African Peanut Stew made with Ethiopian Berbere

Tasty peanut stew

This is a delicious vegetarian stew that can also be made vegan.  We use Ethiopian Berbere as the base spice, which simplifies the recipe, but also gives this stew a little kick.  You can vary the spice heat level by using less or more of the spice mix.  The other thing that really helps in this recipe is to smash some of the sweet potatoes with the back of a spoon as they soften, this helps thicken the stew, and results in a very rich and creamy texture.  I finished this stew with a touch of cream and sunflower seeds fried in butter, but both of these items can be omitted for a vegan stew.

  • Author: pinchspiceadmin
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


  • 1 tbs. cooking oil (canola, olive, peanut, etc.)
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 5 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  • 12 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced finely  (you can substitute 1 tsp. ginger powder)
  • 1 tbs. Ethiopian Berbere 
  • 1 tsp. Cumin Powder
  • 34 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, natural kind
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • some chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of cream (optional for vegan)
  • 1 tbs butter (optional for vegan)


  • Ok let’s get started…I like to have the all the veggies prepped before I get the heat going, because this dish gets going really quick and you want to be ready to add everything.
  • Heat oil in a soup pot on medium heat
  • add ginger and onions and saute until tender
  • add garlic and saute for another minute or so
  • add spices and saute for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. You do not want to burn the spices!!!
  • now add your tomato paste and stir to combine with the veggies and spices.  Things should be smelling really good in your kitchen at this point.
  • now add the veggie stock and the additional water and bring to a boil
  • reduce heat to a nice simmer and add the peanut butter and the sweet potato.  You may need to stir and agitate the peanut butter to combine with the broth.
  • yup that’s your neighbors at the front door wondering what that amazing aroma is, this is normal, continue cooking
  • cover the pot and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is soft.
  • using the back of a spoon begin to smoosh about 50-75 percent of the potatoes to thicken the stew.
  • you are ready to serve, but you can certainly let this simmer for a while while you get other things ready.
  • 5 minutes before serving remove from heat and stir in the cream
  • heat the butter in a small frying pan and add the sunflower seeds and lightly fry the seeds
  • when you serve garnish first with fresh chopped herbs and add the hot sunflower seeds

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