Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew (Domoda)

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This Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew is vegan, gluten-free, and plant-forward, but it tastes like comfort food! Packed with hearty ingredients like protein-rich white beans, sweet potatoes, and kale, it's a feel-good meal that'll become your new favorite vegan dinner!
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr

This post is sponsored by ALDI USA. Thank you for supporting the brands who help make my work possible!

Back in December, when we were all stuffing our faces with holiday cookies and that third slice of pie, I asked you on Instagram what kind of recipes you wanted to see in the New Year. The majority of the answers I got involved some variation of “healthy,” but there were surprisingly few responses along the lines of “low calorie” or “low carb” or “salads.” In fact, I think there was just one or two.

I suspect this is, at least in part, due to the fact that I don’t promote a “low calorie” lifestyle, or any dietary fads for that matter. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love sharing recipes that are healthy!

I create lots of recipes with kale (including today’s recipe), for instance, but I never talk about the fact that kale is a low-cal food (how boring would that be??). Instead, I emphasize the overall goodness of eating leafy greens, which are rich in calcium, iron, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and help promote gut, brain, bone, and skin health.

In that vein, today’s recipe for a Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew is hearty enough to keep you satiated for hours, and it’s packed with aromatics and spices so it’ll satisfy your taste buds and winter comfort food cravings. But it’s also made with wholesome and nourishing ingredients, and is vegan, gluten-free, and plant-forward.

Please note: I originally titled this recipe Vegan West African Peanut Stew, but after doing more research on the various differences across West African peanut stews, I came to identify my particular recipe as being most influenced by Gambian Peanut Stew, aka domoda.

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

Whether your goals for 2020 include eating more plant-based foods, going vegan, or simply being more veg-curious, this recipe will help you get there! It’s made with some of my favorite ingredients from the plant world—sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, white beans, kale, and peanut butter (obviously)—and you can find it all at your local ALDI grocery store!

And not only can you find these plant-based staples at ALDI, you’ll also find them at crazy good prices! So you can eat healthy and save money in 2020!

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

Ingredient Rundown

Peanut Butter

Domoda is a type of West African Peanut Stew, so we obviously have to add some peanut butter!

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

Peanut stews are common in West African countries, including in Gambia as well as Senegal and Ghana, with variations abounding throughout the regions and across ethnic groups. Before the introduction of peanuts from the New World, this stew was made with groundnuts that are native to West Africa.

Some versions of peanut stew are soupier, others are thick stews served over grains such as millet, rice, or couscous; this recipe falls into the latter camp. Some versions contain okra or hot chilies or tomatoes.

In Gambia, the dish is called domoda, and you’ll find both vegetarian and meat versions, though the vegetarian version is more popular because meat is quite expensive. It usually contains peanut butter or peanut paste, tomatoes, chili peppers, and a vegetable such as sweet potatoes, carrots, or pumpkin.

In Senegal, the dish is called mafe. It is made with tomatoes, is spicy, and often served over rice. It’s typically made with meat or chicken, but for obvious reasons, my version does not contain meat or chicken.

While peanut butter might sound like an unusual ingredient in a stew, I promise you it blends effortlessly with the spices and aromatics and lends a creamy richness you’ll adore.

And I love the Simply Nature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter from ALDI! First, it’s made with just peanuts and sea salt (no added oils or sugar here). Two, it’s an organic, non-GMO  peanut butter that is incredibly affordable. Three, thanks to its clean and simple ingredients, it’s one of 80 Simply Nature products that earned the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which is basically an award for products that make it easier to eat healthier. Oh, and three, did I mention it is super creamy, just how I like my PB (sorry, crunchy PB fans).

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

White Beans   

As mentioned above, domoda may contain meat or not, and while many Westernized versions of this recipe are vegetarian, most of the latter do not contain a primary source of protein.

I chose to include white beans in my version to bring some additional protein and to make it super hearty, but also because white beans bring such a nice creaminess to stews and soups in a healthy way yet satisfying way. My favorite white bean to use here is cannellini beans (the king of creamy beans!), but any white bean will work just fine.

Aromatics  

As with most of my stews/curries/soups, I start this recipe by sautéing some aromatics. This helps build layers of flavors and infuses more depth of flavor into the whole dish. In this recipe, I start with onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño peppers.

Often, peanut stews such as domoda are made with habanero peppers, but I find those to be too spicy for most of my readers, so I opted for jalapeño peppers here. If you’re very sensitive to spicy food, use just 1 jalapeño pepper and remove the seeds and membranes, where most of the heat lives. But if you can handle the heat, feel free to use a habanero pepper (the seeds are very spicy so I recommend removing them).

Coconut Oil

Speaking of aromatics, I love sautéing them in coconut oil. It brings a subtle buttery richness that a neutral oil wouldn’t bring. And even better, I found this *organic, cold-pressed* coconut oil at ALDI for just $4.89. Of course, the price may vary depending on where you live, but I’ve never seen organic, cold-pressed coconut oil at that price anywhere else in NYC!

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

Spices

The particular spices used in peanut stews vary across regions in West Africa, but I love using the combination of cumin, coriander, cloves, and cinnamon. If you don’t have all of these spices, luckily for you, you can find an affordable collection of spices at ALDI. Plus, once you stock up on some basic spices, they’ll last you quite a long time, provided you store them in a cool, dark, dry place (i.e., not directly above your oven, please!).

Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potatoes are key in this dish, as they bring a pleasant sweetness that balances the spices and acidity in this stew. And the longer you cook the stew, the more the sweet potatoes will fall apart and virtually melt into the stew.

Just be sure to dice your sweet potatoes pretty finely; if the pieces are too large, they won’t cook down as quickly and it’ll take longer to finish the stew.

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

Kale

I love finishing stews, soups and curries with kale. Just toss it in towards the end of cooking until they’re wilted. It’s an easy way to eat more greens that won’t make you feel like you’re eating yet another kale salad (all the chewing!).

If you don’t feel like chopping up a whole head of kale and measuring out 5 cups, you’re in luck again because ALDI has pre-washed, pre-chopped kale waiting for you! And it’s organic! I always prioritize buying organic kale because kale is regularly featured on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen (i.e., it’s one of the vegetables with the most pesticides when conventionally grown).

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

Tomatoes

Since we’re knee-deep in winter and fresh tomatoes are not in season, I prefer to stick to canned tomatoes. I like the thick texture that crushed tomatoes bring to this stew, and I also add a few spoons of tomato paste for those concentrated umami flavors.

Tips for Making this Recipe

As mentioned earlier, be sure to dice your sweet potatoes finely to ensure they fully soften and almost melt into the stew.

This dish gets pretty creamy from the white beans, but if you want it to be even creamier, run an immersion blender through half of the stew at the end of cooking. Don’t blend the rest of the stew – you want to retain some texture.

This stew is hearty enough on its own, but to stretch out your meal (and budget), serve it over your favorite grain, such as white rice, brown rice, or quinoa.

Finish the domoda with some freshly squeezed lemon (or lime) juice. This final hit of acidity balances the spice in the stew and freshens up the flavors.

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

That’s all you need to know about making this vegan, gluten-free Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew (Domoda). I hope you head to your local ALDI to stock up on all these wholesome vegan staples and get to cooking! If you try the recipe, be sure to drop me a note with your feedback, and happy New Year!

Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew (Domoda)

5 from 13 votes
This Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew is vegan, gluten-free, and plant-forward, but it tastes like comfort food! Packed with hearty ingredients like protein-rich white beans, sweet potatoes, and kale, it's a feel-good meal that'll become your new favorite vegan dinner!
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Gambian, West African
Keyword: gluten-free, peanuts, soy-free, stew
Serving size: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tablespoons Simply Nature Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger*
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced**

Spice Blend

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 small handful of fresh thyme sprigs**
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup Simply Nature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cups chopped organic kale
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • For serving optional: white or brown rice or quinoa

Instructions

  • Heat a large, deep nonstick pan (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil, and once shimmering, add the onions with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until the onions are just starting to brown, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeño peppers, and Spice Blend. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the vegetables. If you are not using a nonstick pan, you may need to add a bit more coconut oil or a bit of water to prevent burning.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth or water, stirring with a spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the fresh thyme (if using), sweet potatoes, peanut butter, white beans, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir well to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low or medium-low to maintain a simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is completely soft and tender.
  • Optional step: If you’d like the stew to be very thick and creamy, run an immersion blender through half of the stew (don’t blend it all - you want to retain some texture).
  • Add the chopped kale and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until wilted. If desired, use a fork to smash the sweet potatoes to further thicken the stew.
  • Stir in the lemon or lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste, adding more salt as needed. Serve with white or brown rice or quinoa, if desired.

Notes

* If needed, substitute the fresh ginger with ½ teaspoon ground ginger.
** Use 1 jalapeño pepper for a milder heat.
*** You can substitute fresh thyme with 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Just add it to the Spice Blend.

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39 comments on Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew (Domoda)

  1. Rachel Barnes

    This will be next on my list of things to make from your blog! I am a peanut butter ADDICT lol so I know I will love this. It sounds delicious and perfect for these cold winter nights!!

    1. Nisha Vora

      That’s so nice to hear, Rachel! HA, I don’t blame you – I am also a PB addict (also an almond butter addict lol). Hope you’ll enjoy this winter stew!

  2. Maneesha

    Made this, loved this, and definitely will make it again! I used almond butter because I didn’t have peanut butter in my pantry, and it still turned out great! I’ll definitely buy some peanut butter and make it again! I added chopped carrots and a dash of berbere seasoning and paired it with jollof rice! Thanks for a slam dunk recipe, Nisha!

  3. irene

    do you have to use coconut oil/ would regular or olive oil taste just as well? Also, is this recipe in an insta pot version? thank you

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Irene, you can use olive oil – as long as it’s not a very flavorful one, I’m sure it won’t affect the taste. I have an Instant Pot version of this recipe in my cookbook, the Vegan Instant Pot cookbook. It’s slightly different but flavors/concept is similar :)

  4. Nadya

    Made this last night for our Sunday night dinner ritual (we cook something new every Sunday) and we were blown away! The flavors are complex, the stew is hearty and cozy, and it got two thumbs up from from my husband and picky 12 year old. Thank you!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Nadya, that’s such a cute tradition, I love that. I am so happy you loved the flavors and coziness of this stew, and yay for pleasing picky eaters!

  5. Robert Murphy

    I decided to make this amazing recipe for my first time yesterday with a friend in honor of celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This recipe ended up being euphoric by helping me tap into my roots. The lime and cilantro definitely married the flavors for me, and I am looking forward to making this for a upcoming dinner party in a few weeks. Thank you for sharing your amazing gift!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Robert! What a wonderful comment to see. This seriously made my day so thank you for sharing. Food is such a powerful bridge and connector and can help us experience our own cultures in unique and surprising ways. So happy you had this experience, and hope you had a wonderful day celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. Elyse

    Delicious and even better the next day as leftovers over a little brown rice. Made this a few nights ago and used as meal prep for 4 days at work. So satisfying and filling. Definitely adding to the usual rotation!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Yes, the leftovers are so good! The flavors have a chance to hang out together and absorb one another :) Thank you for the lovely feedback, Elyse!

  7. M.B.

    I made this a few days ago and it was incredible! Made the best leftovers and my partner who swears he needs meat to feel full didn’t even notice it was vegan until I told him after eating! Putting this one in my go to recipes. Have already sent to all my friends!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Aww thank you for the lovely feedback! So great to hear your partner loved it and that it will become a go-to recipe for you. It’s such a hearty dish :)

  8. Anna

    I made this stew yesterday and both me and my husband loved the rich flavors!I have a general question: in your recipes, do you think you could add the measurements using the metric system as well (g, ml)? It would make mine and probably other Europe based people’s cooking easier! 😉 thank you

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Anna, so happy you and your hubby both loved this stew, thank you for letting me know. I do have metric measurements for many of my recent recipes (something I started doing last year). I must have forgotten to do them for this post, but I’ll try to get it updated soon!

  9. Karin

    Hi Nisha, I have just bought your recipe book and so far recipes are awesome. As Imam in Europe I am using a stove top pressure cooker and it works just great. I was wondering if you could add a print button to your recipes on the blog ? thanks for your delicious recipes.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Karin, I am so glad you are enjoying my cookbook and recipes, and great to hear that the stovetop pressure cooker is working out for you :)
      I have been trying to add a print button for awhile, but unfortunately, Squarespace (which hosts my blog) doesn’t have an easy way to do that. I’ve chatted with customer service and it seems like it requires some coding that I need to figure out / hire someone to do. But it’s on my list of things to figure out :)

      1. Michelle

        I was looking for one as well, however, I just copied the recipe with instructions, opened Microsoft Word, pasted it and printed it. That works in a pinch as well.

  10. Amanda

    I made it this and it’s delicious! Subbed chickpeas for the white beans and had to omit the jalapeno for my kids, but still delicious and easy! Tastes even better the next day 😄

  11. AC

    Thank you for this recipe. Made this using dried great northern beans and served over a rice/quinoa blend and it was absolutely fantastic! I will most definitely be adding this to my cooking repertoire.

    1. Nisha Vora

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Love that you used dried beans too. And thanks for your feedback – so nice to hear it’ll become part of your regular repertoire!

  12. Shivani Shah

    Hi, are the cloves in the recipe supposed to be ground or whole? I don’t have ground cloves so wondering if I can use whole?

    1. Nisha Vora

      They’re ground, but you can use 2-3 whole cloves instead :)

  13. Rebecca

    Hi Nisha,My family and I love this dish. Including my 2 & 8 year old kids. It is a staple in our weekly "go to recipes"! Thank you! I really do love your instant pot version of this for speed on a weeknight. Of all the instant pot books that I have, yours is the one that I constantly turn to because the dishes are flavourful, delicious, and they reliably turn out.Do you have plans to publish another instant pot recipe book in the future?

  14. Denali

    Can’t say enough great things about this recipe! It was so flavorful, warm, and hearty. Even though it is summer I imagine it would be even more amazing on a cold winter day. I swapped the white beans for chickpeas because its all I had and it worked great. I also used frozen sweet potatoes from a bag and just added them in later which was also great. I would definitely recommend to anyone making this not to skip the immersion blender step because it makes it so thick and creamy. Thanks for a great recipe!

  15. Jay

    Any suggested substitution for tomatoes for the nightshade-allergic??
    TIA

  16. Nidhi

    How much should dried beans can be used in place of canned beans?

  17. Amber

    5 stars
    This is such a hearty and comforting meal. Paired with some quinoa and pita. I cannot even explain how happy I was when I took my first bite. And then when I watched my husband take his first bite when he got home from work. This is such a winner!

  18. Lucia

    5 stars
    Love the depth of flavors in this dish! Meal prepped it, and genuinely looked forward to lunchtime because I need this wonderfully nutty spicy dish was waiting for me!

  19. Manal

    5 stars
    Wow was that insane!!! Its day two of the vegan challenge and I’m obsessed 🤩

  20. Alex

    5 stars
    This was totally delicious- creamy, spicy and full of flavour

  21. Hélène

    5 stars
    7 day Vegan Challenge Day 2… Another success!! I added some extra PB cause it’s too good! Thank you!

  22. […] them into hearty, rich dishes like pasta, soup, or curries for extra nutrition. Like this Vegan Gambian Peanut Stew or this Creamy White Beans and […]

  23. […] 15. Gambian Peanut Stew (Domoda) […]

  24. Lina

    5 stars
    I sub the sweet potatoes with diced squash because I had so many in the freezer and had to used them. It was still amazing and I will definitely be making the recipe again with sweet potatoes. My boyfriend loved it as well. Thank you so much for all your wonderfull vegan recipes!

  25. Karen

    5 stars
    Absolutely the best plant based meal I have made! Very easy to follow recipe. The lemon juice and fresh cilantro take it to another level!

  26. Brian

    5 stars
    I made this for the first time yesterday, and it’s as amazing as advertised. It was even better today as leftovers. The flavors got even richer overnight, miraculously. I made one small change to the recipe: I added a diced red bell pepper when sautéing the onion. The bright red adds some snap to the look of the dish, and the sweetness of the bell pepper is a great companion to the tanginess of the lime juice. Thanks for sharing this recipe – it’s gonna become a go-to dish I have a feeling.

  27. Martina

    5 stars
    Ooo my lord, it tastes so delicious. Thank you Nisha for this recipe.

  28. Sarah

    5 stars
    So good. Period.

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