Recipe: Jamaican Peanut (Pinda) Stew

updated Feb 3, 2020
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Around the World in 30 Soups: This month we’re collaborating with chefs, cookbook authors, and our own Kitchn crew to share a globetrotting adventure in soups from countries and cuisines around the world. Today’s stop: Jamaica.

Here Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau, sisters and authors of the gorgeous Caribbean cookbook, Provisions, share their take on pinda stew. The creamy vegetarian-friendly dish centers around peanuts, which grow abundantly on the island.

Peanuts, also referred to as “pinda” in the local vernacular, grow profusely in Jamaica. Peanut punch — a sweet, creamy drink made with peanuts and sugar — is a common treat. Peanut vendors, pushing handmade carts with built-in steamers or roasters, are a regular installation at stoplights across the island; they sell hot, salty peanuts in the shell served in brown paper cones. These roadside treats are the most common way we eat peanuts in Jamaica. And yet, although peanuts are a regular snack, we rarely cook with them.

To make our recipe, we took inspiration from a delicious stew consumed in the Ivory Coast that combines an array of fresh veggies in a rich and creamy peanut sauce. The result here is a combination of flavors that is at once irresistible and supremely satisfying. Serve the stew over fluffy white rice or couscous with plantains on the side.

Pinda (Peanut) Stew

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    peanut or coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    brown sugar

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, minced

  • 1 tablespoon

    minced ginger

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 2 cups

    peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup

    diced yellow squash

  • 1 cup

    sliced zucchini

  • 1 cup

    cubed butternut or acorn squash

  • 1 cup

    cubed white potato

  • 1/2 cup

    chopped green bell pepper

  • 1 cup

    chopped carrot

  • 1 cup

    natural, creamy peanut butter (or use almond butter if allergic to peanuts)

  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

  • 1

    whole Scotch bonnet pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    whole roasted peanuts or almonds, for garnish

  • Fried ripe plantain, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the peanut or coconut oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and cook for about 1 minute. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic, and sauté until translucent, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute.

  2. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, potato, bell pepper, and carrot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.

  3. Add enough water to the pot to give the dish the consistency of a stew (1 to 2 cups), and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter, add salt and pepper to taste, and add the whole Scotch bonnet pepper. Partially cover, and cook for another 20 minutes, gently stirring from time to time and adding water as necessary to maintain a stew-like consistency. Adjust seasonings.

  4. To serve, garnish with roasted peanuts or almonds, and serve with fried plantains on the side, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Recipes excerpted from Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking—150 Vegetarian Recipes by Michelle Rousseau and Suzanne Rousseau. Copyright ©2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Find the Book:

Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking—150 Vegetarian Recipes by Michelle Rousseau and Suzanne Rousseau