West African Peanut Sauce

Jane Hughes
10 - 20 mins

This impressive dish is interesting enough to serve to friends, amazingly filling and nutritious, and suitable for vegans. Best of all, you need hardly any ingredients - as long as you’ve got a jar of peanut butter you’re well on the way…

1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (or a splash of hot chilli sauce)
500ml light vegetable stock (see note)
1 red or green pepper, or a small courgette, chopped
1 small jar of chunky peanut butter (smooth will do, chunky is nicer)
1 450g tin of chopped tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
1 450g tin of black beans (aduki or kidney beans, or chick peas, would work, but black beans are prettier and more authentic)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
Chilli powder, to taste
Fresh coriander or mint, to garnish (optional)
Oil, for frying
Plus cooked grains to serve with the sauce – I used giant couscous which is still relatively unusual, looks amazing and makes a great talking point, but ordinary couscous is more traditional, and rice would be fine too.
In a large saucepan, fry the onions and jalapeno pepper in a little oil until the onion is translucent, then add the garlic and continue to cook for another two minutes. Stir in the peppers or courgettes and add the vegetable stock. Heat through, then add the peanut butter and stir to melt it and disperse it through the mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes, rinsed beans and spices. Cook gently for five minutes, and check and adjust the seasoning to suit your own taste.
Serve the sauce over warm cooked grains, garnished with a little chopped fresh coriander or mint.