I wanted to bring this emphasis on newness into my cooking with the event. I needed something vegan and warming, which could feed a lot of people. My fall-back dish for this kind of thing would be some kind of red and yellow dahl, but I wanted to break out of my comfort zone. I started looking into West African recipes as I knew from various cookery programmes (mainly the hairy bikers I think) and friends’ travel experiences that it was a style of cooking which would incorporate all the things I wanted: vegan, protein, complexity of flavour, and warmth. The following is the recipe for the dish I made, which is an amalgamation of many different peanut stews that I found online.
Feeds a lot of people
2 - 3 very large white flesh sweet potato –with purple skin, peeled and cut into large-ish chunks
3 - 4 yellow flesh sweet potato, peeled and cut into slightly smaller chunks
a couple of carrots, if you happen to have them, peeled and sliced
1-2 aubergines, diced
2 red peppers, diced into quite large chunks
1 onion, cut into large chunks
1 onion, diced very fine
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 can/tetra-pack of sieved tomatoes
approximately 4 tablespoons of peanut butter (depending on how much you have), smooth or chunky depending on personal preference
1 inch lump of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh chilis (I used 1 red and 1 green) deseeded if you want, finely diced.
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 heaped teaspoons cumin
1 heaped teaspoon coriander
a packet of roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped
the juice of 1-2 limes
big bunch of fresh parsley, washed and chopped.
You can also add in a can of chick peas for some additional bulk.
In a microwaveable bowl or small saucepan, combine the small diced onion, ginger, garic, chili and peanut butter with 1 can of tomatoes and a little water. Cook, stirring from time to time until the peanut butter has amalgamated with the other ingredients and created a sauce.
Add the sauce and all remaining ingredients except for the peanuts, lime and parsley to a large pot. Top up with water – just a little, add more if it looks a little dry halfway through cooking – and cook for about 40 minutes-1 hour, until everything is cooked but not falling apart. Just before serving, add the lime juice, parsley and peanuts, adjust the seasoning and warm through.