West African Vegetarian Peanut Stew

African vegetable and peanut stew.

African Peanut Stew

A nice twist on vegetable stews and good recipe for Winter Vegetables.  I like how well the peanut and sweet potato overtones comes together to offer a different and delightful flavor.

Vegan friendly recipe.

Feeds 6 to 8 people

2 T Olive Oil

1 large leak chopped

1 large onion chopped

4 good size peeled carrots cut into bite size pieces

3 Cups of 2 different types of squash – winter squash preferred, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

2 Parsnips pealed and cut into bite size pieces

2 Yam or Sweet Potatoes bite size pieces

2 Jalapeños – chopped

4 cloves of chopped garlic – raw or roasted

1 Can of diced fire roasted tomatoes

4 – 5 cups of vegetable stock

3 T Salt

2 t of a spicy curry

1 t of cumin

½ Cup of smooth or creamy peanut butter

12 pieces of fresh okra, sliced into discs. Frozen can be substituted.

¼ Cup of finely chopped peanuts

Slices of Lime

Fresh cilantro leaves

This a very easy stew to prepare

Use a big stew pot or dutch oven. Preferably a big wonderful stove top clay stew or soup pot.

Sauté the onion and leaks on medium low until transparent, about 5 min. I cook my onions very slowly on low for up to 20 mins because I love the flavor but this is just my preference. Add the stock and vegetables, except the okra. You will want the stock to just cover the vegetables enough to get them tender without making the mixture soupy. 4 to 5 Cups of Vegetable stock works well but add a little through the cooking process if desired. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add the spices. Cook for about 30 min until vegetables are tender. Next ladle about a cup of liquid from the stew into a medium size bowl and mix with the peanut butter. Add the peanut butter mixture back into the stew and mix well. Now add the sliced okra (a little more stock if necessary) and cook another 10 min. When the vegetables are tender and the flavors are blending well you are ready to serve in stew or soup bowls with chopped peanuts and cilantro sprinkled on top and lime wedges on the side. Can be served crusty bread or your grain like couscous, quinoa or rice but that is not necessary for this hearty stew.

Can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or frozen.

Information resources

Article all about Squash – very informative http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/vegetables/squash-glossary.asp

La Chamba Chili – Spicy Vegetarian Chipotle Chili


Spicy Vegetarian Chili cooked in a Columbian Blackware Pot

La Chamba Chili – Spicy Vegetarian Chipotle Chili Recipe

1 yellow chopped onion
1 red chopped onion
I green and red pepper chopped pretty fine.
2 carrots chopped pretty fine.
5 cloves of garlic sliced.
3 dried Chipotle peppers – canned can be used see below.
4 T of Chili Powder
2 T of Cumin
1 T of Paprika
2 Large Cans of Crushed Tomatoes
2 large Vegetarian Bouillon Cubes
1/2 C of Cilantro
2 t of black pepper
1 t to 1 T of salt depending on amount of sodium in Veg. Cubes
6 Cans of the beans of your choice.
1 crushed garlic clove
3 scallions chopped
1/4 a cup of cilantro leaves
Chopped fresh Jalapeño

Clay pot cooking is ideal for making a chili. Sautes and nurtures the flavors beautifully.
Sauté 1 red and 1 yellow chopped onion in about 3 T of olive oil. Until translucent. Add chopped peppers and carrots and sauté for an additional 4 to 5 min. Set onion, pepper, carrot mixture aside. Sauté 5 sliced cloves of garlic and 3 dried chipotle peppers in about 1.5 T of Olive Oil. Stir often. Cook the garlic until just about to look toasted and the pepper may puff up a little. If you are using canned chipotle, skip this roasting step of the peppers. Add 4 T of Chili Powder of your choice, 2 T of cumin, 1 T of paprika.  I make a blend of multiple chili powders. Some very hot finely ground with some more coarse deep burgundy colored chili powder peppers. Mainly to offer the richness of the chilies and try to control the heat. Beware of some cheaper chili powders… some add an amazing amount of salt to allegedly pure chile powders. Buy from a reputable spice company. Many fabulous ones out of Santa Fe I would highly recommend. Each chile powder will offer a unique tasting chili. Toast the spices in with the oil and garlic. Cook gently to make a rich paste. Clay pottery is fabulous for this. Seems to gently handle the chili powders without quickly going to a burn. Stir constantly. Add more oil if necessary. Toast until well mixed, a little heat/steam appearing. This is something you will get a real feel for as you roast your powder. Do not burn,  just saute right to the border of toasting. Kind of like a chile powder roux.
Add the sautéed onions, pepper mixture. Mix well. Add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes and two Vegetarian, vegetable bullion cubes. 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro. Mostly Leaves and some stems. Chop the steams very fine. If you are using canned chipotle, this would be a good time to add 3 chopped Chipotle chilies with some of the chipotle sauce. Combine 6 cans of beans of your choice. I mix 3 cans of Dark Red Kidney Beans, 2 small red beans and 1 can of black beans. Rinse the canned beans well before adding them to the Chili Sauce. Add two or three whole dried peppers of your choice. I like Chile Guajillo and/or Chile Pasillo Ancho. Cook all together and bring to a boil. With a garlic press add 1 large clove of garlic and 2 t of pepper. Stir. At this point I taste and add salt if necessary. Maybe even some additional cumin and limited amount to chili powder if you feel it would enhance the flavor to your liking.  Serve hot with chopped scallions, fresh cilantro leaves and chopped Jalepenos. Some people like cheese and sour cream on the side.
Blackware Columbian Cauldron with stand
I cooked and served this chili out of a very large Columbian Blackware Round Cauldron like pot. I use a wonderful matching clay stand (intended for charcoal) with an area that fits a sterno can perfectly to keep the chili nice and hot at the buffet table. A very practical and impressive presentation.

Mashed Sweet Potato with Rum Cooked in Clay Recipe

mashed sweet potato with rum

Mashed Sweet potato Rum recipe

 This is the first in a series of recipes that are great for an Indigenous Thanksgiving gathering.  What qualifies as an Indigenous Thanksgiving food? Any recipe that primarily uses foods indigenous to the New World. A fabulous array of creative options for a delicious Thanksgiving spread.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Rum

Super easy to prepare. Ideal for cooking in clayware. One pot cooking and serving. Cooks the potato beautifully, heats the milk and stays nice and warm in the clay pottery… any Thanksgiving cook knows that keeping the food warm is a major plus as you bring a wide variety of dishes to the Thanksgiving table. Also this recipe is very easy to scale and almost impossible to mess up.

3 large yams, your choice garnet or orange

1.5 t of salt

1/3 cup of milk

1/2 stick of  unsalted butter

1/4 C of Dark RumYour choice remove all or about half the skin from the Yams.  If it is for a less health conscious crowd I peal… if very aware just cut away the tougher parts. If you like cut an boil the potatoes also easy to peal after cooking. I like to peel the sweet potatos a little first to speed the mashing process while the potatos are just cooked.Peel a little, cut into about 10 pieces for a large yam… cook 20 to 30 min until tender in a generous amout of water with salt… Drain potatoes. Heat milk and butter in same drained clay pot. When the butter is almost melted add rum and sweet potatoes. Use a potatoe masher, mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, rum mixture. Season or add a little butter to the top. You can put the mashed yams in the oven on low to keep them hot. Black clayware is fabulous for keeping the potatos warm and to directly serve. I doubt if you will have any left overs!!!


Please share your favorite recipes and experience cooking with clay cookware from around the world.