05 January 2011

Sweet Potato Peanut Stew

My first recipe of the day (yes, there is another to come) began life at Everybody Likes Sandwiches. It's called a "West African Groundnut Stew," but I hesitate to label it that way - I'm British, I got the recipe from a Canadian website, I'm making it with Korean ingredients, and added my own twist based on information found in The Flavour Thesaurus - adding pomegranate juice in homage to Iranian cuisine. My adaptations have, I'm sure, made the dish veer off wildly from its original incarnation, so I would personally feel uncomfortable giving it any label other than 'mine.' Sorry, West Africa.

One thing that's been bothering me for a while is whether it's spelt turmeric or tumeric. According to The Internet, both are valid. So that's that then.

Anyway! The meal was delicious, and took a surprisingly short time to make - from start (peeling potatoes) to end (serving up) took just under an hour of my life. I never thought I'd find a stew that would be suitable to make after work, given that I get home at 9:30 (not that that stopped me from trying, yesterday. Let Tom starve while I create culinary masterpieces!).

Also, a quick word of warning: if you don't have a blender, or the patience to smash two handfuls of peanuts into tiny little bits with your own (no doubt formidable) strength, you may want to skip this recipe. Or just add another spoonful of peanut butter at the ground peanuts stage, or even just not bother grinding the peanuts at all and adding them whole.

Sweet Potato Peanut Stew

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 green chilli
4 large sweet potatoes
2 chicken breasts
2 handfuls of peanuts
100ml pomegranate squash (or other concentrated fruit juice)
500ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ssamjang
Chilli powder
1 head broccoli
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Chop the onion and garlic and put in a cold pan with some oil, to allow the flavours to heat up together. Peel the potatoes and chop both the potatoes and chicken into similarly-sized chunks. Add to the pan. Whizz the peanuts in a food processor to reduce most of them to a fine dust (or see my note, above) and add this to the pan as well. Stir through for a few moments, so that most of the chicken is browned, and add the pomegranate syrup. Allow the mixture to bubble for another couple of minutes before adding 500ml boiling water mixed with stock. (I used six chicken stock ice-cubes) Mix in the tomato puree, turmeric and cinnamon, and leave the mixture on a medium heat for twenty minutes or so.

Simmering stew.
Then add chilli powder and ssamjang to taste, along with the head of broccoli, broken into small florets. Cook for fifteen minutes, then add the lime juice and peanut butter. The stew should be fairly dry by now, so turn the heat down and let it sit for a moment to incorporate the extra peanut and lime. Stir again and serve - I served ours with rice.