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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Shivi Ramoutar

West African stew and peanut butter cups: Shivi Ramoutar’s budget peanut butter recipes

Shivi Ramoutar's West African-inspired peanut stew.
Shivi Ramoutar’s West African-inspired peanut stew. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Rosie Reynolds. Prop styling: Louie Waller.

Peanut butter is a pantry stalwart (well, it is in my house) that works beautifully in both savouries and desserts, adding a richness and subtle sweetness in one simple step. I always opt for the crunchy stuff, but smooth works, too; both are interchangeable in today’s recipes. This West African-inspired stew and peanut butter cups make peanut butter the well-deserved star of the show, and can be batched up and frozen in portions for future meals – the stew, in particular, will benefit from being frozen, because the flavours become more “lived in” and bold the second time round.

West African-inspired peanut stew

Earthy and sweet, this can be made to your tastes and needs, using up vegetable or protein odds and ends to avoid waste (think leftover Sunday roast). You could also add more stock and leave out the rice for a more soup-based meal.

Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 pepper (red, orange or yellow), stalk, pith and seeds removed, flesh roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp ground coriander
½ tbsp ground cumin
60g peanut butter
500ml vegetable stock

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 small handful spinach leaves
Boiled rice, to serve

Put the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and pepper, and saute, stirring regularly, for about five minutes, until softened.

Add the garlic, ginger and spices, and stir until the aromas hit you. Stir in the peanut butter and stock, then add the sweet potatoes and chickpeas, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, until the sweet potato is cooked through.

Add the spinach towards the end of the cooking time, so it just wilts down. Season and serve with rice.

Frozen peanut butter cups

Shivi Ramoutar’s frozen peanut butter cups.
Shivi Ramoutar’s frozen peanut butter cups. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Rosie Reynolds. Prop styling: Louie Waller.

This take on peanut butter cups is a little more sophisticated and less sickly than shop-bought versions, and it’s a great way to get children involved in cooking.

Prep 5 min
Cook 15 min
Freeze 2 hr+
Makes 12

30g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
150g dark chocolate
50g peanut butter
6 digestive biscuits, blitzed or bashed to fine crumbs (put them in a food bag or tea towel)
A pinch of salt

Grease a 12-hole cupcake tray (or use a 24-hole mini cupcake tray). Melt the chocolate in short bursts on high in a microwave, stirring often. (You can also melt it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.) Leave to cool a little.

In a bowl, mix the butter, peanut butter and biscuit crumbs with a pinch of salt. Divide between the cupcake holes, pushing the mixture right down into them with the back of a spoon, and making each as level as possible.

Carefully spoon over the melted dark chocolate, then pop the tray into the freezer for two to three hours, until frozen solid. Pop out the cups from the moulds and enjoy, or store in a resealable bag in the freezer.

  • Cook Clever: One Chop, No Waste, All Taste, by Shivi Ramoutar, is published by HarperCollins at £20. To order a copy for £17.60, visit

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