The first time I had African peanut stew, I was 14 years old and staying with my aunt and uncle. They were currently living stateside, although for the last six years they'd made their home in the country formerly known as Zaire (it's now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). It was the start of what would be known for years after as "African dinner" at Auntie Dee and Uncle Terry's house. The menu was always the same: a spicy, hearty, and very fragrant peanut stew served with sukuma wiki (a traditional African kale or chard side dish), rice, and homemade chapati. It was so delicious, and it pretty much blew my adolescent mind—and palate.