Groundnut Stew is packed with hearty vegetables, like eggplant, sweet potato, and okra, and finished with creamy peanut butter. It will keep you warm and cozy on cold, snowy winter days. Inspired by African peanut stew, it makes a great lunch or dinner. This easy soup recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Groundnut is actually another word for peanut, so groundnut stew is typically a stew made with peanut butter. I’m not really sure if this stew resembles a traditional African groundnut stew or not – I just know that it tastes good and is a wintertime favorite of mine!
I almost called this recipe “Snow Day Stew,” because it’s so perfect for cold, blustery days. When snow is in the forecast and everyone is running to the store to pick up bread and milk, you’ll find me in the produce isle buying the ingredients for this stew.
I like to put a pot of groundnut stew on the stove to simmer before going outside to shovel the snow so that it’s ready when I come back inside. There’s nothing like a bowl of hot stew to warm you up after being outside in the cold!
Okra’s a Southern thing in the US, and I don’t see it on menus here in NJ much. I think the first time I had it, it was in an Indian dish. I was a little apprehensive at first, but it’s a vegetable, and I like most vegetables.
Okra is notoriously slimy. way to deslime your okra is to soak it a mixture of 4 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar for about an hour, and then pat it dry. In this recipe, I tackle the issue by cooking it at a high heat while stirring frequently. It will get really slimy, and then it will dissipate. It could take between 10 to 15 minutes.
Some people like to use that slime to thicken stews like this one, but I don’t like its gloopy texture. I once made this recipe without precooking the okra, and the entire stew turned slimy. I ate it anyway, but I wasn’t crazy about the texture.
You can use either fresh or frozen okra in this recipe. I cook them both the same way.
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you sauté the onion in the oil until it begins to brown, for about five minutes.
- Then you add the garlic, eggplant, tomato, and sweet potatoes and you cook everything, stirring it frequently, for 5 more minutes.
- Next you add the stock, coconut milk, ginger, red pepper flakes and basil to the pot. You reduce heat to low, cover the pot and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes
- While the stew is simmering, you cook the okra on high with a little oil. Stir it frequently and cook until the slime dissipates.
- Now you add the okra, kidney beans, peanut butter, and salt to the stew. Stir everything to dissolve the peanut butter, and cook the stew uncovered for another 10 – 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender and the eggplant is soft.
- Next you stir in the spinach. It should wilt right away.
- Top your stew with chopped peanuts and serve hot!
Serve your stew with cooked brown rice, couscous, or chunks of crusty bread.
How to Customize Your Groundnut Stew
You can easily make this recipe your own!
- If you don’t like kidney beans, you can use chickpeas.
- Kale, collards, or chard can be used in the place of spinach.
- If you don’t like eggplant, try winter squash, carrots or bell peppers.
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- 2 teaspoons peanut oil divided
- 1 cup red onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large sweet potato diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium eggplant diced (about 3 cups)
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups okra chopped
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 ounces baby spinach chopped, or baby kale (about 4 cups)
- ¼ cup peanuts chopped
- In a large pot over medium high heat, sauté the onions in 1 teaspoon of peanut oil until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic, eggplant, tomato, and sweet potatoes and cook, stirring frequently for 5 more minutes.
- Add the stock, coconut milk, ginger, red pepper flakes and basil to the pot. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes
- While the stew is simmering, cook the okra on high in a large skillet in the remaining teaspoon of oil. Stir frequently and cook until the okra-slime dissipates. (This could take between 10 and 15 minutes.)
- Add the okra, kidney beans, peanut butter and salt to the stew. Stir to dissolve the peanut butter, and cook uncovered for another 10 – 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender and the eggplant is soft. Stir in the spinach.
- Top with chopped peanuts.
Originally posted January 18, 2013. Republished October 10, 2021.