Peanut butter curry

I can’t claim authenticity on this dish, as I’ve never had it made by an African cook, and I’ve never been anywhere in Africa. This is a dish I’ve adapted from other African dishes I’ve tasted, with a little help from the world wide web.

This is a really comfort-foody meal, is best made mild-moderately spicy, and can be enjoyed with rice or flatbread.

Flavour: Spicy, salty, creamy & nutty

Serves: 4 as main dish


  • 1 large potato, cubed (or 2 medium-size ones) – keep skin on for best nutritional value
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed (and/ or 1 cup pumpkin, cubed)
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, coarsely cut
  • 1 large carrot, cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely sliced
  • 3 medium-size tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped (see here for how to peel a tomato)
  • Half cup of red lentils
  • 2 red chillies, chopped finely, or 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (adjust chilli to your own taste – this dish is supposed to be spicy, but you’re the best judge of how much you can handle!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (palm sugar is best, but raw sugar will do)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (sunflower, canola or peanut are ideal, coconut is also fine)
  • 2 large tablespoons peanut butter (you can substitute with any nut butter – cashew, macadamia and almond are all good)
  • 1 large tablespoon mild or medium curry powder (use your favourite)
  • 4 cups water
  • Handful of coriander, chopped


  1. Chop all vegetables before starting so you’re not in a rush while putting this dish together
  2. Fry onion on high heat in a wok with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil until translucent
  3. Add minced garlic and ginger, and fry for one minute more
  4. Add potato, and fry for a further two minutes, stirring regularly
  5. Turn heat to medium, add sweet potato, chilli, and curry powder, and stir in
  6. Add peanut butter, and stir in (don’t worry if it doesn’t combine completely – it’s not important at this stage)
  7. Add chopped tomatoes and sugar, stir in, and then add 1 cup of water, return to high heat
  8. Bring to the boil, stirring gently, and then add lentils
  9. Boil for 10 minutes, adding water and stirring gently as and when needed (the curry should be thick, but don’t let it go dry)
  10. Add carrots and cauliflower, and cook for 10 more minutes on medium heat, or until all vegetables are tender (stir occasionally) – the curry should be thick and creamy when done
  11. Turn off heat, stir in soy sauce and lime juice (these are left until the end because their flavour is impaired by slow cooking), and leave to stand for 5 minutes – the curry will thicken a little more as it cools slightly
  12. Serve garnished with coriander, with steamed white or brown rice, or flatbread

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