Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to be sent an advance copy of the World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott. In the holidays, I took it everywhere with me… to coffee shops, to my parents’ in law, to my mum’s… It’s a hefty book, but I managed to cram it in my oversize handbag 😉 I have many fond memories of Christmas 2013, and reading this book is way up there with the best of them!
As soon as we returned home from our family visits, I couldn’t wait to try some recipes from the book, starting with the Sweet Potatoes in a Cayenne, Ginger and Groundnut Sauce. This is the authors’ all-time favourite West African dish, and one of the most popular dishes they served in the World Food Café.
I always adjust recipes to suit my family’s tastes (as I imagine all cooks do!), but I hardly needed to make any changes to this recipe. I simply reduced the amount of oil from 3 TBSP to 1 TBSP, and cut the cayenne pepper from 1 tsp to 1/4 tsp so it wasn’t too spicy for Lil’ L. Once the dish was ready, I simply sprinkled additional cayenne pepper on the adult portions, to add a spicy kick.
We absolutely loved this dish, including Lil’ L. He even ate all the raw carrot and beetroot garnish!
Here’s how we made it…
Sweet Potatoes in a Cayenne, Ginger and Groundnut Sauce
Hands-on time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
5cm / 2 inch piece of fresh or frozen root ginger, peeled and finely grated
600g / 21 oz / 4 cups sweet potato, cubed (no need to peel organic potatoes)
350g / 12 oz / 3 cups white cabbage, cubed
2 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
400g / 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
300ml / 10 fl oz / 1¼ cups pineapple juice
125g / 4 oz / scant ½ cup peanut butter (I used Meridian Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter)
Handful of cashew nuts (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
For the garnish
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium beetroot, grated
1 banana, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
2-3 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted
Heat the oil in a heavy pan and sauté the onion until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and ginger, and gently cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the paprika, cayenne pepper, sweet potato and cabbage. Add the tomatoes and pineapple juice. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer until the vegetables are soft (about 30 minutes). Stir in the peanut butter and cashews. Season, to taste.
While the vegetables are simmering, prepare the rice. I use the absorption method: Wash and drain 1 cup of easy cook brown rice. Place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low, cover with a tight fitting lid and gently simmer for 20 minutes.
Prepare the garnish. Toss the carrot, beetroot and banana in lime juice. Chop the coriander. Toast the sesame seeds by dry frying them for 2-3 minutes over a medium-high heat until they start to brown, stirring regularly.
Place a ladleful of sweet potatoes on each plate. The carrot and beetroot garnish can either be spooned on top of the potatoes or placed on the side. Sprinkle the potatoes with cayenne pepper if desired (for a spicy kick) along with the sesame seeds and coriander. Serve with rice.
– This sweet potato dish can easily be prepared in advance.
– Wholegrain couscous also works well with this dish.
– The carrot and beetroot garnish is also tasty served with a sprinkling of coriander and sesame seeds, instead of lime juice and banana.
I’m going to post a dedicated review of the World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible next week, along with details of how you can win your own copy!
I’ll see you back here next week. Have a great weekend everyone! xx