Those who know me know that I love peanut butter and I always find ways to add it to any recipe. This is one of the reasons I love Nhopi; the creamy combination of butternut squash, cornmeal and peanut butter with spices tastes amazing and is sure to wake up the taste buds.
This Zimbabwean porridge is traditionally prepared with pumpkin, but I use butternut squash, because it is more readily available to me. The traditional recipe also calls for peanut paste, which I substituted with peanut butter.
Nhopi is typically served as a snack but is also great for breakfast. We like to have it on weekend mornings or in the holidays when we are in no rush to get out of the house. The addition of spices takes this butternut squash porridge from ordinary to warming and indulgent; and it goes very quickly whenever I make it.
Nhopi is not only delicious and filling, it is also nutritious. Butternut squash is a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, niacin, thiamine manganese, potassium etc. The peanut is a good source of protein and other essential nutrients. What's there not to like?
If you will like to try another recipe which combines peanut with butternut squash; then this delicious and warming soup from the Northern part of Nigeria is perfect.
I prefer to use peanut butter with no added sugar for this butternut squash porridge; I’m usually happy with the sweetness of the butternut squash, but you can use one with added sugar; or even add a little sugar to the recipe to make it sweeter. If you like a bit of crunch, then you can use “crunchy” peanut butter.
- Heat the oil in a pan under medium heat.
- Add the coriander, cinnamon and ginger, and stir continuously for 30 secs.
- Pour the butternut squash pieces into the pan with 1 ½ cup of water.
- Cover the pan and allow to cook until the pieces are soft.
- Stir in the peanut butter and leave for about 3 mins to cook.
- Add ½ cup of water into the cornmeal and mix thoroughly to make sure there are no lumps.
- Pour the cornmeal mix into the pan and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon, mashing the butternut squash as you go.
- Cover the pan and leave for about 5 mins, until the content of the pot thickens
- Serve with some milk…or without