Nothing makes Hubby happier than coming home to the smell of onions frying -- he knows dinner isn't far behind and asks "is it West African stew?" --his favorite dish that starts with frying onions.
I always hold off and add crushed fresh garlic when the onions are almost translucent since it's so easy to burn garlic. I triple the amount of cinnamon and crushed red pepper, adding them while the onion cooks.
We are Americans living in Thailand and this dish uses local ingredients. Fresh tomatoes can sometimes be "iffy", so I use a local brand of canned tomatoes with great tomato sauce. If I can't find sweet potatoes, I use cassava (which is more "authentic" West African anyway). But, I steam the sliced cassava first until it's almost done with cinnamon and nutmeg because cassava takes longer to cook than sweet potatoes.
To keep this vegetarian, I use a chicken-flavored vegetarian bullion cube, don't drain the can of garbano beans and add water used to steam the cassava if the stew needs to be thinned.
I add slices of fresh mango, if in season, just before serving.
As mentioned by others, this recipe doesn't "keep well" -- the raisins swell and the potatoes/cassava get soft. Fresh mangos really go soft quickly. But, it doesn't matter, this recipe disappears within 24 hrs -- we quickly share it with friends, who are delighted.
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Nothing makes Hubby happier than coming home to the smell of onions frying -- he knows dinner...