International Recipes and Cooking Around the World



(West African meat in peanut sauce)

Image Creative Commons by tamburix

Average: 4.3 (54 votes)

Mafé is a famous and popular West African dish, particularly in Senegal, Gambia, Mali and the Ivory Coast. It is a stew with meat simmered in a sauce thickened with ground peanuts and has a wonderful sweet-salty flavor. Mafé is known by many names, including groundnut stew, mafe, maffé, maffe, sauce d'arachide, sauce z'ara, tigadèguèna and tigadene.

6 to 8 servings


  • Oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Stewing beef, cut into cubes -- 2 pounds
  • Onion, minced -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 to 6 cloves
  • Ginger (optional), minced -- 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato paste -- 2 tablespoons
  • Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped -- 2 cups
  • Water or stock -- 1 to 2 cups
  • Natural, unsalted peanut butter -- 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Add the beef and sauté until lightly browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the onion to the oil in the pot and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Return the beef to the pot, stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8-10 minutes to reduce the volume of the tomatoes somewhat.
  4. Add enough water or stock to loosen the dish to a stewlike consistency. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the peanut butter, salt and pepper and simmer for another 40 minutes, or until the beef is tender and oil rises to the surface of the dish. Add water as necessary to keep the dish stewlike.
  6. Adjust seasoning and serve over rice or couscous.


  • Use goat instead of beef. Or use chicken pieces.
  • When you add the water or stock, stir in some vegetables such as cabbage, yams, squash, okra, eggplant, potatoes, peppers or carrots if you like. Vegetarian versions are made with only vegetables.
  • Some recipes call for cooking the peanut butter with the tomato paste, before adding the chopped tomatoes.


In Guinea, we also called this maffe tigga

I discovered this dish at an African restaurant in Los Angeles (Ngoma--on Wilshire) and thought it was absolutely delicious. L.A. is a little bit out of the way for me though (I live in Chino), and I love trying my hand at different recipes, so I figured I'd give this one a shot. I made it with lamb chops, and made the sauce in a skillet and put it all in the crock pot on low all day, which made the meat nice and tender. Such a lovely recipe!

It is also eaten in Nigeria, Niger and other West African countries not only just Senegal and Gambia. Like someone mentioned before they also have it in Guinée and in Mali as well.

This was the first time i made this dish. My hushand loves this dish, he wasnt sure if i could pull it off, but i did and it was wonderful. The only thing i would suggest is that because its beef it has to cook a lot long than a hour.

This was the first time making this dish...I made it for my children to try, because my friend from New York City had me try it when I visited his home...Someone was suggesting that you cook the beef longer as for me the only thing I did was take the beef out earlier and let it cook in the dish and the beef was very tender...My son said it was very good...