I used to live right by this pretty happening Senegalese spot in Harlem called Cafe des Ambassades, and I always thought I should try the peanut stew in cold weather. I was kind of cautious though because it sounded like a very filling dish. Lo and behold, I got my first taste of the dish at no other than Mary’s wedding!! And it was so good. Of all the food at their all-vegan nuptials (:D), the vegan African peanut stew over couscous was the dish I was most eager to replicate at home. I controlled the amount of peanut butter (it’s summer, after all) so that it’s just perfectly creamy and nutty, and yet still healthy. I also modified the cooking method so that it’s not using any heavy pots or Dutch ovens (oh my god, even the thought), but just a frying pan with a lid. Totally doable–and so easy, elegant, and delicious! It’s absolutely perfect for both weeknight dinner or a special occasion (like, you know, a wedding).
Vegan African Peanut Stew Over Couscous
- 2 medium garnet or jewel yam, peeled and roughly chopped (I used one of each)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp coconut or peanut oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste (in tube)
- 4 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 2 tsp liquid sweetener of choice (not maple)
- handful green beans, trimmed and chopped
- 2 cups cooked couscous
- to taste sea salt
Prepare couscous according to instructions on the package (usually 1.25 : 1 water to couscous ratio). Set aside.
1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add onions and yam, and stir to coat in oil. After a few minutes, add 1/2 cup of water and cover with the lid. Let steam for about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and stir to coat. Cook until fragrant, for about 1 minute.
3. Add chopped tomato and green beans, peanut butter, sweetener, salt and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, cover the lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until all veggies are softened.
4. Use a spatula to scoop about 2 cups (I went around the green beans to just get yam/tomato/onion) and put in blender. Blend on low while adding a splash or two of water through the hole at the top, until desired creamy consistency is reached. I wanted this sauce to be a little bit more liquid-y, but still thick enough that I can eat it with a fork rather than a spoon.
5. To serve, layer the sauce and stew over the couscous. You can put the sauce from the blender back into the frying pan, or spoon them separately for a more deliberate presentation (which is what I did). Enjoy! 🙂
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Also see: Oven Baked Ratatouille Salad
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling