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West African Vegetarian Side Dish

This is a West African vegetarian side dish that can be served over rice as a vegetarian meal, or served as an accompaniment to a meat dish. Palm oil is a reddish oil extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the African palm and has a distinct color and flavor. Because it is high in saturated fat, substitution of vegetable oil is is suggested.

1 tablespoon palm or vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup unsalted smooth peanut butter

2 pounds peeled, deseeded, pureed tomatoes

1 teaspoon thyme

3 1/2 cups water

2 hot green chiles, such as jalapeņos, seeds and stems removed, chopped

1/2 cup vegetable stock, boiled and reduced to 1/4 cup

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable stock

2 carrots, sliced

2 cups shredded white cabbage

1 cup fresh okra, washed and ends removed

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet, and saute the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning. Stir in the peanut butter and the tomatoes and simmer for 1 minute.

2. Add the thyme, water, chiles, reduced vegetable stock, allspice, and salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir the mixture occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn. This is the sauce for the vegetables, and it should be just slightly thick.

3. Pour the 2/3 cup stock into a medium size saucepan and bring it to a boil; add the carrots, cabbage, okra, and bell pepper, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the vegetables until they are just barely tender. Drain the vegetables and put them in a warm serving dish. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of www.1worldrecipes.com

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