When my big sister went off to university in the UK, she came back bearing new knowledge. Something to do with medicine. More importantly, though, she returned to the islands enriched with tidings of new good things to eat, including a Ghanaian peanut stew. Spicy, creamy, tomato-y, hot and lush, on fire from ginger and more scotch bonnet than Mummy usually used (probably residual from my early childhood frowny faces regarding excess pepper). That stew was hot enough to chase August down the street, begging for mercy.
This quinoa is inspired by that stew. Kinda. I’ll slide a little heat into my meals these days, but I’m not obsessed with pepper. I did borrow the unique, and really quite tasty, marriage of savoury onions with creamy, satisfying peanut butter and tomato. (Three-way marriage? Unconventional, I know. But sometimes you pick up an analogy and it’s too heavy to set down mid-way.)
In favour of speed (and, frankly, because I was out of tomatoes), I used the slacker’s out and opted for organic ketchup (free of corn syrup) in this recipe. Judge if you must; the end result was tasty, and it just meant I used less salt when seasoning it up.
Spicy Peanut Quinoa
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2″ slices
1 Tbsp organic, natural peanut butter (no oils, sugar or salt added)
1 Tbsp organic ketchup
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp hot sauce
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
salt, to taste
1. In a small pot, heat oil over medium-low. Add onion and cook until just turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Combine peanut butter and ketchup in a bowl and set aside.
3. Add turmeric and cumin to pot, stirring quickly. Do not allow spices to burn. Add carrot, and 1 cup of the water.
4. Gradually stir the remaining 1 cup water into the peanut butter mixture to dissolve peanut butter and ketchup. Add to the pot and turn up to high heat.
5. Add hot sauce and salt, to taste. Add quinoa and bring to the boil.
6. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 25-30 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and let sit 5 minutes before serving.