African peanut stew combines earthy peanuts with tender vegetables to make a rich and savory dish. The ingredient list is long, but the only required ingredients (besides water, salt, and oil) are an onion, peanut butter, and something to eat in the stew, such as potatoes and/or cabbage.
Vegan African Peanut Stew
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 piece (1/2 inch) of ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of coriander
- 3-4 potatoes, diced
- 1 cup of water
- 1 can (15 ounces) of diced tomatoes
- ½ head of Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup of crunchy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
- optional: cilantro to garnish
- Heat up oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and spices. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown and the spices are toasted.
- Add the potatoes and water. Cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are done.
- Add the cabbage and tomatoes. Cover the pot again, and cook for 8-10 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in the peanut butter and vinegar. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days.
- Oil: Used for cooking the stew. Helps mellow out the onion and toast the spices. Any sort of oil (canola, vegetable, olive) is okay.
- Onion: Required for African peanut stew. Adds sweetness and depth. Any color onion (red, white, yellow) is okay. Milder onions, such as spring onions or shallots, would also work.
- Peanut butter: Required for African peanut stew. Use 1/4 cup to 1 cup of peanut butter, creamy or crunchy. Can also add up to 1 cup of roasted peanuts.
- Cabbage: Something to eat in the stew. Any other leafy vegetable, such as collard greens, spinach, kale, or Swiss chard, would also work. If using spinach, add it towards the very end because spinach cooks quickly. Use half a bunch to a bunch depending on how big the bunch is.
- Potatoes: Something to eat in the stew. Use up to 4 potatoes. Substituting sweet potatoes would also work.
- Liquid: Helps the vegetables cook. I used 1 cup of water. You can use up to 6 cups of broth or up to 2 cups of water. Adding a lot of liquid will make the stew a soup. Make sure your pot is big enough.
- Salt: Seasons the stew. Quantity depends on how much stuff you add and if you use salted broth. Substituting soy sauce adds savory depth.
- Aromatics: Add flavor. Dice finely and cook with the onion at the beginning. Use up to 4 cloves of garlic. Use up to 1 inch of ginger.
- Spices: Add flavor. Cook with onion and aromatics at the beginning. Use up to 1 teaspoon of cumin. Use up to 1 teaspoon of coriander. Use up to 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Spicy: Adds spiciness. Use up to 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper. Alternatively, use hot sauce. I used Sriracha as a garnish.
- Tomato: Use 1 can (15 ounces) of tomatoes, or use up to 1 can (6 ounces) of tomato paste. Can also chop up fresh tomatoes and add towards the end.
- Sour: Enhances flavor. Add when the vegetables are completely done cooking or else you will get weirdly crunchy potatoes. Use up to 2 tablespoons of vinegar (white, apple cider) or lemon juice.
- Fresh herbs: Adds freshness and makes a pretty garnish. I added a sprinkle of cilantro primarily for appearance. Can also add scallions.
Step by Step Photos
Dice the onion. Smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of the knife to peel, and mince the garlic. Peel the ginger skin with a spoon (more details here), and mince the ginger. Set aside in a medium bowl.
Sometimes, I just throw onion pieces, whole garlic cloves, and the ginger piece into the blender when I don’t feel like chopping by hand.
You can chop the vegetables now or when the aromatics are cooking depending on how confident you are with multi-tasking. If you're multi-tasking, dice the potatoes first because they take longer to cook.
If you're preparing all of the vegetables before cooking, slice the cabbage first so you don't have to transfer potatoes to a bowl and so the potatoes won't turn brown.
Thinly slice the cabbage leaves. I stack 4 leaves of cabbage at a time so this step goes faster. Set aside in a large bowl.
If you find you have significantly more than a large bowl of cabbage, stop chopping and refrigerate the rest of the cabbage for later. Otherwise, the cabbage may not all fit in the pot.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in the aromatics (onion, garlic, and ginger). I added 1 teaspoon of salt because there is a lot of food, and none of my ingredients are salted.
Add in spices if you’d like. I used 1 teaspoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon of coriander. Adding spices now toasts them and improves their flavor.
Add in the diced potatoes and water. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are done. Every time I cook the potatoes for less than this, I get slightly crunchy, undercooked potatoes.
Serve with rice for a healthy, filling, and cheap vegan meal.This recipe makes 5 2-cup servings of African peanut stew. Leftovers store well in the fridge for several days.