Photo of peanut stew serving [Image credit: Africanbites]
Peanut stew is a delicious, filling, and healthy meal prepared in so many ways with varying ingredients. However, the base remains peanuts or peanut butter and tomatoes. It’s more traditionally known as Maafe, Nkate Nkaway, and Ghanaian groundnut stew. Peanut stew is gaining ground worldwide not only for its deliciousness, but also for its high nutritional benefits.
It is popular in France, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, USA (Virginia), among others. Peanut stew is rich in vitamin A which is great for good eyesight, stimulate white blood cell growth, remodel bone and regulate cell growth and division. It is also an excellent source of daily recommended iron, vitamin C, and fiber.
While most people would assume that the peanut originated in West Africa or Asia, this wonder nut was initially from the western hemisphere. It most likely originated in South America and was spread to North America by Spaniards who had discovered the peanut’s versatile portfolio. The Spaniards took the peanuts with them to Europe, where traders spread them to Asia and Africa.
Is Peanut the Same as Groundnut?
Photo Credit: Shattha pilabut from Pexels
Although most people use the words peanut and groundnut interchangeably, there is a slight difference between them. Peanut is a type of groundnut. What then is groundnut? Groundnut is a legume that flowers above ground but fruits below the ground, thus the name.
Other types of groundnuts include: Geocarpa groundnut, Macrotyloma geocarpum (Bambara nut), vigna subterranean (Tiger nuts, aya hausa), and any other types of roots, tubers, and oil seeds that grow underground, look hard, small in size, and contain oil.
How long It Takes to Grow Peanuts
It takes between four to five months for a peanut plant to mature, depending on the type and variety. Peanuts are easy to grow.
Peanut soup may have been invented by an African American scientist, namely George Washington Carver. George, known as ‘Peanut Man’ by congress, discovered more than 300 uses of the peanut plant. He wrote down pieces of advice and recipes, which he shared in agricultural bulletins such as “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it For Human Consumption” in 1916. His peanut soup and other peanut products, e.g., peanut bread, peanut cake, are still available.
How Do You Soften Peanuts?
Dried peanuts need to be soaked overnight to re-hydrate. Boil the soaked peanuts, then put them on low heat to simmer, occasionally stirring for five to eight hours. If the peanuts are still crunchy, they are not ready and need to boil for longer. Another option would be to pound the peanuts to form fresh peanut butter to the consistency you desire. Soft ones are good for a perfect peanut stew.
Five Variations of Peanut Stew
#1: One-Pot Chickpea Tomato Peanut Stew (West African-Inspired) by Minimalist Baker
Peanut stew has its origins in West Africa and is made with a base of ground nuts or nut butter (typically peanuts) and tomatoes. It’s more traditionally known as Maafe, Nkate Nkaway, and Ghanaian groundnut stew.
#2: Instant Pot African Peanut Stew by Paint the Kitchen Red
Instant Pot African Peanut Stew is a hearty, comforting soup with rich, bold flavors. Tender bites of chicken and sweet potatoes are cooked in a vibrant sauce made with peanut butter and curry powder to give this soup a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.
Yields6 ServingsPrep Time15 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time40 mins
African Peanut Stew is also known as West African peanut stew, African Peanut Butter Soup, or groundnut stew. This soup is popular in the West African countries of Mali, Senegal and Gambia and is known by different names such as tigadenega, mafe or domoda, depending on the country.
I did have to do a bit of tweaking and testing to adapt the stovetop recipe for the Instant Pot. In particular, I had to increase the spices by quite a bit since pressure cooking dulls the spices.
I had seen recipes for Peanut Stew and all of its many variations around the internet for years before I finally gave it a try, and I’m only kicking myself for not trying it sooner. This stew, inspired by several peanut-based stews made in West Africa, is seriously DE-LIC-OUS!! This rich and creamy tomato-peanut stew is so incredibly flavorful, super comforting, and is truly a meal in a bowl. You’re going to love this flavorful stew!
Yields6 ServingsPrep Time10 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time55 mins
This delicious stew is inspired by the many versions of peanut stew made in several countries across West Africa. The recipe and names for the stew vary from region to region, some of the names being: groundnut stew, maafe, or domoda, to name a few. The common thread between these regional recipes is a tomato broth made rich and creamy with peanut butter and seasoned with plenty of delicious spices.
For a wholesome, delicious, easy home-cooked meal that is both nutritious and delicious, peanut stew is a perfect option. You are guaranteed to make warm memories with your loved ones whenever you share a warm peanut stew meal. Which of the variations is your favorite? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.