West African Vegetable and Peanut Stew

Okra, which is a staple in West African cooking, is a great vegetable to freeze because, unlike commercially frozen okra, it doesn't become mushy.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • One 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, with their liquid
  • 4 cups water or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups frozen whole okra or 6 ounces fresh whole okra
  • 1 cup frozen green beans or 1/4 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Preparation

  1. 1. Heat the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeños and ginger and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the casserole. Whisk in the water and peanut butter, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. 2. Add the sweet potatoes and carrots, cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes. Add the okra and green beans, cover partially and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer the stew to 4 deep bowls and serve hot. Pass the cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges at the table.
  3. Make Ahead: The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently over moderately low heat.
  4. Serve With: Steamed rice.
  5. Wine Recommendation: This dish has a hint of spiciness that would be complemented best by an aromatic, dry-style Steen from South Africa, such as the 1999 Simonsig Stellenbosch or the 1999 Landskroon.
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