A peanut based meat stew, popular in African states like Male and Senegal…
If there is one thing I love about participating in the Blogging Marathon, that is discovering recipes that I would have never come across. The themes make you think a little wide and out of the box and either come up with your own ideas or find a treasure among the recipes around the world. Now for this week’s theme of “Travel to Africa” for the edition #136, yesterday’s Shakshouka and the recipe intended for tomorrow – InShaAllah – were already in my mind. The former was something I was trying for a long time but wasn’t exactly fitting into my taste buds and the latter was a recipe I had bookmarked ages ago. But I really didn’t know what to pick for a main course dish. After a few searches, trying to find a dish that my folks would eat, I finally landed on a stew called “Maafe”.
Maafe is a West African stew, mainly made of meat with some root vegetables, but the main addition to it is groundnuts, or as we like to call it, peanuts and tomatoes. The name of this stew is known by different names around Western African, but is called Maafe in Mali and Senegal. Wikipedia says that this dish is not only loved in Western Africa, but in Cameroon and France, where there is a sizeable African population. While reading through a few recipe, I figured that my folks may like it and hence decided to give it a go.
I used a mish mash of all the recipes that I could read up and came up with one, so I can’t claim my recipe is authentic. However, what I understand is that every home has their own versions of the Maafe, especially when it comes to the usage of spices and the meat. However, the one common factor among all the recipes was the peanut butter. After all, it is “peanut stew”. In fact, the nutty flavor of this dish reminded me of the Fesenjan, which has walnut as its base.
The gravy is quite simple to make. You can use any vegetables of choice. Many recipes I saw used capsicum in it, some used sweet potato as well. I used carrot and potato, which was readily available at home. As for the spices, I used Creole seasoning, which I had got from US last year, since I saw one recipe use it. Most of the recipes use cayenne or paprika, pepper and salt as their spices. Since the seasoning blend had all of it with the addition of garlic powder, I used it. Stock/ bouillon cubes are used for extra flavor, but you can skip it if you aren’t fond of it. It is a very forgiving recipe, however the end result is a very thick, subtly spiced gravy, that goes amazingly well with plain rice or any bread. We had it with bread for dinner and it was a totally winner. Off to the recipe…
Maafe ~ West African Groundnut Meat Stew
- 500 gm meat I used beef with bones
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 1/2 tbsp Creole seasoning refer notes
- 2 meduim onions roughly chopped
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 2 small potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bouillion cubes
- 1 cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and drain the meat.
- In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and fry the bay leaves. Add the meat along with ginger garlic paste and little salt and saute for around five minutes.
- Now add the seasoning along with all the chopped vegetables and toss to coat well.
- Add the tomato paste, bouillioin cubes and water. Adjust seasoning.
- Close the lid and cook for 5-6 whistles till the meat is cooked.
- Serve hot with a side of rice or bread.