Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potato

Something similar to the Singapore Mee Rebus, a yellow noodle dish with peanut sauce, the traditional African American Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potato may have a tedious process to prepare but the flavours and aroma is worth the effort.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 60 min

For Sweet Potato Stock

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into very large chunks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 cups water

For the main dish

  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1½ cups natural peanut butter
  • 3½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika powder, depending on heat preference
  • 4 cups sweet potato stock
  • salt to taste, starting with hefty pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté for about 8-10 minutes, until the veggies have softened and released some liquid.
  2. Add the sweet potato chunks and the water, along with the salt and whole spices. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  3. Simmer until the sweet potato chunks are soft, about 30 minutes.
  4. Fish out the peppercorns and cloves. Mash the sweet potatoes against the side of the pot and leave the rest chunky.
  5. Place everything but the peanuts and cilantro into another large soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring.
  6. Once the peanut butter has blended with the stew from the stirring, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Taste for more curry powder and salt–keep in mind though that if your peanuts are salted you want it a little under-salted.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped roasted peanuts and chopped cilantro.
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Ayam Masak Merah (Spicy Red Chicken)

Traditional dishes are greatly sought after nowadays because we are losing the art and skill of cooking such complex dishes.  Ayam Masak Merah (transaltes as Red Spicy Chicken) is much loved by Singaporeans, regardless of race. It is a juxtaposition of flavours – tangy sweetness and prickly hot spiciness – making it a popular traditional dish.


  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 whole chicken (about 1.2kg), cut into 10-12 pieces
  • 3 inches ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large bulb garlic, peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed
  • 2 large tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 cup fresh coconut milk, thin press
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 stalk coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • enough oil for deep frying chicken


  1. Clean and drain chicken pieces well. Mix together with the first 4 ingredients in the list and let stand for at least 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the ginger and garlic into a paste and prep the other ingredients
  3. In a large pot or wok, heat up oil well and deep fry marinated chicken till just golden brown.
  4. Remove oil from wok, safe about 2-3 tablespoons and return wok to medium high heat.
  5. Add in cinnamon and star anise, fry till fragrant. Add in onions, fry till softened and slightly browned. Add the blended ginger and garlic paste and the lemongrass. Fry for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and cook until soft. Add the chili powder and chili sauce. Stir for about 5 minutes, and then add in coconut milk. Cook till mixture come to a boil, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Reduce heat to medium low then add in yogurt and stir well. Add in the chicken and stir thoroughly to coat.
  8. Cook, stirring occasionally till chicken is done and gravy reduced, about 6-8 minutes. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and coriander leaves. Mix well, check seasoning and garnish with more coriander leaves before serving.
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