African Groundnut Stew

African groundnut stew

This time of year is all about comfort food.  Even more so this December, when overnight temps have hit the single digits, and it never quite feels as warm as the forecast says.  Stews, soups and hot breakfasts are what we’re eating right now.

I discovered this stew through a friend years ago, but rediscovered the recipe when my brother got me a peanut butter cookbook for my birthday.  There’s something about peanut butter, squash and tomatoes, a seemingly incongruous combination that works well in this recipe.  Whatever it is, N asks for this regularly, and as it’s easy, tasty and healthy, who am I to say no?

Plus, it happens to be vegan and gluten-free, another bonus considering I have family visiting this week, with two vegans and one on a gluten-free diet.

African Groundnut Stew
Adapted from The Ultimate Peanut Butter cookbook
Serves 4-6

1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large red or yellow pepper diced (or 1 small)
1½ tbsp curry powder or 1½ tsp garam masala
1 large delicata or butternut squash, seeded & diced (peeled if it’s butternut squash.  I prefer delicata because I can be lazy and not bother peeling it)
2½-3 cups of water or broth – or a combination of the two
one 28 ounce can (or carton) diced tomatoes (don’t drain)
½ -3/4 cup natural peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (if crunchy, use more)
1 bunch kale (any kind), stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish

Optional add ons:
Sauteed tofu, cooked chicken, potatoes or sweet potatoes (dice and add with the squash)

Replace peanut butter with almond butter or tahini (the former worked well, though I have not tried the latter)

Heat canola oil on medium in a heavy bottomed large pot.  Add onions and pepper and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.  Add curry powder or garam masala, stirring for 30 seconds.  Add squash, broth, tomatoes and peanut butter, stirring the peanut butter in until it’s blended with the other ingredients.  Cover, lower to a simmer and cook 20 minutes until squash is soft.  Add kale, cover and cook another 5 minutes.  If using add-ons, add with kale to heat through.  Add additional broth as needed to create a thinner stew.

Serve with chopped peanuts.

And bread to sop up the remaining sauce.