Daraba Recipe: Creamy Peanut Vegetable Stew from Chad

This creamy peanut vegetable stew is simple, healthy and hearty, perfect for a weeknight dinner. Daraba comes from Chad and consists of various vegetables in a creamy peanut sauce, topped with caramelised onion. It’s ideal on its own or with rice.

Daraba | Chad Cuisine

Overview of Chad

Chad was a big moment for us. After a lot of strategic avoidance, we finally made an African stew. And you know what? It was actually really good. Generally, we aren’t the biggest stew kind of gals. This is probably attributed to the fact that vegetarian stews aren’t generally as satisfying or flavourful as a meat stew. However, the stew we cooked from Chad may be an exception to this rule. More on that later – for now, lets learn about Chad!

Chad is a landlocked country in north-central Africa with a population of over 16 million. It is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups, making it rich with cultural diversity. The official spoken languages are Arabic and French, after France colonised the territory back in 1920 for over 45 years. Sadly, Chad has been plagued by ongoing political violence that has turned it into one of the most corrupt and poorest countries in the world today.

History of Chadian Cuisine

Chad consists of three distinct terrains. As a result, Chadian cuisine varies greatly throughout the country. To the South is a savannah climate that is receives most of the country’s rainfall. When the French colonised Chad, they invested most of their resources into this part of the country. Due to the fertile land and investment from the French, this area is plentiful with fresh produce. Most dishes incorporate this fresh produce and are flavoured with a variety of spices.  Fish is also abundant in the south, thanks to the waters of Lake Chad and the Chari river.

The centre of Chad is made up of the Sahelian zone, which is a sub Saharan climate. Here, they also enjoy the abundance of fish from the bodies of water. The south and centre of Chad tend to be a lot more vegetarian-friendly than the north due to the abundance of fresh produce and lack of livestock.

Comparatively, in the north is the harsh, dry Sahara desert, which occupies half of the country. Due to the lack of rainfall, fresh produce is far less common. As a result, staple foods, dairy products and meats are heavily relied upon. Along with rice and sorghum, millet is a key staple food and is commonly eaten by nomadic Arab groups that are found in the North and centre of the country.

Popular Chadian Dishes

  • La bouillie– A breakfast dish made with rice or wheat combined with milk, flour and peanut butter to form a thick, porridge-like consistency.
  • Daraba- a Chadian stew made with assorted vegetables, okra, tomatoes, stock, and peanut butter. It is usually served with rice, boiled cassava or plantains on the side.
  • Peanut and squash stew– In this common Chadian stew, squash and onion are fried with spices then combined with water to make a broth. Coarsely chopped peanuts are then added to the stew for extra texture and flavour.
  • Aiyash– A dish commonly eaten by Chadian Arabs, millet is formed into bowls then dipped in various sauces.
  • Ouaddai– Another millet-based snack, these sweet cookies are made from a dough of millet flour, sugar and eggs which is cut into pieces and fried.
Daraba | Chad Cuisine

Making Creamy Peanut Vegetable Stew (Daraba)

Simple, inexpensive, healthy and flavourful, we may not be the biggest stew fans, but Chadian Daraba seemed to tick the boxes of the kind of food we enjoy making.

Additionally, peanut butter is one of the recipe’s key ingredients, and our love for peanut butter is no secret. We use it liberally in both sweet recipes such as our peanut butter rice porridge and in savoury recipes like our peanut quinoa soup. It works wonders as a thickener and a flavour enhancer for sauces, soups and stews. Daraba is the perfect exemplar of how peanut butter can be the hero of a dish. This one ingredient turned what most likely be a bland, runny stew into a hearty and flavourful dish that we would actually make again.

Peanut butter aside, another thing we love about this creamy peanut pumpkin stew in the abundance of vegetables in it. Although the stew is made with different combinations of vegetables, okra is the one that tends to features in traditional recipe. We couldn’t get any fresh okra but found some in the frozen section of the supermarket which seemed to do the trick. We also included butternut squash, carrot and leafy greens in our Daraba, but feel free to use up whatever you have in your fridge!

How to make Creamy Peanut Vegetable Stew (Daraba)

This recipe is fairly easy to prepare, making it a perfect weeknight dinner. Plus, it freezes well so is great for leftovers.

  1. Roast pumpkin for 30 minutes or until soft. Blend half the cooked pumpkin with coconut milk and peanut butter into sauce.
  2. Bring vegetable stock to a boil, add in hard vegetables and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in blended sauce, remaining pumpkin, greens, tomatoes and seasoning and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic for 10 minutes until caramelised.
  5. Serve stew with onion and garlic and crushed peanuts on top.
Daraba | Chad Cuisine

Ingredient notes for Daraba

  • Okra- If you can’t get hold of fresh okra, often you’ll find it in the frozen section (particularly at Asian supermarkets).
  • Pumpkin– We used butternut squash for our recipe, but any variation of pumpkin or sweet potato will do this trick.
  • Coconut milk– We’d recommend using full-fat coconut milk for this recipe as it will give a thicker, creamier texture than lite variations.
Daraba | Chad Cuisine

Serving suggestions for Daraba

Serve this creamy peanut vegetable stew hot with caramelised onion and garlic and crushed peanuts on top. This stew could be eaten on its own or served over rice, barley, millet- really any grain of your choice!

Daraba | Chad Cuisine

Creamy Peanut Vegetable Stew (Daraba)- Chad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This creamy peanut vegetable stew is simple, healthy and hearty, perfect for a weeknight dinner. The stew (daraba) comes from Chad and consists of various vegetables in a creamy peanut sauce, topped with caramelised onion. It's ideal on its own or with rice.

Ingredients

Daraba:

  • 2 cups pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups okra, sliced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 2 cups leafy greens
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp chilli powder, omit if spice sensitive
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste

To serve:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced in rounds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Chilli flakes, optional

Instructions

  1. Roast chunks of pumpkin for 30 minutes or until soft.
  2. Take half of the cooked pumpkin and blend it with coconut milk and peanut butter until smooth sauce has formed.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of vegetable stock to boil in a large saucepan. Reduce to medium heat and add in okra and carrot. Allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add in pumpkin paste, the remaining cooked pumpkin, leafy greens, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 10 minutes, until caramelised.
  6. Serve stew topped with onion and garlic mixture, crushed peanuts and (optional chilli flakes) on top of your desired grain.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment & review above or share a photo on Instagram tagging @polkadotpassport so I can reshare your creations!

For more recipes from Africa:

Liked this daraba recipe? Pin it for later!

You've got to try this creamy peanut vegetable stew, also known as daraba from Chad
Nicola Easterby Bio Image

HEY THERE, I'M NICOLA!

I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. In fact, I’ve visited 54 countries and cooked 196 cuisines in this very pursuit. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

CURRENTLY TRENDING:

Biscoff Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Biscoff Carrot Cake Cheesecake

This is a dessert mash-up made in heaven. Moist spiced carrot cake is layered with a creamy biscoff no-bake cheesecake then topped off with more biscoff spread, lotus biscuits and pecans. You know those things you eat and dream about years later? The carrot cake...

The BEST 23 things to do in the Catlins NZ in 2022

The BEST 23 things to do in the Catlins NZ in 2022

The ultimate guide to visiting the Catlins in 2022, including the best things to do, where to stay and how to get around the South Island of New Zealand's most overlooked destination. The Catlins is one of New Zealand’s most underrated gems. The region, located in the...

The TOP 6 North Island Glamping Spots in New Zealand

The TOP 6 North Island Glamping Spots in New Zealand

If you are looking for a spectacular place to go Glamping on the North Island of New Zealand, look no further. These 6 NZ glamping spots each feature luxurious safari tents, idyllic outdoor baths, and jaw-dropping views. With its endless lush countryside, unique...

READ NEXT:

Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits Recipe

Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits Recipe

These anzac biscuits, made with rolled oats, desiccated coconut and golden syrup, are soft, chewy and so delicious. I promise you wouldn't know that they are a healthier vegan and gluten-free take on the typical anzac biscuit! Every year on April 25th, we celebrated...

read more
Biscoff Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Biscoff Carrot Cake Cheesecake

This is a dessert mash-up made in heaven. Moist spiced carrot cake is layered with a creamy biscoff no-bake cheesecake then topped off with more biscoff spread, lotus biscuits and pecans. You know those things you eat and dream about years later? The carrot cake...

read more
Tostada de Frijoles Recipe from Guatemala

Tostada de Frijoles Recipe from Guatemala

These tostada de frijoles have got to be one Guatemala's tastiest vegetarian recipes. Corn tortillas are fried till crisp, then topped with hearty refried bean mix, tangy cabbage slaw, fresh slices of avocado, tomato and chilli. Overview of Guatemala Guatemala holds a...

read more

READ NEXT:

31 Best Desserts in Paris to Try in 2022

31 Best Desserts in Paris to Try in 2022

If you are visiting Paris and wondering which sweet treats to try, look no further. Here is a list of 31 of the best desserts in Paris in 2022 and where to try them. It is no secret that Paris is home to some of the best restaurants, patisseries and boulangeries in...

read more
Los Angeles Itinerary: How to Spend 2 Days in LA

Los Angeles Itinerary: How to Spend 2 Days in LA

Visiting L.A on a time crunch? Follow my ultimate Los Angeles itinerary to ensure you make the most of 2 days in la la land! I must admit, the first time I visited Los Angeles, I was not very enamoured by the city of stars. Getting around was difficult, everywhere I...

read more
Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits Recipe

Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits Recipe

These anzac biscuits, made with rolled oats, desiccated coconut and golden syrup, are soft, chewy and so delicious. I promise you wouldn't know that they are a healthier vegan and gluten-free take on the typical anzac biscuit! Every year on April 25th, we celebrated...

read more
Skip to Recipe