For most of my childhood and early adolescence, peanut butter was one of about 5 foods that I truly liked. I was an insanely picky eater, and even though I’ve since grown out of this, peanut butter remains my favourite food to cook with, bake with, and eat on its own.
I especially love adding peanut butter to stews and soups, and I’ve been wanting to make a riff on my favourite Ginger Peanut Eggplant Stew for ages. I’ve also had a serious craving for turmeric lately, so I decided to combine both ideas into one tasty, filling stew perfect for cold, blustery early-spring days here in Dublin.
This curry makes 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are. It can be eaten with rice, flatbread, or even oven-roasted potatoes sprinkled with a little curry powder and paprika before roasting.
Peanut Butter and Turmeric Coconut Curry
2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
1 aubergine, diced
1 red, green or orange pepper, diced
1 white or yellow onion, diced
1 5cm piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 400g tin of coconut milk
2 t turmeric
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4-1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter *
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts, optional
1. In a large pot, heat oil and then add onion, ginger, and garlic. Sautee 3-5 minutes on medium heat until onions are translucent.
2. Add aubergine, peppers, and one teaspoon of salt, and cook 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aubergine is softened.
3. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, spices and remaining salt, and stir to combine. Let the curry cook for about 10 minutes, adjusting spices if necessary.
4. Add peanut butter and stir well to combine. Let soup simmer 5 minutes.
5. Add peanuts, and turn off heat.
*I like using cheaper brands of peanut butter in stews like this. Tesco’s own-brand, the huge jars you can get in some Asian grocery stores- the cheaper and more processed, the better. The reason is twofold: the oily nature of natural peanut butter will make this curry too oily, and natural peanut butter is also usually far more expensive than the cheap stuff, so you don’t want to waste half a jar of the good stuff in stew! Save the nice stuff for toast and smoothies.