Groundnut and Spinach Stew with Cornmeal

Somi Igbene PhD ANutrJanuary 4, 2021

Even if you’re unfamiliar with Nigerian cuisine, you’ll love my simple groundnut and spinach stew. It is perfect with cornmeal, eba or pounded yam, but you can pair it with rice or any other grain you enjoy.

Groundnut (peanut) soup is a popular dish in West Africa, especially Ghana. Within West Africa, each country has a slightly different method/recipe for cooking groundnut soup.

There are 520 tribes in Nigeria, and no two tribes cook groundnut soup the same way.

I say because many westerners cook a version of peanut soup they call ‘West African Peanut Soup’. No such soup exists.

Today, I’m sharing a version of peanut soup from my mother’s village, Ogoja, in Crossriver, Nigeria. Indigens typically eat peanut soup plain (without vegetables) or with traditional vegetables, beef, dried fish, palm oil and spices.

As I don’t have access to the traditional vegetables, I’m showing you a version with spinach. Kale and collard greens will work well in this recipe. I have also chosen to omit palm oil. Palm oil is a good source of beta carotene, but it adds extra fat that isn’t needed. Groundnuts provide adequate fat.

Nigerians (and Africans in general) typically eat soups with stiff doughs made from starchy carbohydrates including cassava, plantain, maize and yams. Each starchy carbohydrate has a slightly different method of preparation but they ultimately make a stiff dough – similar to mashed potatoes but much stiffer.

You can achieve this stiff dough with semolina (cornmeal).


Nutritional Highlights

Protein – You need protein to repair your cells and tissues, and to produce hormones, antibodies and signalling molecules. Protein is also important for muscle growth and repair. Salmon, cornmeal and spinach are great sources of protein in this recipe. Per serving, this meal provides 42g of protein per serving.

Iron is a crucial component of haemoglobin in your red blood cells, which carries oxygen to- and removes carbon dioxides from your cells. Iron is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Spinach and cornmeal are a good sources of iron this recipe. Per serving, this meal provides 5.5mg of iron or 39% of a woman’s recommended daily intake (RDI).

Vitamin D is crucial for immunity, and reduces the risk of several conditions including fibroids and type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D also works alongside calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D in this recipe. Per serving, this meal provides 10 ug of vitamin D

Folic acid is essential for cell division, to produce red blood cells and for the metabolism of proteins and sugars. It is also important for DNA replication for nervous system development in fetuses. It is very essential during the early stages of pregnancy to prevent birth defects in new babies. Per serving, this meal provides 382 ug of folic aicd, or 98% of the RDI for women in their reproductive years.

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Groundnut, spinach, cornmeal

Groundnut and Spinach Stew with Cornmeal

  • Author: Somi
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 1x
  • Category: Lunch / Dinner
  • Cuisine: Nigerian


A tasty groundnut soup with spinach, baked salmon and cornmeal


  • 50g ground peanuts
  • 675g spinach (or pumpkin leaves)
  • 1 fresh chilli (chopped)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground Crayfish
  • 180g coarse Semolina
  • 3 medium salmon fillets


For the peanut soup
  1. Heat 300ml of water in a medium saucepan, add shallots, chilli, vegetable stock cube and ground peanuts.
  2. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and Crayfish then season with a pinch of salt if needed.
  3. Cook for 3 minutes (5-6 minutes if usuing pumpkin leaves) then take the pan off the heat and set aside.
For the cornmeal
  1. Tip the cornmeal into a large bowl then add around 250ml of water to form a loose paste. Tip into a large, non-stick pan then place the pan on a very low heat.
  2. Keep stirring with a wooden cooking spoon over low heat for around 20 minutes, adding small amounts of water to cook the semolina and thicken it.
  3. Once the cornmeal is cooked and thickens such that it sticks to a wooden spoon, take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. Divide the semolina into three equal portions then mould into a round ball.
For the salmon
  1. Season with salt and black pepper or fish seasoning and dried herbs. Place a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes in the oven, turning it halfway through cooking.

Serve the cornmeal with the spinach and peanut soup and baked salmon. Garnish with chilli flakes if you wish. Enjoy!


You can use kale or collard greens if you live in the US or UK.

If you live in Nigeria, use ugu or green. I will share the authentic Ojoga recipe when I have the ingredients available.


  • Serving Size: Serves 3
  • Calories: 488kcal
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 47g
  • Fiber: 5.8g
  • Protein: 42g

Keywords: groundnut, spinach, cornmeal

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