Peanut butter sounds like a strange ingredient to base a soup on, but believe us, it works. This mouth-watering soup tastes nothing like a PB & J; rather, its blend of curry spices, sweet potato and fresh ginger gives it a unique, complex flavor that will have you making it again and again.
Domoda is the national dish of Gambia. It is a delicious “groundnut stew” (peanuts) consisting of whatever vegetable happens to be available, typically pumpkin or sweet potatoes, and a saucy base. Whether vegetarian or including meat, the base is pretty consistent: A rich and flavorful sauce featuring ground peanut paste (or natural, unsweetened peanut butter), fresh tomatoes, and tomato paste. Caramelized onions, chicken and tomato stock, and hot chili peppers are also added. Maggi bouillon cubes are readily available in many parts of Africa and are commonly used in African cooking, including this dish.
Situated in West Africa, Gambia was a British commonwealth until 1965 when it gained independence. The land is relatively more fertile than other parts of Africa and Gambia’s economy is dominated by farming, fishing and tourism. Thus, they’re able to grow things like the pumpkins and sweet potatoes that are common to Gambian cuisine.
Though Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, it’s culture and history are diverse. Some of this history was popularized in the Alex Haley book and TV series “Roots,” parts of which were set in the Gambia.
- 1 pound of diced chicken or turkey
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 1 medium sweet potato (1 lb)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup natural style chunky peanut butter
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 bunch 2-3 cups chopped collard greens
- 1/4 bunch cilantro garnish (optional)
Peel and grate the ginger using a small holed cheese grater. Mince the garlic. Sauté the ginger and garlic in vegetable oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes soft and fragrant.
Dice the onion, add it to the pot, and continue to sauté. Dice the sweet potato (1/2 inch cubes), add it to the pot, and continue to sauté a few minutes more, or until the onion is soft and the sweet potato takes on a darker, slightly translucent appearance. Season with cumin and red pepper flakes.
Add the tomato paste and peanut butter, and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Add the vegetable broth and stir to dissolve the thick tomato paste-peanut butter mixture. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high.
While the soup is coming up to a boil, prepare the collard greens. Rinse the greens well, then use a sharp knife to remove each stem (cut along the side of each stem). Stack the leaves, then cut them into thin strips. Add the collard strips to the soup pot.
Once the soup reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer without a lid for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very soft. Once soft, smash about half of the sweet potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to help thicken the soup. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (will depend on the brand of broth used).
Serve the stew hot with a few cilantro leaves if desired.