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Black-Eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Stew (Ndambe)

6 Servings

40 minutes

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Both sweet potatoes and black-eyed peas are staples of West African cooking. In this recipe for Senegalese ndambe (pronounced NAM-bay), they're simmered together to make a hearty vegetarian stew. Our version is based on a recipe from Pierre Thiam's “Yolele!” cookbook. Canned black-eyed peas keep this dish fast and simple.




Don't use neutral-flavored oil in place of the coconut oil. Coconut oil—particularly unrefined—infuses the stew with a sweet aroma while adding richness.

40 minutes


  • 2

    tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

  • 1

    large yellow onion, finely chopped


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Pamela M.
January 1, 2024
Very tasty and great on a cold day!
I made this today, and I echo others’ comments about the layers of flavor. It’s simple, but very, very satisfying. And not at all complicated to make. A perfect start to the new year.
Tiffany D.
September 2, 2023
A Perfect Dish
Wow, this was a home run with bases loaded meal! My picky husband was sceptical but recluctantly gave it a try……. He LOVED it and ate 3 servings. I served it over fonio and topped with shredded,unsweetened coconut as well as parsley. Hubby doesn’t care for jalapeño so only cooked w 2 rings….the rest I placed in a small metal prep bowl… added 2T broth from stew, coconut oil and a little garlic. I covered bowl with foil and nestled in the pot as stew finished…it was an excellent addition to my portion of the stew. One of my favorite Milkstreet Recipes
Jim C.
January 2, 2023
When I looked at the ingredients list, I was concerned this stew would be one note, boring, and dull. Wrong! I had depth, flavor in abundance, texture, and was surprisingly light for a stew. The only modification I made was to use three Hatch chiles instead of the Fresno chilis. And I used butternut squash already chopped from Costco instead of sweet potatoes. Super tasty, not salty, layered with flavor, and fun to try something brand new. I'll absolutely make it again!
Jim K.
December 22, 2022
Easy and Great Flavor
Surprising hearty.
Nick G.
January 3, 2024
Made this for New Year’s Day and it was a big hit. Note: I did sub veggie stock for the water

Made this one twice already and will make it again and again. It is flavorful with depth. Comparing to another African black eyed peas stew (red-red), this one nailed.

Laura S.

Excellent and full of flavor, especially considering it's vegan! I couldn't find any black-eyed peas, so I used white beans, and that was tasty. Don't skimp on the garlic; that's part of what makes this dish.

Linda W.

Excellent! Substitute if necessary but don't omit anything; all ingredients are important for depth and richness of flavor.

Darleen Perri F.

Made this tonight with a bit of trepidation because my daughter says she does not like sweet potato or tomatoes. She eagerly ate a full bowl after a few tentative bites. This is a keeper. Thank you!

Lee C.

OK... I normally dislike anyone who comments on a recipe and then goes on to say how they modified it. But, let's face it, soup in Summer is not where it's at. But make it into a stew that you can serve over rice and now you're talkin'! So here goes. I made according to recipe EXCEPT that I cut the water down to 3 cups, used only 2 cans of BE peas, substituted cilantro for parsley, and served over coconut rice. AND..... the crowd went wild!! Amazing flavors! Definitely a keeper (and we're not usually a Vegetarian-for-dinner Family!).

Jennifer H.

I used all the modifications mentioned above and used just 1 pepper instead of the 2 recommended. The recipe was delicious over basmati rice. The lemon favor came through and was a really nice touch. Probably would have been just fine with two peppers. Great meal for a vegetarians!

Renee H.

I've made this a couple of times now and love it. Want to make it again without the oil as I try to stay away from oils and will saute the onion in water and maybe add coconut aminos or a few fresh coconut flakes.

Brian W.

This was our plan for New Year's black-eyed peas. Well, we could only find one can of black-eyed peas so mixed with a can each of Crowder peas and black beans we had in the pantry. The dish was delicious and we'll definitely make it again. I would encourage you use a BIG dutch oven like the recipe calls for....I thought I could get away with a 4qt but had to transfer to a larger pot. I only had a couple of Jalapeno's so I used them with some Thai birds eye chili's which provided nice spice.
Delicious, healthy and straight forward to prepare. A winner.