Fiery Stew, Exotic Flavors
By John Havel
One of the most enjoyable parts of travel is to taste the foods
that are indigenous to different countries and cultures. If you
judge Mexican food by local restaurants you would miss the incredible
variety of moles for Oaxaca, for example. The stews of Hunan province
are not served in Chinese restaurants and African food is hard to
find outside of large cities.
But traveling to all these regions to sample these wonderful
cuisines is near impossible, so we turn to cookbooks. Traditionally,
West African dishes are real mouth-blisterers. In fact, some of them
are so hot that they make spicy Indian food seem bland by comparison.
African recipes, like this one, have to be severely toned down for
Peanut flavor is prominently featured in this dish. You may have
seen recipes for "groundnut" stew. Groundnut is a traditional name
for a peanut and relates to how the peanut grows; on a vine that
buries its pods into the ground. In West African cuisine, peanuts
can be found in just about anything, from soups and stews to
garnishes, snacks and pounded into a paste.
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