Recipe: Groundnut (peanut) stew

Groundnut stew with millet.

Groundut stew is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Groundnuts are a family of legumes that include the peanut, and most have a similar flavor. They originate in Western Africa, but are also grown in Eastern Africa and other parts of the world as a staple food.

Groundnut stew is widely enjoyed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and with so many diverse cultures, you can expect a great variety of vegetable and spice combinations. This recipe is just one take on it, and shouldn’t be viewed as “correct” or even particularly traditional. (My only experience with groundnut stew is in Kenya and Tanzania, and in both those places, the groundnut stews I’ve sampled have fewer spices than my recipe.) In addition to the veggies I’ve included here, squash, pumpkin and eggplant make great options. If you’re a meat-eater, you can brown some chicken, ground meat or goat to add with the onions, but it’s perfectly satisfying without meat.

I like to serve my groundnut stew with millet (1 cup dried millet simmered in 2 cups water for 25 minutes; use 3 cups water is you want a porridge texture) or corn porridge, but any grain will do.


  • 1 tablespoon olive, peanut or coconut oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, or 1 28-oz. can and 1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups water (more if you prefer a thinner stew)
  • 1½ chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas or 16 oz. canned
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter (you can grind up peanuts or groundnuts in a blender)


  1. Saute the onions and garlic until clear to golden-brown.wpid-2014-12-21-16.00.32.png.png
  2. Put all ingredients except the peanuts/groundnuts/peanut butter in your crockpot.
  3. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  4. Remove 1 cup of cooking liquid from the crockpot and bring it to a boil on the stove. Stir in the peanut butter/peanuts/groundnuts until dissolved.wpid-2014-12-21-16.02.44.png.png
  5. Return the peanut liquid to the crockpot.
  6. Serve over cooked grains of your choice.

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