Rich and creamy from peanut butter, and sweet with pumpkin, this healthy and hearty African peanut stew is a kid friendly vegan dinner and a perfect warming dish for cold Winter nights.
Taking inspiration from West African peanut stew (or ground nut stew) made from peanut paste and tomatoes; this thick, creamy and comforting stew is also made with sweet pumpkin and spinach. It can be made with or without meat, and I have chosen the latter to make it a vegan stew.
This is such an easy dinner. You cook the onions, then add the spices, tomatoes and pumpkin and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Then you blend and heat with spinach! You have a delicious vegetarian family dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
The amount of hot spice in this recipe is suitable for kids and toddlers, but if you and your family like things with more heat then add another ¼ teaspoon cayenne and sprinkle red chilli over the top of the dish.
I love cooking savoury dishes with peanut butter and find it goes especially well with pumpkin (as in this pumpkin and peanut butter soup and Satay Pumpkin Curry.) It adds a creamy thickness to the dish, and the peanut taste isn’t overwhelming at all. Kids seem to love it too! Adding pumpkin not only adds a sweetness to the dish, but it also helps thicken the stew.
Make it a peanut soup:
Add some more water and turn it into a soup – we have it with cooked rice mixed into the stew as a thick rice soup which toddler Jones really enjoys.
Make it yours:
Use collard greens or kale, instead of baby spinach.
Serve the stew with with brown rice, potatoes, bread or couscous.
Top with fresh coriander, chilli and lime if you have them. They are all lovely additions but aren’t essential if you are making this out of more store cupboard ingredients. Roughly chopped peanuts add a nice crunch but leave them out for younger family members.
If you like this recipe you may also like these:
Coconut Chickpea Curry – a vegan curry with vegetables ‘hidden’ in the sauce
Lentil Bolognese – a veggie packed vegan bolognese
Vegan Dan Dan Noodles – a spicy salty peanut butter sauce, noodles, and Chinese 5 spice mushrooms make this a popular dish with vegan and meat eaters alike!
African Peanut Stew
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 cm fresh ginger grated. Or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, especially if being served to younger family members
- 400 g tin/can diced tomatoes
- 250 g pumpkin peeled and cut into 2cm /.8 inch cubes
- ⅓ c | 100g peanut butter see notes
- 2c | 500ml water
- 4c | 220g baby spinach
- Fresh coriander, peanuts, chilli and lime optional, for serving
- cooked rice, boiled potatoes or bread to serve
- Fry the onion in the olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic and fresh ginger, if using, and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper (if using) and ground ginger if not using fresh ginger, and then add the tomatoes, pumpkin and peanut butter and simmer 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
- Turn off the heat and blend until smooth with a hand blender.
- Return to the heat, add the spinach and cook for another couple of minutes until the spinach has wilted.
- Serve topped with roughly chopped coriander, roughly chopped peanuts (if giving to over 5's), chilli and fresh lime wedges.
- If you want to make it ahead, it will keep in the fridge up to 3 days.