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  • Writer's pictureAngela, Digital Chef, Africa Analyst

Vegan Potato Kale Peanut stew

Recipe Name: Sweet potato, kale and peanut stew

Subtitle: stew

Country: Mali

Preparation time:45 minutes

Recipe story:

The sweet potato in this dish lends a sweet creaminess to the dish, while the peanuts add a nutty flavor. But if you prefer your vegan African recipes with a kick, never fear there’s plenty of savory heat in this dish, too.


· 6 medium garlic cloves

· 11/2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

· 1 small Bunch cilantro (thick stems reserved separately from leaves)

· 1 serrano or jalapeño chili, steamed and halved, divided.

· Kosher salt

· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

· 6 scallions (white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced, divided)

· 1 tsp ground turmeric

· ¼ water or homemade vegetable stock

· 8 ounces sweet potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch dice.

· 8 ounces roasted shelled peanuts

· 2 teaspoons sugar

· 1 bunch lacinato kale, thick stems discarded and leaves roughly chopped.

· 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh juice from 1 to 2 limes.

· Freshly ground black pepper.

· Hot sauce, such as frank’s red hot, to taste.

· Rice, for serving.


  1. Combine garlic, ginger, thick cilantro stems, and half of the chili in the bowl of a mortar and pestle, sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Pound into a rough paste and set aside. Thinly slice the remaining half chili and serve aside for garnish.

  2. Open 1 can of coconut milk and carefully spoon off about 3 tablespoons of the solid fat from the surface and place it in a large Dutch oven. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until coconut fat separates and solid starts to sizzle, about 4 minutes, continue cooking, stirring constantly, until solid turn pale golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Add the pounded garlic/ginger mixture and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add half of the sliced scallions and turmeric and cook, stirring, until lightly softened, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the remaining contents of both cans of coconut milk along with 1 quarter of water or stock. Add sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a bare simmer. Cook until sweet potatoes are totally softened, about 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, combine peanuts and remaining tablespoon oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Cook tossing and stirring frequent, until peanuts are a deep golden brown, about 8 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl to prevent scorching.

  5. Transfer ½ cup of peanuts to a cutting board and roughly chop. Reserve for garnish. Transfer half of the remaining peanuts to the now empty mortar and pestle. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and a pinch of salt. Pound to form a rough paste, then transfer to pot of soup. Repeat with the other half of the remaining peanuts.

  6. When potatoes are fully softened, blend soup until mostly smooth but a little texture remains using a hand blender directly in the pot or by transferring to a countertop blender in batches. Bring to a simmer, stir in kale, and cook until kale is completely wilted and tender about 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Season soup to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir in cilantro, reserving some for garnish. Serve soup with rice sprinkled with cilantro, chopped peanuts, scallions and sliced chilies.

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