Today we will explore the flavors of West African Cuisine. West African Peanut Stew is also known as Groundnut Stew (Maafe). A peanut is a type of groundnut which is said to have originated in West Africa. Peanuts are widely used in West African cuisine along with peanut butter which is an essential ingredient in this dish. Not only does this include peanuts but several different spices. Historically, Africa has been involved in the spice trade for centuries so there are many spices incorporated in here such as cinnamon, ground coriander, cumin, fenugreek powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper and cloves.
Groundnut Stew can be made with chicken, beef, lamb or without meat totally. In addition to the peanuts, peanut butter, tomatoes, tomato paste and ginger, I also added some sweet potatoes which are quite popular in West African cuisine especially found in The Ivory Coast, Senegal and Gambia. I have made another African dish, my African Red Curry Peanut Soup which can be found here! The culinary flavors in the stew are amazing and if you are into trying all sorts of ethnic cuisines, I think you will like my West African Peanut Stew!
|West African Peanut Stew|| |
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
- 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less, depending upon if you like it spicy or not)
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. fenugreek powder
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 qt. chicken stock
- 1 (15 oz) can diced or crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup roasted peanuts, half will be used for garnish
- Salt, to taste
- Season chicken with salt. In a large nonstick Dutch oven over medium heat add the oil to the pot. When hot, add the chicken and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side. You don’t want to crowd the pot so you will have to do this in batches. The chicken will not be done at this point but you want to remove it from the pot and set it aside.
- Add the onions and sauté the for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and the garlic, all of the seasonings and sauté for another 2 minutes or so. Add in the sweet potatoes and mix well.
- Add the chicken back into the pot along with the chicken stock, tomatoes, tomato paste peanut butter, half of the peanuts and mix well to combine. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot partially. Simmer for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When done, remove the chicken pieces from the pot and let cool. Once cooled, shred the chicken and put it back into the pot. Heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer portions to a serving plate and garnish with the cilantro and the rest of the peanuts. Enjoy!