Saturday, May 26, 2012

(No nut) Psuedo- groundnut stew and fufu

Earlier this week I cooked my version of groundnut stew and fufu.  It's one of the dishes eaten by people in Ghana.  Now, I've never been to Africa and I've never eaten an authentic bowl of groundnut stew or fufu  before.  I learned about this dish from one of my college roommates. 

My version of groundnut stew (made with Sunbutter in a crockpot)

Great balls of fufu

Fufu is made from starchy vegetables like plantain or cassava.  It tastes like super starchy boxed mashed potatoes.  You're supposed to take the fufu in your hands and then dunk it in the stew.  Groundnut stew is an interesting dish because it pairs two unlikely ingredients:  nuts and tomatoes.  Strange right?  When I first heard about this odd pairing I had to taste it for myself.  It's surprisingly rich and delicious.  I've made this stew countless times since college, but now I substitute Sunflower butter for peanut butter.

Whenever I eat it, I always think about my college times, my old roommates, and the old rickety rowhouse house that we all shared.  I really loved living in that house.  We had a great community there.  Over a span of two years, I lived with 5 roommates, 1 subletter, a dozen or so cockroaches, several large "mice" (ok, probably rats), and 3 cats.  We housed a dozen or so large parties, countless student group meetings, and at least 180 dinners.  Our rowhouse also had a lot character.  A great wild tangle of weeds greeted us in the front yard.  Our stove was slanted and housed in a tiny tiny room separate from the kitchen. And then there was the random three-foot tall door under the staircase.  We used it to get to the laundry room in the basement. (I guess the past owners had house elves.) I remember having to crouch through it just so, otherwise I would fall down the narrow wooden stairs or my shoulders would brush up against walls covered in dust and spider webs. 

How funny that a dish from Africa makes me think of my old roommates in Baltimore.  

Curious to see what nuts and tomatoes taste like?  It's surprisingly tasty!

  1. 2  28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  2. a couple of carrots
  3. a couple stalks of celery
  4. 2 onions
  5. 8 chicken drumsticks 
  6. 1 spoonful of "Better than Bouillion"  (or Bouillion cube for taste)
  7. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  8. Bay leaves (optional)
  9. 1/4 - 1/3 jar of Sunflower butter (Our peanut butter substitution)
  10. 1 box of Fufu flour (Or, just serve over rice or with mashed potatoes)
(1)  Place the first eight ingredients into the crockpot.  (Warning:  I can't quite fit the entire two cans of tomatoes in, so I just pour the remainder in later.)
(2)  Cook in crockpot  (I make it in 6 hours.)
(3)  With about an hour left, skim out the fat, pour the rest of the tomatoes in, and add the Sunbutter.  .
(4)  Make fufu according to the directions on the box
Enjoy!  Serves 5 hungry adults