• Kris

West African lentil stew

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

Peanut butter is the magic ingredient that makes this protein packed, hearty stew exclusive. Vegan, gluten free, oil free.

November has come and the weather is turning chilly. You won’t believe, we had a few sub-zero nights already! I really crave something warm and comforting on days like these. Something that slakes your tastebuds, satiates your belly and warms your heart up. Like a rich, hearty stew. Like this lentil stew.

While creating this recipe, I was totally inspired by a West African peanut stew. Usually this is a creamy, tomatoey stew made with chicken and vegetables. Vegan versions are available too, throughout the internet, omitting the chicken. But as you know me, I always tend to deviate from the available recipes, to ‘Krisify’ it! This time, I had to do something to make up for the protein content of it as we’re not using chicken!

When you’re eating a stew for dinner, maybe even after a workout, you need your protein alright (and especially if it’s a grueling boxing session like mine)! So, I decided to add red lentils in lieu of the chicken. And I’m so glad I did that! Red lentils are a gem of the pulses, guys! They are packed with nutrition, easily digestible and takes very little time to cook. It gave my stew a very unique deliciousness and made it hearty enough for an entrée course.

Traditionally the veggies used in this stew are sweet potato and collard greens. I also added celery to increase the ‘stew factor’ of the taste. And instead of collards I did chopped kale. Well, no special reason for doing that! I just had them handy. Actually, any green, spinach, arugula, mustard green, they all go well in this.

It’s called peanut stew for a reason of course. The broth is made with peanut butter and tomato paste. That gives it a wonderful creaminess and taste. You can use smooth or chunky peanut butter. I personally prefer the smooth kind, because it makes the stew, well smooth (yes, you’re totally allowed to roll your eyes here)!

With only a few simple ingredients you can make this luscious comforting concoction in under 30 minutes. What, you don’t believe me? Well, see for yourself!

About the dish :

Course – Entrée

Servings – 4

Difficulty level – Easy

Recipe type – Vegan, gluten free, oil free

Does it keep – Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

What you need :

1 cup dry red lentil

½ medium onion, chopped (1 cup)

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped (1 cup)

1 medium stalk of celery, chopped

1 x 1” piece of ginger

2 cups chopped kale

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

½ cup smooth peanut butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Topping options (choose one or more) :

Thinly sliced jalapeno

Chopped roasted peanuts

Minced cilantro

Squeeze of a lime

What you do :

1. Wash the lentils well and soak in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.

2. In a skillet water sauté chopped garlic for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. If you’re not oil free you can use oil spray or any oil of your choice.

3. Add the chopped onions and sauté until slightly brown. Peel and crush the ginger with the flat side of your knife and add it to the pan.

4. Add sweet potato and celery. Sauté until the veggies are slightly softened.

5. Now drain the lentils and add to the skillet. Then add your chopped kale. Mix well with the other veggies and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes.

6. Add tomato paste and hot sauce (if using). Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.

7. Now add the peanut butter and ¼ cup water. Keep stirring until the peanut butter totally melts.

8. Add 2 cups of water and put the lid on. Cook for 10 minutes.

9. Fish out the ginger and season the stew with salt and pepper.

10. Add your favorite topping and serve hot with a side of crusty bread or rice.

Nutritional info per serving :

Calories – 390 Cal

Carbohydrate – 46 g

Protein – 19 g

Fat – 16 g

Saturated fat – 3 g

Sugar – 7 g

Sodium – 461 mg

Dietary fiber –9 g

Modifications you can make :

  • Use carrots instead of sweet potato.

  • Replace kale with spinach or arugula.

  • Instead of tomato paste, use tomato puree (1/2 cup) or chopped fresh tomato (1 large).

  • Use vegetable broth in lieu of water.

If you like this recipe, you might also like this :

Roasted sweet potato and mushroom chili

A steaming bowl of this humble stew, a piece of warm bread, your feet up on the sofa and a good book….. if ‘comfort’ had an avatar, I bet it would look just like this! What say you?

Light, peace and avocados; from my heart to yours!

Do you have any questions? Any feedback after you’ve made it? I’d surely like to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.

Comments :

DS says

11/11/2020, at 11.20PM

😍😍😍 gonna be that Comfort Avatar for sure. Can't wait to have this bowl of stew.....

Kris says

11/12/2020, at 10.00 AM

Thank you. I'm sure you'll like it 😊


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