Spiced peanut stew with collards and sweet potato

Years ago, I ate an amazing dish at a West African restaurant — I was taken away by the unique spices and the savory peanut sauce. My first attempt at recreating the recipe was years later, so I’ve put my own spin on it, but my motivation for making a peanut stew stemmed from the culinary experience I had at that restaurant.

I make curries fairly often and I usually use a powdered spice to season them, but this time, I wanted something more aromatic with a sweet and tangy flavor, so I decided on makrut lime leaves. I love the aromatics of these leaves, so I didn’t want to muddy the scent with too many other spices. I added a touch of cumin, as well as a little ginger for heat. Although the dish differs from the original peanut stew, the nourishing, savory, and aromatic essence comes through.

I love this dish because the flavors are exotic, and the ingredients and the preparation are simple. This version is vegan, but the original dish was made with chicken thighs and drumsticks — both are delicious!

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried quinoa (or a whole-grain, such as brown rice)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 tomatoes, blanched and peeled (or one 14.5 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes)
  • 1 thumb-sized nub of ginger, minced
  • 4 makrut lime leaves
  • 1 cup chunky unsalted peanut butter
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 medium or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch discs (about 4 cups)
  • 1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and thinly sliced (stack leaves, roll them, and slice)
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Dry roasted peanuts for garnish

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions and set aside.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a large pot at medium heat.
  3. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cumin. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until onions are soft, stirring frequently.
  4. Add tomato and mash it with a wooden spoon. Add the minced ginger and the lime leaves and let them stew until the mixture is thick.
  5. Add peanut butter, the rest of the salt, and water. Simmer at a medium-low heat and continue to stir until sauce is smooth.
  6. Add sweet potatoes and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally to prevent the peanut butter from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add the collard greens and let soften for a couple minutes.
  8. Serve in a bowl with quinoa and garnish with peanuts and cilantro.

Note: If you are starting with fresh tomatoes, core them and cut an “x” on the opposite end with a paring knife. Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove tomatoes, let cool, and peel.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 460
  • Total fat: 26 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 670 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 47 g
  • Dietary fiber: 10 g
  • Sugars: 10 g
  • Protein: 17 g

Contributor

Anna Buss