Mafé: West Africa’s Peanut Stew Delight

A Culinary Embrace from West Africa

Mafé, also known as Groundnut Stew or Peanut Soup, is a beloved dish in many parts of West Africa. Predominantly associated with countries like Senegal, Mali, and Gambia, this rich and hearty stew offers a beautiful blend of flavors with a creamy peanut base that stands at its heart.

Diving into Mafé’s Rich History

While peanuts are native to South America, they were introduced to Africa by Portuguese traders and quickly became a staple in various culinary traditions. Mafé, with its unique blend of indigenous African ingredients and the introduced peanut, represents a harmonious fusion of histories and flavors.

Assembling the Mafé Magic

  • 500 grams of meat (chicken, beef, or lamb), cubed
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 large tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chili pepper, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 4 cups of chicken or beef broth
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 eggplant, cut into chunks
  • Salt to taste

Crafting the Perfect Mafé

  1. Browning the Meat: In a large pot, heat the oil and brown the meat cubes on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  2. Sautéing Basics: In the same pot, sauté the onions until translucent. Add garlic and chili pepper, cooking until fragrant.
  3. Tomato Base: Stir in the pureed tomatoes. Let it simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.
  4. Peanut Introduction: Slowly incorporate the peanut butter into the pot, ensuring it blends well with the tomato mixture.
  5. Returning the Meat: Add the browned meat back into the pot.
  6. Liquid and Veggies: Pour in the broth and ensure everything is well combined. Add the sweet potato, carrots, and eggplant.
  7. Simmering Delight: Allow the stew to simmer on medium-low heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
  8. Season and Serve: Season with salt to taste. Serve the Mafé warm, ideally with rice or couscous.

Relishing the Mafé Experience

Mafé is not just a stew; it’s a celebration of West Africa’s culinary versatility. With every bite, you’re transported to bustling markets, warm family gatherings, and sunlit African landscapes. It’s a reminder of how simple ingredients, when combined with love and tradition, can create a dish that’s greater than the sum of its parts. As you journey through African cuisines, let Mafé be a flavorful stop that captures the essence of West African hospitality and warmth.

This dish is a testament to the diverse Senegal Food Culture. Explore this and other culinary wonders with us.

Siti Bane
Siti Bane
Emerging from Africa's diverse culinary landscape, Siti Bane, in her mid-40s, epitomizes the essence of the continent's rich gastronomic heritage. As the Blog Editor for 70recipes, she marries tradition with modernity, inviting readers to experience the true flavors of Africa.

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