Recipe West African Peanut Curry

By Danelia Rodriguez Santana

This recipe from Apicius culinary students and faculty combines West African peanut curry with South African durban masala. The peanut butter, tomato puree, and vegetable stock in the curry balance the masala’s strong, contrasting flavors of the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and pepper.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients for the Masala

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

seeds of 5 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground ginger

Ingredients for the Curry

4 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter

500 ml water

2 tbsp oil

5 carrots, peeled

2 parsnips, peeled

500 gr white turnips

1 medium onion, diced

400 gr mushrooms

1 eggplant (approx 400-500 gr)

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp amchoor (dried mango powder)

2 ripe tomatoes, diced

500 ml veg stock

salt and pepper to taste


Blend peanut butter with 150 ml of water, combine with the remaining 350 ml water and simmer in a pan for 15 minutes until it starts to gather to the surface.

Chop the carrots, parsnip, turnip, and eggplant, and sauté them separately in oil until caramelized and set them aside. Toast the spices in a casserole with oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until al dente. Add mushrooms and cook until nicely browned. Add tomato puree and tomatoes. Increase heat to the maximum. Add peanut butter, water, stock, and vegetables. Cook until the flavors are well-combined and the vegetables are tender (approx 10-15 minutes). Serve on whole rice dressed with oil and amchoor (dried mango powder).