This is one of my all-time favorite vegan recipes. It’s a spicy stew of winter vegetables such as cabbage, sweet potatoes, and rutabaga, along with chickpeas, tomatoes, peanut butter, and as many Scotch Bonnet peppers (also called habeneros) as you can handle. Vegan Senegalese Vegetable Stew is easy to prepare, although it does require a lot of chopping. Once that’s done, the rest goes fairly quickly. The stew is served over a bed of cooked millet.
The Republic of Senegal is a country in West Africa, along the Atlantic Coast. Peanuts are the primary crop, and are incorporated into many recipes. Meats and vegetables are typically stewed or marinated in herbs and spices, and then served over rice or couscous, or simply eaten with bread.
Not for the faint of heart, this vegan stew is SPICY! If you like your food on the tamer side, reduce the cayenne pepper and number of chilies, or omit them all together. Tom and I love hot food, but even we can’t handle the six chilies this recipe calls for. I usually make it with four.
Scotch Bonnet chilies are usually green, orange, or red. They look like this:
Vegan Senegalese Vegetable Stew
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups coarsely chopped cabbage (about ½ medium-sized head)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional)
6 scotch bonnet peppers, whole (optional, I use 4)
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups vegetable stock (or water)
4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (chunky works, too)
3 cups sweet potatoes, cubed (about 2 medium sweet potatoes)
2 cups rutabaga, cubed (about ½ small cabbage)
3 carrots, sliced into ¼-inch thick
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt, to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot and add the cabbage, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cabbage begins to soften.
Add the cayenne pepper, curry powder, and thyme. Cook for a minute, and then add the tomatoes. Cook about 3 minutes more, until the tomatoes are heated through. It will look something like this.
Add the peanut butter and the stock to the pan and stir to combine. Next, add the vegetables, chickpeas, and chilies.
Bring the stew to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Remove the peppers from the stew and set aside. Serve the stew on a bed of millet and place the whole peppers on top. Traditionally, guests mash a pepper into their stew before eating.
You may know millet only as the main ingredient in birdseed, but millet is delicious for people, too. It’s also gluten-free. Millet is a small, round grain and can be white, gray, yellow, or red. The yellow variety is most readily available near me. Here is what it looks like uncooked:
To make moist millet that is similar to rice in texture, toast 1 cup of millet in a dry pan for a few minutes until it starts to pop and releases a nutty fragrance. Carefully add 2 cups of water to the pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer 20-25 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
If you’ve never prepared millet before, get more detailed instructions on the Vegan Coach website.
This stew is also excellent served over brown rice, quinoa, or couscous.
The Vegan Senegalese Vegetable Stew recipe was adapted from this recipe, which I found online.