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Nkatsenkwan (Groundnut Stew with Lamb)

Matt Russell
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Prep Time:
40 mins


Chalé Sauce
  • 14 ounces canned (or 18 ounces fresh) tomatoes
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) tomato purée
  • 1 small white onion, roughly diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small Scotch bonnet (use half and deseed if you have a low heat tolerance)
  • salt, to taste
  • pounds mixed bone-in lamb (or mutton) neck and shoulder, cubed
  • cups water or good-quality vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 8 green kpakpo shito (cherry) chiles (or 1-2 Scotch bonnet chiles), pierced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-hot chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or grains of Selim)
  • cups uncooked chalé sauce (recipe above)
  • 3½-7 ounces organic peanut butter, depending on how thick you want it
  • 1 red Scotch bonnet chile, pierced
  • 3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts or gari, to garnish

Chef notes

Nkatsenkwan, as this dish is known in Ghana, is most frequently eaten with fufu (pounded green plantain), but you can also serve it with boiled yams, cassava or even rice. It's equally good served on its own with a sprinkling of gari (fermented, dried and ground cassava) and a side of fried sweet plantain.


For the chalé sauce:

Blend all ingredients to a smooth consistency.

Make the stew:


Put the lamb into a large, heavy-based saucepan, cover with the measured water or stock and add the onion, ginger, garlic, kpakpo shito chiles, chile powder, curry powder, sea salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over a medium heat for 25 minutes until the lamb juices run clear, skimming off any froth that rises to the surface.


Stir in the chalé sauce and then add the peanut butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, while stirring until it has all dissolved.


Add the pierced Scotch bonnet and cook for a further 45 minutes to 1 hour over a low heat, stirring regularly so that the sauce doesn't stick to the pan, until the peanut oil has separated and risen to the top, which means that it's done. You should have a soupy consistency and super-tender meat falling away from the bone.


Serve with your choice of side dish or with crushed roasted peanuts or gari sprinkled on top.