Pic of Sweet potato and peanut stew with mushrooms, spinach and red rice

Sweet potato and peanut stew with mushrooms, spinach and red rice

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Vegetarian mains

Sweet potato and peanut stew with mushrooms, spinach and red rice

Main Serves 2 45 min
Although this recipe is African in its roots, it seems to take flavours from every step of the spice route. There is the earthy Indian warmth from the cumin, a whiff of the Middle East from the cinnamon, all finished with a peanut flavour suggestive of a Malaysian satay. I've used red rice here as it has an interesting nutty flavour and chew to it. It also doesn't take much longer to cook than plain white rice.


  • 1 onion
  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 200g Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 25g fresh ginger
  • 600g sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato pureé
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150g red rice
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 200g spinach
  • 50ml soured cream
  • 30g coriander
  • salt and pepper
Image of Sweet potato and peanut stew with mushrooms, spinach and red rice


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Peel and finely slice the onion. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the large pan. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring now and then until it is just starting to soften. While the onion is frying, clean and thinly slice the mushrooms. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves.
  • Step 2

    Peel and chop or grate the ginger. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 2cm chunks. Add the mushrooms to the pan. Turn up the heat and fry for 4 minutes. Add the sweet potato, garlic, ginger, tomato pureé, spice pot and a cautious pinch of cayenne pepper (see cook's note). Fry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously until everything smells fragrant. Tip in the tomatoes.
  • Step 3

    Fill the can with water and add enough to the pan so that everything is just covered. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, stir well. Bring up to a simmer. Loosely cover and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes have softened.
  • Step 4

    While the stew cooks, put a pan of salted water on to boil. Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water and add it to the pan of boiling water, making sure it is covered by at least 2cm. Stir once and simmer for 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked. Wash the spinach. Strip away and discard any tough looking stalks. Coarsely shred the leaves. Wash, shake dry and roughly chop the coriander.
  • Step 5

    When the stew has cooked, put the peanut butter in a small bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of liquid from the stew and thin the peanut butter into a paste. Add the paste back into the stew along with the washed spinach. Stir on a low heat until the spinach has wilted. Taste the stew, adjust with more salt and pepper if required.
  • Step 6

    Drain the rice and serve with the stew, a good blob of soured cream and plenty of chopped coriander.

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