I think we all have a dish that we run to cook when we are feeling homesick or in a certain mood.
Mine has to be Tia Dji (which literally means “peanut water” in Malinke) otherwise known as Peanut Stew. All of the recipes I have seen for this are a bit different from the one my mother taught me. I think in Nigeria, most make this dish with chicken which could be an interesting alternative for the meat in my recipe.
I am grateful that my mother taught me to cook at a young age (it means having to eat less junk food these days :)). At 13 I was already cooking Sunday meals for Dad and though I would sometimes see his face scrunch up because of the excess of salt I had added to my dish, he always gave me positive feedback and a smile ;).
Now I will share with you all the way I make my feel-good dish! (Keep in mind that I have never really measured these things so I am giving approximate details. Feel free to tweak it as you see fit) IMAGE SOURCE
– About 2 lbs of Meat (cut into large cubes)
-1 large oinion
-1 large tomato
-2 Jamaican peppers
-salt, black pepper, 1 big Maggi cube, garlic powder (and whatever other seasoning you like)
-4 large tablespoons of Tomato paste
-1 1/2cup of peanut butter (smooth)
-2 carrots sliced in 2 pieces
-1/4 of a regular sized cabbage
-Pumpkin (take out the seeds and cut medium sized pieces)
Put 1/2 cup of oil in a deep pot. When the oil is hot, add your seasoned meat (salt, pepper, seasoned salt and a small maggi is enough to season the meat beforehand). When the meat is browned, add the diced large onion (you can also add 3 or 4 chopped scallion leaves). After about 5 minutes, add diced large tomato. Stir occasionally so the bottom of the pan does not burn. Add tomato paste and mix. The key here is to let the paste become a darker shade of red. 3 minutes is enough. Add 6 or 7 cups of water (less, if your pan is not that big. Make sure you do not fill the pot up to the rim since your sauce will overflow once you add the veggies). At this point you can add your seasonings: salt, black pepper, 1 big Maggi cube, garlic powder (and whatever other seasoning you like). Also add the Jamaican peppers, cabbage, pumpkin and carrots.
Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat for about 15 minutes then add peanut butter. Cover, lower heat and let simmer for about an hour or until you sauce becomes thicker. One trick I use to tell if my sauce is cooked or not? Look to see if the oil has risen to the top of your sauce.
Serve over white rice. Voila!
Let me know what you think once you’ve tried it! Bon Appetit!