Mafe West African Peanut Stew

Mafe, also known as Groundnut Stew or Peanut Stew, is a popular dish in West African cuisine, particularly in countries like Senegal, Mali, Gambia, and Guinea. The origins of Mafe can be traced back to the Wolof people of Senegal, who have a rich culinary heritage.

Mafe West African Peanut Stew

Mafe has gained popularity beyond the borders of West Africa and can be found in various African restaurants worldwide. It has also been adapted and modified in different regions, incorporating local ingredients and culinary influences while still preserving the essence of this beloved West African dish.
Mafe Photo

Traditionally, Mafe was prepared using a mortar and pestle to grind roasted peanuts into a smooth paste. This paste would then combine with other ingredients to create a creamy, aromatic stew.

Over time, the availability of commercially produced peanut butter made it more convenient to prepare Mafe without the need for grinding peanuts from scratch. 

Mafe holds cultural significance and is often served during special occasions, festivals, and family gatherings. It represents a communal meal that brings people together, showcasing the diverse flavors and culinary traditions of West Africa.

Recipe for Mafe West African Peanut Stew

Cook time: 40 minutes 
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes 
Yield: 4 servings 
Keywords: Mafe, West African, peanut stew 
Recipe Category: Main Course 
Recipe Cuisine: West African


    1 pound boneless chicken, cut into pieces

    1 onion, finely chopped

    2 cloves of garlic, minced

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    2 tablespoons tomato paste

    1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

    4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

    2 carrots, peeled and sliced

    2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

    1 bell pepper, diced

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)


    Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent.

    Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. If you're using beef, lamb, or tofu, cook them thoroughly.

    Stir in the tomato paste and peanut butter, mixing well until fully incorporated.

    Gradually pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, stirring continuously to create a smooth and creamy consistency.

    Add the sliced carrots, cubed potatoes, and diced bell pepper to the pot. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.

    Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken (or other protein) is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

    Stir the stew occasionally to prevent the peanut butter from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

    Once the stew is ready, remove it from the heat. You can serve it as is or with a side of rice or couscous for a complete meal.

    Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley if desired, and enjoy the rich and flavorful West African Mafe.

    Nutrition Information for Mafe West African Peanut Stew

    Calories: 400 calories 
    Carbohydrate content: 20g 
    Protein content: 25g 
    Fat content: 28g 
    Saturated fat content: 5g 
    Fiber content: 5g 
    Sugar content: 5g 
    Sodium content: 800mg
Peanuts, which are native to South America, were introduced to West Africa by Portuguese traders during the 16th century. They quickly became a staple crop in the region and were incorporated into various local dishes. Mafe emerged as a flavorful and hearty stew that combined abundant peanuts with indigenous ingredients and cooking techniques.


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