Five Regional Groundnut Stew Recipes

Groundnut Stew is a popular dish in twelve West African countries with as many variations as chili in the United States. 

It is a hearty and flavorful stew made with a base of groundnuts or peanut butter as one of the main ingredients. However, this is where many of the similarities of groundnut stew end because each country in West Africa, indeed each household, has its own version of groundnut stew. 

The peanuts in groundnut stew contribute a nutty, creamy, slightly earthy, and sweet flavor profile. They are a crucial ingredient that gives the dish a unique taste and texture.


Groundnut stew is famous in 12 West African countries; here is the list of countries and names of groundnut stew:

Nkatenkwan - Ghana 
Omi Tuo - Nigeria 
Gbenben - Sierra Leone 
Mafé - Senegal 
Gnankati - Togo 
Domodah - The Gambia 
Nkatindé - Benin 
Maafe - Mali 
Maffé - Guinea 
Maffi Tiga - Niger 
Tighadouin - Mauritania 
Maafe - Burkina Faso 

Groundnut stew variations in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. 

In Ghana, Nkatenkwan is typically made with peanuts, chicken, beef, or goat meat, and various vegetables like spinach or bitter leaves. It is often thickened with ground peanuts and served with fufu, banku, or rice. 

In Nigeria, Nkatenkwan is known as Omi Tuo or peanut soup. It is prepared with groundnuts, meat or fish, and vegetables like pumpkin leaves or bitter leaves. It is usually served with tuwo shinkafa, rice flour dumplings, pounded yam, or eba cassava meal. 

In Sierra Leone, Nkatenkwan is called Gbenben or Groundnut stew. It is made with groundnuts, meat, often chicken or beef, vegetables like cabbage or spinach, and spices. It is commonly served with rice or cassava, or plantain fufu. 

In Senegal, Nkatenkwan is known as Mafé and is a popular dish. It is typically made with groundnuts, meat such as lamb, beef, or chicken, vegetables like okra or sweet potatoes, and various spices. It is usually served with rice or couscous. 

In Togo, Nkatenkwan is called Gnankati. It is made with groundnuts, meat, often beef or goat, and vegetables like eggplant or okra. It is typically served with fufu or cornmeal. 

Each country and region within those countries may have its unique twist on Nkatenkwan, making it a diverse and flavorful dish throughout West Africa.


How to ground peanuts for groundnut stew.

Start by roasting the peanuts. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread the peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them for 10-15 minutes until they become fragrant and golden brown. 

Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning. Once roasted, remove the peanuts from the oven and allow them to cool down completely. Once the peanuts have cooled, transfer them to a food processor or blender. 

You can also use a mortar and pestle for a more traditional method. Process or blend the peanuts in short pulses until they start to break down and form a coarse powder. At this stage, you can decide how finely you want to grind the peanuts. 

Continue blending or processing until the peanuts turn into a fine powder for a smoother consistency. If you prefer a slightly chunkier texture, pulse the peanuts a few more times to leave some small pieces. 

Check the ground peanuts to make sure they have reached your desired consistency. If needed, scrape down the sides of the food processor or blender and pulse again until you achieve the desired texture. 

Once ground to your liking, the peanuts are ready to be used in your groundnut stew recipe. For future use, you can store any excess ground peanuts in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Remember, when grinding peanuts, monitoring the process closely is essential to avoid over-processing them, which can result in peanut butter. Grinding them in short pulses allows you to control the texture and prevent them from turning into a paste. 

Now you can incorporate your freshly ground peanuts into your groundnut stew recipe and enjoy the rich flavor they bring to your own groundnut stew dish.

Groundnut Stew

Simple and flavorful chicken groundnut stew recipe to try.


1 pound chicken tenders cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
2 large red tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup peanut butter (directions below)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup okra, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Cooked rice or couscous for serving


Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent. Stir in the chicken, minced garlic, and grated ginger, and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot, and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add the peanut butter (homemade from the directions above) and stir until it is well combined with the tomato mixture.

Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring continuously to create a smooth and creamy base. Add the cubed sweet potatoes, sliced okra (if using), ground cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Bring the stew to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow it to cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in the chopped spinach and cook for an additional 5 minutes until wilted.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve the groundnut stew hot over cooked rice or couscous.

Garnish with fresh cilantro for added freshness, and enjoy the delicious flavors of the groundnut stew.
Feel free to customize the recipe by adding other vegetables or proteins, such as chicken or tofu, based on your preference. Enjoy your homemade groundnut stew, a delightful and hearty dish from African cuisine.


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