter cookies…w little bits of jalapeno”.

And I swoon.

Curry? yes please. Ginger? oh yeah, baby. Peanut Butter? always. Jalapeno? you know I like it spicy!!

Jennifer Justus, food writer for The Tennessean, was tempting me (and plenty of others) with her tweet. Actually, not just tempting, but teasing, because she wouldn’t give up the recipe! Well, at least not immediately. We had to wait an ENTIRE WEEK until it was in the newspaper. But oh, was it so worth the wait.

West African Vegetable and Peanut Stew

Makes 4-5 servings. Adapted from The Tennessean article "One Pot Meals are Simple, Satisfying"

(original recipe by Grace Parisi from Food & Wine Magazine, August 2000)


2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder

1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, with their liquid

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

2 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 cups frozen cut okra

1 cup frozen green beans or 1/4 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts

Lime wedges, for serving (optional)


Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeños and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Whisk in the water and peanut butter, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the sweet potatoes and carrots, cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes. Add the okra and green beans, cover partially and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Transfer the stew to bowls and serve hot. Pass the cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges at the table.

Note: The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently over moderately low heat.

Okra on FoodistaOkra