Peanut (groundnut) stew is found all over West Africa, and there are a million variations on the recipe – some have meat, some have vegetables, some are spicy, and the vast majority include sweet potato. I’m going to use this Togolese recipe from AfrikCuisine that’s a velouté instead of a stew – it’s blended velvety smooth after cooking.
I picked up some red palm oil to cook with – it’s the cooking oil of choice for West African dishes, and adds a distinct savoury, earthy aroma and extra colour. It’s my first time cooking with it, and while the scent is strong, it’s kind of in the same family as a punchy cheese or dried seafood. Interestingly, the flavour is really mild.
The peanuts are the dominant flavour here, followed by the sweet potato and an aftertaste of palm oil. It’s very smooth, though it feels like you could play around and add some more spices to really make it pop – some ginger or chilies at least. This feels like it’s a more basic version of the other groundnut stews I looked at, but you could really build on it.