I adapted the recipe from Mark Hayman’s cookbook What The Hell Shall I cook? Mark adapted it from Hugh Jackman. I googled the recipe to see where it originally came from; Central and West Africa but I was wondering who’s idea it was to add Thai red chili paste and fish sauce to the stew. It’s clever and fascinating. The stew tastes like an extra hearty coconut Thai red curry but without the coconut milk. The creaminess comes from the peanut butter and the natural and delicate sweetness comes from the sweet potatoes (unlike in red curry which is sweetened with sugar).
You know when you hear a word and it reminds you of a song? Well this African stew reminds me of Dr. Alban’s song Hello Africa Tell me How you doin. Not a lot of people here in America know it . In Israel it was a big hit in the early Nineties. It’s a cool song. You should play it when you cook this for your family or friends. Everyone loves it.
African Stew with Peanut Butter
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion - diced
- 2 in ginger - minced
- 3 celery stalks - diced – optional
- 3 scallions - chopped – optional
- 1 – 2 tablespoons curry paste - I used Thai red curry paste
- 4 small sweet potatoes* - peeled and sliced or diced
- 3 large ripe tomatoes or 28oz./ 800 gram diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups water or vegetable stock
- 7-10 leaves kale - spinach, Swiss chard or collard green, chopped (remove the spine of the kale)
- 2 cups mushrooms - whole or sliced (if large, slice them)
- 1 – 2 tablespoon fish sauce – optional
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- Handful cilantro - chopped
- Warm about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-large pot. Add the onion and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, scallions, sweet potatoes and curry paste, and stir. sauté for 3 minutes then add the tomatoes, water or stock and salt and bring into a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the kale , mushrooms, fish sauce and peanut butter and stir gently. Cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and correct seasoning and sprinkle the cilantro over. Serve as is or with basmati rice.