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Week 43 - Ghanaian cassava peanut stew

A rich sauce of peanuts, scotch bonnet chillies and tomatoes filled with chunky cassava (or sweet potato or new potatoes), served with fennel and tomato rice plus some fried plantain.


BASIC INGREDIENTS (4 PEOPLE)

2 cassava OR 2 medium sweet potato OR enough new potatoes for 4 people

1 large brown onion

1 small carrot

1 lime

1 fennel bulb (small-medium)

12-15 cherry tomatoes

1 tin of tomatoes

Tomato puree

Peanut butter (smooth/chunky) - you'll need about 6tbsp

Basmati rice (about half a coffee mug full)

Green vegetable side of your choice


Herbs and spices: Knorr stock pot/stock cube, fresh chillies, dried chilli (flakes/chipotle), smokey paprika, 3 bay leaves, fresh coriander, big chunk of fresh ginger, 4-5 cloves of garlic (or jarred)

LUXURY INGREDIENTS (OPTIONAL)

1 scotch bonnet chilli pepper

Cayenne pepper (powder)

Handful peanuts (plain/salted) or handful cashews

1 yellow plantain

Selection of the peanut stew and fennel-tomato rice this week


PREP

Dice onion · grate ginger and mince 4 cloves of garlic · Dice one carrot · Halve cherry tomatoes


Peel your cassava using a knife as the tough waxy bark will break your peeler. You're looking for a snowy white inside. If it looks like this, you can't use it:

Cut into large bite sized chunks. If using sweet potatoes, do the same. If using baby new potatoes, just wash them.


Cook your potatoes at a simmer for around 10 mins until soft-ish... they will cook further in the sauce so you don't want them soft.


Stew sauce

Heat olive oil and then cook 3/4 onion and all your diced carrot on medium until softened, a few minutes.

Then add ginger and garlic (4 cloves or 2tsp) until it smells nice. Then add:

  • optional: fresh chillies, dried chillies to taste

  • 2tsp smokey paprika and 1/4tsp cayenne pepper - STIR

  • Tin of tomatoes, then fill tin with water and add in

  • 3 bay leaves

  • Splodge of tomato puree

  • 5tbsp peanut butter - you can add more later

  • Stock pot/cube

  • Mix well, then finally add your scotch bonnet after you've pieced it 2-3 times with a knife

Add in your potatoes and simmer. Do check it now and then as it may stick on the bottom; add more liquid if it gets too thick.


Tomato and fennel rice

In a pan with a lid, heat a few dashes of olive oil. While it is heating, slice your fennel into thin rings, then chop roughly. Keep the fronds until later for garnish.


When the oil is hot, add the fennel and the remaining 1/4 of onion. Cook for a few mins on medium until soft.


Add 1/2 mug of rice, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the flavour goes into the grains a little. Then pour in 3/4mug of water, stir and add all the halved cherry tomatoes. Pop on the lid and simmer for 12-15 minutes.


Proportions ---- 1 rice : 1.5 water


Side dish - optional

Feeling extra hungry? Throw some simple green veg together for a side dish - this meal is extremely rich so let the side veggies be simple.


Add some fried plantain for extra nutrients and a happy nod towards western Africa, although this is not a traditional side accompaniment!


Garnish

Top your rice with the remaining fennel fronds.

Add texture and flavour to your rich stew by topping with fresh coriander, peanuts and slices of lime.

Taste your sauce and add more peanut butter if you feel it needs it.


Remember to take out your scotch bonnet before serving!!!

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