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Groundnut Sauce

This week I thought it would be interesting to try and cook something African. My husband is back from Africa for vacation, and I asked him if he could show me a national dish. He didn't take long to...

This week I thought it would be interesting to try and cook something African. My husband is back from Africa for vacation, and I asked him if he could show me a national dish. He didn't take long to answer that question. He chose the groundnut sauce, which he eats every day over there. It's a sauce made out of peanuts, very easy, fast and delicious. You can serve it with white fish, beef, pork or chicken. I decided to do it with fish, because I never had fish and peanuts together, I couldn't believe that this would be good…but it was amazing.

In the original recipe they cook the fish whole, but we couldn't find any Snapper or Grouper in the stores, so we bought the white fish Tilapia. The beef in Africa is not very good and safe to eat, so most people go with fish and chicken. Which is better for you anyway. It's okay to eat beef here and there, but you shouldn't consume it every day. I added a couple of things extra to the traditional recipe. I'm so excited for you to cook this, because it will knock you over. Lol..okay let's get started!

Groundnut sauce
Groundnut sauce

Groundnut sauce

 Ingredients:

  • I cup diced onion
  • I cup peeled tomatoes
  • I cup unsalted peanuts
  • 2 cups cooked spinach ( I added kale and arugula)
  • 1 Thai red chili
  • I tsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

 Directions:

  1. Put a pot with water on the stove on high heat. When it starts boiling dump the tomatoes in the water and let them boil for 1 minute.That way it's easier to peel them after) Put them in a bowl with ice cold water, take them out, peel and dice them up.
  2. Peel the onion and dice them in to very small cubes.
  3. Use a coffee grinder to ground the peanuts- it's the easiest that way.
  4. Boil the spinach, kale, arugula for about three minutes,dump them in to ice water as well. That way it's stops the cooking process right away.
  5. Place a medium size pan on top of the stove, add the olive oil and turn it on high.
  6. When it's hot start frying the onions and tomatoes. Add the curry powder, stir it and let it fry for about 4 minutes. Dump in the nuts and a cup of water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  7. Cut up the chili and add it to the sauce. When it gets to thick add another cup of water. Take the vegetable out of the ice water and mix it underneath the sauce. Season it with salt and pepper. Pour in the lime juice as well. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. If you like it really spicy you can always add more Thai red chili.

I served my sauce with a grilled tilapia, grilled small peppers and mushrooms and a lentil- coriander- rice. My husband brought some nice dishes home from Africa, so they were perfect for my plating, as you can see in the pictures. I was surprised how good the food tasted together, so I think I'm going to start cooking more African food. Which is okay with me, it's very healthy, cheap and delicious.

A little more about Groundnut sauce...

The main ingredient is ground roasted peanuts, for which peanut butter can act as a substitute. Several different recipes for making peanut sauces exist, resulting in a variety of flavours, textures and consistency. A typical recipe usually contains ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter (smooth or crunchy), coconut milk, soy sauce, tamarind, galangal, garlic, and spices (such as coriander seed, cumin, etc.). Other possible ingredients are chili peppers, sugar, milk, fried onion, and lemon grass. The texture and consistency (thin or thick) of a peanut sauce corresponds to the amount of water being mixed in it. Some recipes create thin or watery peanut sauce, while others make thick or gloppy peanut sauce.

In western countries, the readily and widely available peanut butter is often used as a subtitute ingredient to make peanut sauce,] however the texture of peanut butter is too smooth and soft. To achieve authenticity, some recipe might insist on making roasted ground peanuts from scratch, using traditional stone mortar and pestle for grinding to achieve desired texture, graininess and earthy flavour of peanut sauce.

Thai red chili

Bird's eye chili, bird's chili or Thai chili is a chili pepper, a cultivar from the species Capsicum annuum, commonly found in Southeast Asia. It is often confused with a similar-looking chili derived from the species Capsicum frutescens, the cultivar 'siling labuyo'. Bird's eye chili can also be found in India, in Meghalaya and Kerala; it is used in traditional dishes of the Kerala cuisine. This cultivar is also found in rural areas of Sri Lanka, where it is used as a substitute for green chilis. It is also a main ingredient in kochchi sambal, a salad made using freshly scraped coconut ground with bird's eye chilis and seasoned with salt and lime juice. It is used extensively in Thai, Lao, Khmer, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisine.