West African style peanut curry

This must be a week for cravings. I went shopping to buy only a few necessary staples and I impulsively picked up a bag of sweet potatoes as I walked by them in the produce section. When I got home I picked up my Leon Happy Curry recipe and found a recipe that used sweet potatoes. Lucky for me I pretty much had all the ingredients in my cupboard, apart from peanut butter. I did however have bottle of peanut that my mother had given me one of her trips to Nigeria.


I did not add the cayenne pepper because Nacho does not really like hot spicy foods and I think I might have lost something because of it. When I ate the same food for lunch today, with a sprinkle of pepper, it tasted much better. Full. Warming. Comforting.


1 tablespoon natural cooking oil

2 onions, finely diced

2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1/2 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced

2 teaspoons tomato puree

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric

1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

400g canned chopped tomato, undrained

400 ml hot water

50g smooth peanut butter (unsweetened)

600g (2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

400g canned cooked chickpeas, drained

150g kale, or any sweet, soft-leaved green cabbage, stems and ribs removed, finely shredded

50g okra, trimmed and cut into 1 cm rounds (optional)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced, to serve

a handful of toasted unsalted peanuts, chopped, to serve


Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauce gently for about 8 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until fragrant. Add the tomato puree and all the ground spices (use only 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to begin with) and cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time, until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and their juice, the water (just fill the tomato can), peanut butter and sweet potatoes. Stir well, then bring up to a simmer. partly cover with a lid, reduce the heat and gently cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Add the drained chickpeas to the pan and simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes, then add the kale and okra, if using. Stir well, then simmer for a further 5 minutes, just until the kale is done. Remove from the heat and taste for the salt and pepper. You can even add a pic more cayenne, if you like.

Serve with the fresh red chilli slices and chopped peanuts, sprinkled on top.

Reference: Leon Happy Curries

Rebecca Seal 
John Vincent 
Leon (Restaurant)

Conran Octopus



Publication Date: 03/10/2019

page 84

2 responses to “West African style peanut curry”

  1. My Dubai Guide avatar
    My Dubai Guide

    So delicious! 😍😍


    1. The Happy Eater avatar

      Yes, it absolutely was.

      Liked by 1 person

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