International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Mafé

Peanuts

(West African meat in peanut sauce)

Image Creative Commons by tamburix

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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.

Variations

  • 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.