West Africa isn’t all deforestation and Ebola. It’s also home to some amazing and vibrant cultures with some fantastic recipes.
I shared one recipe from this region before, and you can check it out here. But this one is by far my favorite.
I had West African food for the first time on my trip to Paris recently. Paris is a food paradise, and French food is renowned for its quality. But I have to admit, the West African food I had in Paris, gave the native French cuisine some serious competition. My favorite West African recipe that I tried was Maafe, or peanut stew.
It’s traditionally made to go with meat, anything from lamb to chicken or fish. But it’s so flavorful it doesn’t even need meat to knock your socks off. The way I make it now, I fill it up with some meaty textured veggies and serve it over rice. It is a super-hearty vegan meal this way. Packed with protein and sweet, savory and spicy flavors.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a dinner for four:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 small green chilis
- 1 onion
- 1 eggplant
- 1 tomato
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 carrot
- 4 big portabello mushrooms
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
To start, mince the garlic and dice up the onion, then get them sizzling in a large pan with the oil. Dice the other vegetables into large chunks all approximately the same size. Add them to the pan when the onions are beginning to look a bit translucent. Let the vegetables simmer until tender. Then sprinkle the thyme, salt and pepper on top. Cut up the chilies and add them to the mix.
In a separate bowl, mix the broth, peanut butter and tomato paste together with a fork. Blend it as well as you can and work out the larger chunks of peanut butter. Then add the liquid into the pan with the rest of the vegetables and bring to a boil. It will only take a minute or two to thicken up and you will know it’s done when the sauce’s color turns a deep reddish brown. All that’s left is to serve it over a bowl of rice.
There you have it, a fantastic hearty vegan and naturally gluten free stew that will stick to your ribs and keep you warm as the weather gets cooler.
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Wikimedia Commons