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5 Best International Vegetarian Stews

Updated on January 24, 2013


African Cuisine - Spotlight on Vegetables

The stew recipes below are in addition to other African, Middle Eastern and Southwestern European vegetarian dishes offered on Hub Pages. These particular dishes are healthy, taste good, and are filling. In particular, the Deconstructed Piri Piri Stew is very nice and it is easy to make -- It's not likely something that your friends have experienced before if you serve it, but they will enjoy it and remember you for it.

Some of these recipes, or certain versions thereof can be found in other parts of the world as well, adjusted for local vegetables and spices. They make quite an interesting variety so that eating never becomes boring. For additional recipes and stories related to this offering, please see:

Basque Gravies and Sauces

Vegan Dishes From North Africa

Kenya - Music by Kiringango & Borano Tribes

Descontructed Piri Piri Stew

Servings: 4

A deconstructed stew is on that is served attractively arranged on a plate rather than in a bowl of liquid. This one uses slices of succulent sweet potato, roasted bell peppers, steamed corn, and BBQ tofu with black bean sauce.


Piri Piri spice mix: This is a different version of the Piri Piri spice I wrote about in a Hub containing Basque recipes, listed above. for this African version, in a container with a lid, mix:

  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp each of oregano, ginger, cardamom, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • ½ tsp Kosher or sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground red pepper

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roasted Red or Green Bell Peppers – You can use a jar of store-bought variety or you can roast them yourself -- In the heated oven, place 4 pepper halves on a baking sheet prepared with cooking spray. Roast several minutes until largely blackened overall and then remove and set all halves into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. After cooling, peel off skins and slice halves into 4 strips each ad place them on one half of a serving plate.

Tofu– Slice a solid block of your favorite tofu into thick slices. Sauté slices slowly in a skillet in a little of your favorite brand of BBQ sauce. Turn heat to very low and hold for the rest of the meal to be prepared.

Black Bean Sauce: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, mix 1 can of black beans with 1 Tbsp Piri Piri spice, ½ Cup BBQ sauce, and ½ Cup water.

Sweet Potato: Wash, dry and thinly slice 2 large sweet potatoes and arrange slices on a baking sheet as before. Spray tops with cooking spray as well as the sheet itself and bake 10 minutes. Remove form oven and place into ice water as with the peppers above. Remove when cool and lightly salt and arrange on other half of a serving plate.

Corn: This can be done while potatoes are baking. Husk 4 ears of corn and cut each ear in half crosswise. Place an inch of water in a tall soup pot and put corn inside standing on end to steam 5-7 minutes. Remove carefully and arrange on the serving plate. 

Arrange cooked tofu over roasted pepper slices and cover with black bean sauce. Sweet potatoes and corn can take up the other side of the serving dish. Serve with warm whole wheat rolls, pita, or naan bread. For a variation, place a foundation of fresh lettuce leaves on the serving plate first.  

Tanzania, North Africa

Sweet Potato Stew - Africa

Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Cups chopped onion
  • 2 Cups chopped cabbage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16-18 ounce can sweet potatoes, drained & chopped (or cook your own)
  • 14 -15 ounce can diced tomatos, with juice
  • 1 1/2 Cups tomato juice
  • 3/4 Cup apple juice
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or ½ tsp ground red pepper
  • 2 Cups frozen green beans
  • 1/3 Cup smooth peanut butter


  • Heat water in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook & stir until tender. Add water if needed.
  • Add cabbage and garlic to the skillet; cook & stir until cabbage is crisp-tender.
  • Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tomato and apple juice, ginger, and red pepper.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 6 minutes until thoroughly heated.
  • Add green beans, stire, and simmer uncovered, 5 minutes.
  • Add peanut butter, stir well and remove from heat.
  • Serve over rice or mashed potatoes or by itself with rolls and salad.

Coconut Cabbage Stew

Serves Several


  • 1/2 Cup chopped red onion
  • Butter or oil for saute
  • 1/4 Cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 Pounds of cabbage, cut to 1-inch wedges
  • 1 Cup coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  • In a large pot, saute onions in butter until soft.
  • Add cabbage to the pot, then cook and stir until cabbage just begins to wilt.
  • Add coconut milk, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer 5 minutes or to desired doneness.

Peanut Stew with Cucumber Sauce

Serves Several.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp ginger - powdered or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chunked into bite-sized cubes
  • 14 -16 ounce diced canned tomatoes & green chilies
  • Water (I use spring water)
  • 1 Pound acorn or butternut squash (or your favorite), chunked
  • 4 Cups cauliflower pieces
  • 1/4 Cup smooth peanut butter
  • 6 Cups cooked brown or wild rice
  • Cheery tomatoes and chopped parsley for garnish.

Cucumber Sauce - Toss together these ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced - remove seeds, if desired
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated or powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
  • Saute onion and celery until onion is translucent.
  • Stir in ginger and garlic, then cook 5 minutes until vegetables are just soft.
  • Site in tomatoes and sweet potatoes.
  • Increase heat to medium-high; cook 4-5 minutes uncovered until sauce is thickened as desired - stir every minute or so.
  • Add 2 Cups water,stir; season with salt & pepper.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer with a lid half covering half of the pot for 10 minutes.
  • Site in squash and cauliflower pieces; simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are done to the desired degree.
  • Blend peanut butter and 1/2 Cup warm water in small bowl and add this to the stew; simmer and sitr 4 minutes until thickened.
  • Serve over rice, and top with garnishes.

International Reed Festival, Swaziland

Vegetable Stew

Serves 4


  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic, crushed
  • Oil for saute
  • 1 Bunch of Swiss chard or Bok Choy – separate whites from greens and chop each.
  • 1 Can of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 Cup raisins
  • 2 Sweet potatoes
  • 4 Fresh large tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup uncooked rice
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • Salt, pepper, and tabasco sauce to tatse


  • In a large pot over midium-low heat, saute onion, garlic and white chard stems until just wilted.
  • Add in chopped greens and fry 3 minutes.
  • Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush; slice thickly.
  • Raise heat to medium and add garbanzos, raisins, potatoes, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, and salt & pepper to taste and stir 2 minutes.
  • Carefully form a depression or well in the center of the contents of the pot.
  • Place uncooked rice into well; pat the remaining food over the top of the rice to ensure the rice becomes wet enough to cook.
  • Cover the pot; cook until rice is done (usually 25 minutes).
  • Add tabasco sauce if desired and serve.

Traditional Zulu Wedding Dance


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America

      I bet that your naan recipe will come out very tasty. Have a good time with Pirir Piri - sweet potatoes are becoming a good friend of mine.

      Have a happy weekend.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      I like the look of the PiriPiri stew. I'm on my way to get groceries for the week so will include Tofu. I'll let you know how it goes. I have a new Naan bread recipe too which I would love to try. My weekend menu is done. Thanks again for sharing such great recipes.

      Have a great weekend too. regards Zsuzsy