Regular readers will remember that I’ve written a few posts lately with a Food for Thought theme, such as this Syrian red pepper dip with yoghurt flatbreads and this vegan rainbow vegetable filo pie inspired by Chechnya. To complete the series this week I want to share with you this delicious recipe for sweet potato, spinach and peanut stew, inspired by Sudan. Once again I’m supporting the charity MSF. Read more about their work in Sudan below or donate now if you’d like to. Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews has joined in with the challenge and has made a non-vegetarian version of this stew called Pasipasi Kpedekpede Na Passio.
Sudanese food isn’t typically vegetarian, with stews often containing meat or fish. However, as is often the case, it’s easy enough to make a dish vegetarian by swapping a few ingredients so I decided to make a Sudanese-inspired stew and when I read that Sudan is one of the world’s largest producers of peanuts – or ground nuts – I knew that I wanted to make a peanut stew as not only is it delicious but my kids have had one before and enjoyed it.
When I served this to my children I blended some of the stew and added some Quorn chicken pieces to their portion. I gave them a little of the unblended stew as well, which Little S gobbled up but the big two left. However, I would definitely class this as a successful meal and is one that I’ll be making regularly from now on. It makes a great hidden vegetable recipe and the peanut butter also packs a big protein hit so it’s a good new dish to try with picky eaters – particularly if they already like peanut butter.
Stews in Sudan are often served with a sorghum porridge. It had been my intention to hunt some out but in the end I ran out of time and the kids needed feeding so I served this with rice.
As before with my Food for Thought posts I wanted to give readers the opportunity to donate money to a charity that works in the area. Sudan has a long and troubled history of conflict and millions of people died during the civil war that ended in 2011 when the country was split into two (the conflict in Darfur is still ongoing).
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been working in Sudan since 1979, providing care for people caught up in conflict, treating neglected tropical diseases and filling general healthcare gaps in some of the most remote and challenging environments. MSF has projects in north Darfur, west Darfur, White Nile and Al-Gedaref. Here you can read about the experiences of Dr Shadi Abdelrahman, an Egyptian surgeon working in Agok who delivered a miraculous baby girl in his first-ever caesarean section.
Here’s how to make Sudanese sweet potato, spinach and peanut stew
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 500ml boiling vegetable stock
- 100g spinach leaves shredded (or use frozen)
- 120g peanut butter (I use the sugar and salt free kind)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft.
- Add the garlic, stir, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée, sweet potatoes, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock.
- Stir well, bring the boil, then cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Add the spinach and the peanut butter and stir well. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Serve with rice or bread or a sorghum porridge to make it really authentic.
- This dish keeps well so can be made in advance and also freezes well.