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Braised Peanut Tomato Stew

Peanuts are a treasure trove of protein and flavor, but we don’t often see them as main course meals. We see them as peanut butter, peanut sauce or the traditional roasted and salted snack with its variations, but have you ever thought of cooking them like beans? They are legumes after all… In this article I will teach you a very simple peanut dish that’ll knock your socks off. You’ll never look at them in the same way.

I first got into peanuts after I got married and my wife prompted me to try some new flavors; one of which was boiled peanuts in-shell. We got it at one of our frequented Asian markets in downtown Seattle. She told me that her grandmother use to make them using banana leaves. Very interesting! So I tried it out and loved them!

Although I could taste a delicate hint of the peanut I was familiar with, it was pleasantly different and quite soft like a kidney bean. I was amazed and have since started playing with peanuts in my cuisine. As a matter of fact… I’ve got some on the stove right now simmering away waiting for me to sauté them with some onions, garlic, tomatoes and black cardamom. Trust me… It’s beyond good and very simple to make.

Here’s what you’re going to do.

3 qt stock pot
12 in skillet
1 Spatula [wooden preferable, but metal will do]

[Stock Pot]
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium sized brown onion
2½ cups raw peanuts [skin on]
Water [enough to cover peanuts by 1 inch]
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium sized brown onion
3 black cardamom pods
2 ½ cups grape tomatoes [whole]
1 fist of garlic

Step 1. Heat your stock pot and add your coconut oil and onions. Saute until onions become translucent.

Step 2. Add your washed and drained peanuts, toss, stir and add water to an inch above peanuts, bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes and reduce to low.

Step 3. Cook until peanuts soften [2+ hours], depending on the texture you’re looking for [I like them soft like baked beans], add 7 oz. or half a can of coconut milk [and don’t use that ‘lite’ stuff] and simmer on medium low while you prep your skillet sauce.

Step 4. Heat your skillet and add your coconut oil, onions and cardamom and sauté until onions are translucent [slightly see-through].

Step 5. Add your tomatoes and garlic, distribute. Cook until tomatoes burst and start giving up their juices.

Step 6. Press juices out of tomatoes with spatula, stir and simmer until reduced and liquid begins to thicken almost to a paste.

Step 7. Add your peanuts with their cooking liquid, stir in and simmer down to a thick sauce like that of baked beans and plate. You’re ready to eat!
You can eat this with a side of rice, over pasta, with some greens, a fresh herb platter or salad… whatever suites your fancy. We eat ours with our coconut chapatti and don’t look back!

Here’s one of many recipes and ideas on how you can innovate with the goober [peanut]. It’s extremely versatile [ask George Washington Carver], flavorful and easy to work with. It spans culture and imagination. Think stew, think sauce, think noodles, think snacks and desserts… think outside the box. Hopefully this has piqued your interest in exploring the world of cuisine through the shell of a peanut.

As always, it’s my pleasure bringing you these outside-the-box and tasty recipes. Until next time…

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