Baked butternut with spicy West African peanut sauce
What to serve a vegetarian guest at a "braai" (South African barbeque)? After all, barbequed meat is the essence of a "braai". The good news is that vegetarians don't have to settle for second best at a "braai", because a baked butternut served with spicy peanut sauce is a meal fit for a king, as either a main or side dish.
Marietjie was introduced to West-African peanut sauce on an overland-safari with a few vegetarians. She was so impressed that she considered becoming a vegetarian herself.
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoons (5 ml) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons (5 ml) ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) ground red pepper, or a whole chilli, finely chopped.
- 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable or chicken stock, or water
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tomato paste
- ¼ cup (60 ml) peanut butter (we prefer crunchy peanut butter)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) salt
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Fresh cilantro or coriander, chopped, to garnish
- One large butternut
- Wrap the unpeeled butternut in foil and place in coals for about an hour, or bake it in the oven at 180°C for about 1½ hours.The cooking time depends on the size of the butternut and the temperature of the coals or oven.
- After cooking, cut it open across its length, discard the seeds and remove the skin.
- Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet on low to medium heat.
- Sauté onion until it starts to become translucent, add garlic and sauté for another minute or two.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cilantro.
- Stir until smooth.
- Simmer until the mixture thickened.
Cut butternut into thick slices, cover with sauce and garnish with cilantro.