This rich and fragrant dish is a vegan take on ‘Ebinyebwa’ or Ugandan peanut stew. Packed full of vegetables, it’s a perfect make-ahead dinner.
Food always feel like an incredibly intimate way to get to know a country, to understand the role food plays in a culture and to experience the flavours that form the backdrop to people’s lives.
I spent the second half of last month travelling in Uganda, but as my time there was largely spent in more remote areas, opportunities to immerse myself in the food were unexpectedly limited. Ugandan peanut stew had been high up on my ‘to try’ list before travelling, but I actually only got to eat it once.
This dearth of local food on my trip has, however, meant that I’m eager to experiment and try more of the cuisine now that I’m home. It’s quite wonderful continuing to surround yourself with a country’s culture, even after you’ve left, as a way of reflecting on a trip. Fortunately, there’s a fantastic international supermarket near to me in Leeds that sells some of the staple Ugandan ingredients. You can see the full feast I cooked up below and there are a couple more vegan Ugandan recipes to come.
I’ve heard that, in Uganda, as occasion is not an occasion without a peanut stew so I’m starting with this recipe for a vegetable-packed Ugandan peanut stew!
This Ugandan peanut stew is exceptionally simple to cook. It’s very much a ‘pop it all in the pan and leave it’ type of meal so it’s perfect for cooking ahead for the week or to freeze. The recipe makes 6-8 generous portions. It’s also flexible in terms of the vegetables you can include, so don’t be afraid to experiment based on the veggies you have in stock.
I actually made my own peanut butter for this recipe but, if I’m completely honest, I found it more trouble than it was worth! (I’d go as far as to recommend using the shop-bought stuff!)
- 1 onion, cut into large chunks
- 3 carrots, sliced into rounds
- 6 salad tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 medium butternut squash, cut into large chunks
- 200g button mushrooms, cleaned and kept whole
- 1 aubergine, cut into large chunks
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 3 small chilli peppers, chopped finely (deseeding optional)
- 6 tbsp peanut butter
- 50ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped peanuts, to serve
- Prepare all of the vegetables and place them together in a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients (bar the chopped peanuts) and mix well to coat the vegetables in the peanut butter.
- Cover with a lid and place the pan on the hob over a medium heat. Bring the ingredients up to a simmer, lower the heat a little and cook gently for around one hour. Stir occasionally and cook until the vegetables are soft and the peanut sauce is thick and creamy. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan at any point, add a little more stock, if needed.
- Sprinkle over the chopped peanuts and serve with rice or yams and steamed matoke.
Looking for more dinner ideas? Why not try this vegan Iraqi stew or a vegan Korean stew?