A nutty and aromatic combination from West Africa. Sweet potatoes are gently simmered in a peanut and coconut curry sauce

 

This Peanut and Sweet Potato Curry Recipe is the stuff that marriages are made of ,and I am not just talking about marriages in Africa.

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This is one of the recipes that is intricately woven into the fabric of my relationship with my Englishman. It is one of the first dishes I made Le Hub early on in our relationship, and dare I say, it cemented our relationship for good. Oh well, if ever there was a grain of truth to be found in the statement that the journey to a man’s heart begins with his stomach, it’s right here!

This dish is also very reminiscent of my childhood because two of its main ingredients (peanuts and sweet potato) were always lurking in our pantry, so much so that the very smell of sweet potatoes and peanuts together evokes memories of a 7-year old me, standing uneasily on a shaky wooden three-legged stool, peering longingly over the edge of my mum’s cooking pot to watch the soup simmer. If I close my eyes for a second, or two, I can perceive the nutty, aromatic flavours emanating from the pot as vividly as I can hear my mom’s voice bellowing in the background from fear that I might fall over, face first, into the steaming pot of soup.

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But back to the present and let’s talk about this recipe for a minute. A lot of variations of this curry I have seen on the internet use peanut butter when making this dish, but back home in Africa, it would be considered almost sacrilegious to use commercially-prepared peanut butter for this dish.

Peanut paste, freshly made with oodles of love and TLC from batches of recently harvested peanuts is more authentic to the traditional version of this curry recipe. I will spare you the task of having to harvest your own peanuts – you can’t say I don’t love you!. Unless of course, you are absolutely in need of that challenge, then by all means, knock yourself out :).

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However, I will insist that you make your own peanut paste for this recipe. And making peanut paste is darned easy – I promise! The reason I insist is because I have made several iterations of this dish – with peanut butter, and with home-made peanut paste – and the difference is discernible, I promise! Commercially-produced peanut butter usually contains sugar and salt in addition to peanut paste. The added sugar in commercially-produced peanut butter adds an extra level of sweetness to the peanut butter that compromises somewhat the final flavour of the curry. What an absolute shame, in my opinion.

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The second reason I prefer using peanut paste is because you have the flexibility to roast or re-roast the peanuts (if using a packet of roasted peanuts) yourself before grinding them into a paste. The roasting or re-roasting introduces a depth of flavour that’s both rich and full-bodied, and that’s what takes this dish from good to GREAT!

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And finally how to grind the peanuts? Easy – Just use a mortar and pestle and some good old brute force. Not only is it satisfying in a therapeutic kind-of-way, but it also lends the right texture to the peanuts. You don’t want them too finely ground otherwise they disappear in the curry. You also don’t want them too coarse – not good! But rather, somewhere in between.

I’ve added 2 teaspoons of fish sauce to make the most of that umami flavour. To keep this recipe vegetarian, just omit the fish sauce. The only other thing you are going to need is oodles of self-control because I usually never manage to stop myself from eating out of the pan before it is served.

 

Enjoy!


West African Vegetarian Peanut (Groundnut) and Sweet Potato Curry
West African Vegetarian Peanut (Groundnut) and Sweet Potato Curry
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A nutty and aromatic combination from West Africa. Sweet potatoes gently simmered in a peanut and coconut curry.
Servings Prep Time
5 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
West African Vegetarian Peanut (Groundnut) and Sweet Potato Curry
West African Vegetarian Peanut (Groundnut) and Sweet Potato Curry
Print Recipe
Add to Meal Plan:
This recipe has been added to your Meal Plan
A nutty and aromatic combination from West Africa. Sweet potatoes gently simmered in a peanut and coconut curry.
Servings Prep Time
5 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Ingredients
Units:
Instructions
  1. Prepare your curry paste. (step by step instructions provided in the link in the Recipe Notes below)
  2. Peel, wash and dice the sweet potato, and then set aside.
  3. Add coconut oil and butter to a dutch oven on medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the curry paste and fry for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until it starts to stick to the pan.
  4. Add coconut milk which should lower the heat in the pan and stir in thoroughly to prevent the curry from burning. Add the sweet potato and roasted/re-roasted peanuts. Cover and allow to simmer on low to medium heat for 30 - 40 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to bottom of pan.
  5. Check that sweet potato is soft, then transfer to blender. Blend to a puree and then return the puree to the pot. Add 100mls of water, sugar, fish sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Recipe Notes

 


 

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Nutrition Facts
West African Vegetarian Peanut (Groundnut) and Sweet Potato Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 516 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 54%
Saturated Fat 19g 95%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 858mg 36%
Potassium 602mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 43g 14%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 14g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 342%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 5%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Emem

Afro-fusion Food Lover.
Sustainable Food Advocate.
Completely nuts about Avocado.

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