Monday, May 16, 2011

Burkina Faso: Groundnut Stew

Burkinabe cuisine is pretty similar to most West African. Peanuts are a common source of protein, particularly since meat is not prevalent due to scarce resources. Typical meals consist of a vegetable stew or sauce ("relish") over a grain such as rice. Stews usually have a bit of a bite to them.

My friend Stacey sent me a link to the Catholic Relief Services recipe archive - a list of vegetarian recipes for Lent from all over the world. I intend to try many of them, but started out with the Burkinabe Groundnut Stew - perfect, since my dinner guest was vegetarian. Efi (said dinner guest) was very helpful when it came to chopping and eating, and although this may be the least appetizing-looking thing I've ever eaten we both thought it was delicious. I took to calling it puke with rice (the mashed sweet potato base gives the stew an orange hue), but have seriously enjoyed eating the leftovers. And it's *super* nutritious. We had some iced  hibiscus tea with pineapple too, but that was underwhelming.

Efi was a little skeptical.

Burkinabe Groundnut Stew

2 sweet potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
Oil for frying
2 tablespoons coriander
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 cups eggplant, chopped (I left this out because I don't like eggplant)
½ cup water
1 cup zucchini, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 cups rice, cooked

Boil sweet potatoes until they are just tender. sauté garlic and ginger in oil with coriander and cayenne pepper for 1 minute; add chopped onion. sauté for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add chopped tomatoes, eggplant and ½ cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and green peppers and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes, mash coarsely and add to the stew. Add tomato juice and peanut butter. Stir well. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Serves 4 generously.

Iced Hibiscus Tea with Pineapple

1 cup chopped pineapple
2 hibiscus tea bags
4 cups water

Bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bags and let steep about ten minutes. Stick the tea in the fridge until cool, then serve with pineapple.

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