Years ago, when we first launched Here on Earth, we did a program with Kris Holloway, a Peace Corps volunteer whose assignment in Mali led to an extraordinary friendship with a midwife named Monique. Ironically, after Kris came back home, Monique died in childbirth, but that wasn't the end of the story. Kris joins us with an update.
Recipe: West African Peanut Stew -- Tigadegena
(from Monique Dembele, Mali, West Africa, adapted for vegetarians)
- Kris Holloway, author of "Monique and the Mango Rains"
- 2c. chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 4 c. vegetable stock
- 2 c. tomato juice
- ½ tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
- 1 -1 ½ c. smooth peanut butter
- 2 c. chopped cabbage
- 2 c. chopped sweet potato
- 1 c. chopped okra (if available)
- salt and pepper
- chopped scallions
- Rice or cous-cous (this sauce can be served over either)
- Heat oil in large pot/skillet and fry onions, garlic, and ginger until soft. Add veg. stock, tomato juice, and cayenne. When hot, add peanut butter and mix well. Allow to boil for 10-20 minutes to thicken, then add remaining vegetables. Cook 20 minutes or so until vegetables are soft. Add water if the sauce is too thick, peanut butter if too thin. Serve over rice or cous-cous. Top with scallions. Is even better the next day.
- Traditionally this is served communal-style. A large bowl filled with rice and sauce is placed on the ground. People gather around it and, after washing their hands in a small bowl of water, dig in (each person being careful to only nosh on the rice and sauce directly in front of him/her so as not to mix spit with the folks on either side). Another bowl of water is passed to rinse hands after eating.
- Blessing for after the meal:
Allah ka suma I kono. (May God cool the food in your belly.)