Groundnut Soup (Spicy Nigerian Peanut Stew)

July 17, 2017 (Last Updated: March 12, 2020)

Groundnut soup (also called peanut stew) is a common but delicious Nigerian delicacy which is commonly eaten with rice, a starch like eba or pounded yam.

Groundnut Soup (Spicy Nigerian Peanut Stew) - Delicious groundnut stew dished with three wraps of eba

Groundnut soup is a nutty, savory and spicy Nigerian peanut stew commonly eaten for lunch or dinner. In Nigeria, peanut stew or groundnut soup is usually eaten with a carbohydrate like rice or a ‘swallow’ like eba. While prevalent all over Nigeria, groundnut soup was originally a product of the Northern part of the country where it is natively called ‘miyar gyada’ and is a common staple in special events such as Weddings and even funerals. I tasted my first groundnut soup as a child in Lagos, (located in the Southwest region of Nigeria) and… it was terrible! It was really bad guys, I can’t lie. After that first time, it was years till I found my love for groundnut soup again. I have since learned to make peanut stews specific to different West African countries and am excited to start with my home country Nigeria! I had to redeem my Nigerian peanut stew experience and my Lawd, did it turn out right! The groundnut soup recipe is right below, but if you want to know the story of how my love for groundnut soup was killed then restored, read past the recipe! Enjoy! 

Close up shot of groundnut soup and eba in the background

How to Make Groundnut Soup

Braised Meat Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs (about 1.13 kg ) of stewing goat meat
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of Bouillon (feel free to choose any flavor you like)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Soup Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw skinned peanuts (you can also use peanut butter as long as it the only ingredients contained are peanuts and perhaps salt)
  • 3 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers roughly chopped (use less if you do not like spicy food)
  • 0.5 lbs (about 227 grams) of chopped spinach about 5 cups chopped, about 2 cups frozen
  • 2 tablespoons of  West African dried shrimp powder aka crayfish
  • 3 tablespoons palm oil
  • Salt to taste

Braise the Goat Meat

In a stew pot, braise the goat meat over low- medium heat with the onions, bullion and salt for 30-35 minutes. If you are cooking goat meat from an older or male goat, you may need to cook the meat for longer for it to be tender.

 

Toast and Blend the Peanuts

Next, toast the peanuts in a pan, stirring continuously over low heat, till the nuts turn toasty in color. It should take about 15- 25 minutes depending on how hot the pan is.

Allow the nuts to cool completely before grinding.

In a blender, food processor, mortar and pestle, grind the peanuts into a rough powder. Be mindful not to blend into a butter (it really doesn’t hurt if blended to a butter, this is just how I learned to do it).

 

Stew the Peanuts and Meat

Mix the braising the liquid from braising the goat meat and water (should make up about 3 cups of liquid) with the ground peanuts and scotch bonnet peppers in a pot making sure there are no peanut lumps. Bring this mixture to a gentle boil over low- medium heat for about 10 minutes, mixing continuously to prevent burning.

At this stage, you may add more or less water depending on the consistency you prepare. If you prefer a lighter soup, add more water. If you prefer a thicker soup add no more water. Note that as the stew continues to cook, it usually thickens up. It also thickens a little more once it cools down.

After 10 minutes, add in the palm oil, braised meat, crayfish, and cook for another 5 minutes.6-step collage showing cooking of peanuts in stock

Add the Spinach

Add in the chopped spinach and simmer for 5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

4-step photo showing cooking of peanuts and spinach in pot

Take the stew off the heat and serve.

Groundnut Soup (Spicy Nigerian Peanut Stew) served on a plate

Storytime…How I came to Love Groundnut Soup

Once upon a time, my parents loaded me and my four sisters into our family car, and we drove about an hour from home to visit our distant relatives. When I say distant I mean like in-law’s sister’s cousin’s uncle’s wife’s brother… so a very long distance! While I still don’t remember these relatives’ names, faces or anything at all about them, I distinctly remember my food experience at their house, so let’s just call them the Pepper-less family.

I must have been about 14 years old. I was enjoying the family road trip on our way to drop off gifts for the Pepper-less family that another family member had asked us to deliver to them. The prospect of meeting new family members we had never met before, somewhat excited us and we looked forward with anticipation to what our new relatives would be like. I have a ton of family members that I have not met before even till today, so it wasn’t unusual. Still, it was typically nice to meet new family. Once we arrived at the Pepper-less home, they were very welcoming and nice to us. I was also low-key excited to discover that in anticipation of our arrival they had prepared a mini-feast for us to enjoy.

Once we arrived the Pepper-less family offered us the typical Nigerian visitor drinks; 5-alive orange, Chivita pineapple, Maltina, and of course some Eva water. Their drinks were lit! If only I knew that the drinks were going to be the only good tasting thing we would have during our visit, I would have cherished them a lot more, but I just had a small splash of the Chivita pineapple, and awaited the promised meal. The grown-ups discussed politics and the condition of Nigeria, while the Pepper-less children, still quite young, played with their toys and mostly ignored me and my sisters. I sat silently watching the African-magic channel on television in eager anticipation of the meal.

After about 30 minutes, Mrs Pepper-less invited us to the table set for my family and I. Since we were quite a handful, we took up all the chairs on the dining table. The Nigerian peanut stew dish she introduced as groundnut soup excited us since none of us had previously tried it before. The meal featured a big serve-yourself bowl of fufu, and the “piece de resistance”: groundnut soup and some stewed fish.

After my mother served all of us, we started eating. Sigh! Words cannot describe how bad this meal was. Thankfully, our hosts had conveniently excused themselves to the living room around the corner, so we could silently express our true feelings about this terrible meal. I caught my parents make faces, then fix them quickly so as not to encourage us to voice our disgust, but it was too late. One of my sisters with a stank face was the first to break the silence saying: “mommy I don’t like this, it’s not nice!โ€, a sentiment us kids all echoed. My mom understanding our difficulty urged us to cope since we were in someone else’s house. We all sighed and joined my dad in silent contemplation at this food and began craving the drinks they had presented to us earlier, but all we had on our table was water.

Us kids proceeded to eat our fufu with no stew or soup, and chase it down with water. Since we only had a few morsels, and with no savoring to be done with this dish, it took us all of 2 minutes to finish the fufu. Our parents had some of the fish so it looked like they had eaten something, then finished their small portions of fufu only using the fufu morsels to lightly dab the stew. After the meal, we joyfully left the dining table and headed for the living room to rejoin the Pepper-less family. Of course my parents thanked them for their hospitality and the meal, and slyly used the phrase “compliments to the chef” to avoid giving false praise for the bad meal we had just endured.

Needless to say we were glad when we left the pepper-less’ home. On our way home we stopped off to buy suya (a local delicious barbecue), and when we got home we all had our suya with cold garri for dinner, to wash away the lingering taste of that groundnut soup.

What made the Pepper-less family’s groundnut soup bad? It tasted like peanuts and water, contained no seasoning (no salt, no pepper, no spices whatsoever) and featured a shredded vegetable that was as difficult to eat as bay leaves.  The soup also contained odd chunks of peanut with the texture of boiled potatoes. The fish stew, just as bad, tasted straight up like raw blended tomatoes and boiled fish with no seasoning whatsoever.

So what motivated me to try peanut stew again years later? My Ghanaian friend Gabi. She cooks really well, and had made peanut stew one day and brought it to school. I attended the same grad school as her then fiancรฉ, so she came to visit him with some food. She happened to have extra and offered me some, triggering a flashback of my pepper-less family groundnut soup experience. Knowing Gabi was a good cook, I prepared to try it, even if I had to criticize it later. I ended up eating the whole bowl of rice and Ghanaian peanut stew! It tasted great and I loved it!

two bowls of Nigerian peanut stew and eba

 Groundnut soup has officially become a staple for me and my family so please don’t hesitate to try it! I guarantee you’ll love it!

Please let me know if you tried this Nigerian peanut stew and if you are looking for other stew recipes, why don’t you check out the Spinach Stew: Yoruba Style recipe or the Nigerian Eggplant/Garden Egg Stew!

Please be sure to rate this groundnut soup recipe and leave a comment below if you tried this recipe! Also while you’re here why not take a quick second and subscribe to my newsletter to get email notifications on new recipes, click the links to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST or INSTAGRAM? You can catch some behind the scenes action, my shopping hauls, personalized tips and friend-only recipes with videos on my Instagram. Also pin this recipe for later and explore some of my favorite recipes on Pinterest and if you love it as much as I know you will, SHARE with some friends!   

Groundnut Soup (Spicy Nigerian Peanut Stew) - delicious groundnut stew
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Groundnut Soup Recipe (Spicy Nigerian Peanut Stew)

Groundnut soup (also called peanut stew) is a common but delicious Nigerian delicacy which is commonly eaten with rice, a starch like eba or pounded yam.
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Nigerian
Servings: 8
Calories: 424.8kcal
Author: Yummy Medley

Ingredients

  • Braised Meat
  • 2.5 lbs stewing goat meat
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 2 tsp Bouillon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Groundnut Soup/Peanut Stew
  • 2 cups raw skinned peanuts
  • 3 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers roughly chopped use less if you do not like spicy food
  • 0.5 lbs chopped spinach about 5 cups chopped, about 2 cups frozen
  • 2 tbsp West African dried shrimp powder aka crayfish
  • 3 tbsp palm oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a stew pot, braise the goat meat over low- medium heat with the onions, bullion and salt for 30-35 minutes. If you are cooking goat meat from an older or male goat, you may need to cook the meat for longer for it to be tender.
  • Next, toast the peanuts in a pan, stirring continuously over low heat, till the nuts turn toasty in color. It should take about 15- 25 minutes depending on how hot the pan is.
  • Allow the nuts to cool completely before grinding.
  • In a blender, food processor, mortar and pestle, grind the peanuts into a rough powder. Be mindful not to blend into a butter (it really doesn't hurt if blended to a butter, this is just how I learned to do it).
  • Mix the braising the liquid from braising the goat meat and water (should make up about 3 cups of liquid) with the ground peanuts and scotch bonnet peppers in a pot making sure there are no peanut lumps. Bring this mixture to a gentle boil over low- medium heat for about 10 minutes, mixing continuously to prevent burning.
  • At this stage, you may add more or less water depending on the consistency you prepare. If you prefer a lighter soup, add more water. If you prefer a thicker soup add no more water. Note that as the stew continues to cook, it usually thickens up. It also thickens a little more once it cools down.
  • After 10 minutes, add in the palm oil, braised meat, crayfish, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add in the chopped spinach and simmer for 5 minutes on low heat, stiring occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Take the stew off the heat and serve.

Notes

Your groundnut soup/peanut stew can be served with your choice of fufu or rice
 
Nutrition Info
In addition to the nutrition info below, Nigerian peanut stew has been found to have high concentrations of calcium and phosphorus [1] and as such is locally considered to be a nutritious dish for pregnant and nursing women.

References

  1. O.F, Kayode & A.U, Ozumba & S, Ojeniyi & D.O, Adetuyi & Erukainure, Ochuko. (2010). Micro Nutrient Content of Selected Indigenous Soups in Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 9. 10.3923/pjn.2010.962.965.

35 Comments

  • Reply
    Joyce Alouchka Atanga
    July 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I made peanut stew this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I added cabbage as my vegetable! It’s amazing! I like your take on it too. I have to try it. Sorry about your sad experience. Peanut stew is the best ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      July 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      I have come to love peanut stew now, and honestly my favorite twist in a West Africa is Ndole, I can wait to make it.

    • Reply
      Erica Dawn
      August 5, 2018 at 11:57 am

      5 stars
      Thank you for sharing your story (The IRLTrue Stories of Bad Meals ๐Ÿ˜œ) and recipe! WhenI lived in Niamey, Niger, one of the things I loved was how they handled the scotch bonnets. They left them whole in the stew, cooking long enough until they were very tender. Then as people ate around the big sharing platter, if they like their food spicy, they take a scotch bonnet, pinch off a piece and mash it together with a bit with their fingerful of fufu and sauce. I love this method because if I am sharing my stew with people who don’t eat spicy food (what’s wrong with those guys anyway?!?!, lol), they can still enjoy it!
      Thanks again, and happy eating!

      • Reply
        Lois. O
        August 6, 2018 at 2:55 pm

        You are right! I learnt how to float scotch bonnet in my stews and soups from other Africans. It adds flavor to the food, and makes the spice optional.

      • Reply
        Ellie
        April 1, 2019 at 9:39 am

        How do you float a scotch bonnet? Is it as simple as putting a whole scotch bonnet in the stew rather than chopping it up?

        • Reply
          Lois
          April 4, 2019 at 8:48 am

          Yes Ellie! It is simply placing the whole scotch bonnet pepper in without cutting it up. This ensures that you have the flavor of the scotch bonnet, but minimizes the heat.

    • Reply
      Yemi
      July 27, 2019 at 11:41 am

      Is it compulsory to peel the groundnut before grinding it?

      • Reply
        Lois
        August 5, 2019 at 7:12 am

        I have never tried making the soup with unpeeled groundnut, but my best guess is that it might lend a bitter taste to the soup.

  • Reply
    IBEREDEM IBOKETTE
    July 18, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Can groundnut be used for this stew?

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      July 19, 2017 at 10:28 am

      Groundnuts are peanuts, so yes they can! Enjoy the recipe!

      • Reply
        Angela W Kingori
        March 1, 2019 at 11:22 am

        Where does the cray fish go?

        • Reply
          Lois
          March 18, 2019 at 10:23 pm

          Hey Angela! Thanks for pointing that out. I have adjusted the recipe to include where to add in the crayfish.

  • Reply
    Precious @ Precious Core
    July 18, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Lol at Pepperless family!
    I’m seriously craving some peanut stew right know. Will make some as soon as I can.
    Yours looks so scrumptious!

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      July 19, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Thanks precious! I hope you enjoy it when you make it.

    • Reply
      Lady Di
      November 4, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      It all depends on how your taste bud is trained. To the pepperless family, that soup was perfect. I eat a lot of salt, some people complain, so when I cook for others, I make adjustments.

  • Reply
    Sommy
    July 23, 2017 at 3:22 am

    5 stars
    Is it fried groundnut? If yes, does it mean I can use the bottled peanuts sold in the supermarkets?

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      July 24, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Hi, Sommy! Yes, you can use the groundnut in a bottle that is sold in supermarkets. In this recipe, I was teaching how to roast the groundnuts at home, but you can buy already roasted (aka fried) groundnuts.

  • Reply
    Joyce
    July 24, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    You’re making Ndole? When? Ndole is a delicacy! You have to take your time with that one.

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      July 25, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I am waiting for when we can set up a date to make it together. I definitely want to make it, and I want you to teach me since your’s is the best I have had

  • Reply
    Osaze
    September 5, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Lol, that story is hilarious! We’ve all had terrible food experiences. With these pictures, I’m sure yours turned out great. I’ll definitely try this the right way ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      Ms. Yum
      September 6, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Thanks Osaze, let me know how it turns out when you make it.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 28, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    This looks amazing. Making this for mtg hubby this weekend!

    • Reply
      Lois
      September 29, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Awesome Amanda! I hope he enjoys it!

  • Reply
    Nicky Smith
    January 11, 2018 at 8:55 am

    This looks incredible – I am a vegan and always looking for great ways to eat leafy vegetables. Would this work with kale too? Also do you have any veg suggestions to the braised meat and goat for this recipe? I see you refer to dried mushrooms in other posts to get the umame flavor – but it seems this recipe would benefit from a bit of body. Sweet potatoes? Potatoes? Carrots? Cauliflower? Would love to hear what you think. Very exciting to find traditional West African recipes- too often I think African food is presented in a way the Pepperless family went about it! Thanks ๐Ÿ™

    • Reply
      Lois
      January 11, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Hey Nicky! Your comment made me so excited! Apart from the typical suspects like extra firm tofu, seitan and soy curls, the vegetables on the top of my list that I would recommend would be eggplant, broccoli and cauliflower. In this dish I would add the dried mushrooms as well to give the stew a nice umame flavor like you pointed out (try dried woodear fungus and snow fungus mushrooms rehydrated and chopped up, ๐Ÿ™Œ it will change your life… lol!). I have never tried this recipe with starchy or root vegetables like potatoes and carrots mostly because of the texture. Since vegetables cook significantly quicker, I would suggest that you sear them lightly and set them aside instead of braising them, and using a good vegetable stock instead of the braising liquid. The vegan version of this dish is just as good as the non-vegan version. Let me know how you like it. I am glad you are excited about real West African food, I am sure your pallet will be excited too!Let me know if you like it!

  • Reply
    Golden melon expert
    July 22, 2018 at 10:48 am

    yay! I finally found that peanut recipe that I am sticking to. I so so love your recipe, Medley. Thanks. I’ll try it out and come for a feed back.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      August 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      I look forward to hearing back from you! I hope it works out!!!

  • Reply
    Joanna denson
    May 16, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Would love to try this, yet giving up meat. Can I get a meatless recipe thatโ€™s just as tasty?

    • Reply
      Lois
      May 28, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      You will be fine going meatless with this recipe. You can use vegetable stock instead of the braising liquid.

  • Reply
    Ore
    May 27, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Hi. Can I use peanut butter instead of groundnut?

    • Reply
      Lois
      May 28, 2019 at 11:54 am

      Yes you can! Just make sure that it doesn’t have any other ingredients except for peanuts and maybe salt.

  • Reply
    charlotte
    November 5, 2019 at 9:25 am

    hi I was wondering if it possible to use chicken in this recipe or is it best to use red meat if so can I just use beef in stead of goat

    • Reply
      Lois
      December 1, 2019 at 7:29 pm

      Hey Charlotte! You can certainly use any meat of your choice to make this soup. If you are using chicken, you might want to use the tougher old layer hens. They hold up better in stews that require this length of cooking.

  • Reply
    Nwakaego
    January 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    So I’m on this page because what o though was egusi and had already started cooking, I just found out it’s groundnut. I hope it turns out well

    • Reply
      Lois
      January 27, 2020 at 9:00 am

      I’m very sure you’ll like it!

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.