Yams, cassava, rice, peanuts, spinach, plantains and peppers are just a few ingredients that are regularly used in the rich West African cuisine. What surprised me most was the peanut butter in this dish. Curry and peanut butter sure sounds like a strange combination, but in reality it works beautifully. The peanut butter adds depth and nuttiness to the vegetables, but also tempers the cayenne pepper and curry. Who needs meat if a meal can be so filling?
Sweet Potato, Spinach & Mushroom Stew
Preparation: 20 mins – Cooking: 40 mins
Suitable for freezing
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 60ml (4 tbsp) groundnut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 10ml (2 tsp) grated root ginger
- 1.25ml (¼ tsp) cayenne pepper
- 350g (12 oz) sweet potatoes, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes
- 15ml (1 tbsp) mild curry paste
- 45ml (3 tbsp) tomato purée
- 500ml (17 fl oz) vegetable stock
- 15ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar
- 225g (8 oz) mushrooms, quartered
- 225g (8 oz) spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
- 60ml (4 tbsp) peanut butter
- 30ml (2 tbsp) double (heavy/whipping) cream (optional)
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) coriander, chopped
- salt and pepper
- coriander sprigs, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic, ginger and cayenne and fry gently for 10 minutes.
- Add the curry paste to the onion mixture and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the sweet potatoes, stir to coat with the onion mixture and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Mix the tomato purée and sugar with the stock and add to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are almost tender.
- Roughly shred the spinach leaves. Add the mushrooms and spinach to the stew and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Mix a few spoonfuls of the stew juices with the peanut butter to soften it, and then add to the vegetables. To take the edge off the curry even more, you can add some double cream.
- Add the coriander, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with coriander sprigs.
- Rice is ideal for this dish, since it soaks up all the sauce and flavour!
- Button mushrooms can be used instead.