Maafe with vegetables (vegan peanut stew)

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Maafe (tiga dèguè na) is a very popular dish in Mali and other African countries. Maafe refers to a sauce made from peanut paste or peanut butter, and by extension the dish itself. It is a sort of stew.


Traditionally prepared with meat or fish, I propose here a version with vegetables. This recipe is easy, it just needs some time for the sauce to simmer and thicken as it cooks.


It can be served with rice or a mixture of cereals for example.

Maafe with vegetables (vegan peanut stew)

Servings 6
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 500 g sweet potatoes
  • 500 g squash e.g. butternut or pumpkin
  • 200 g carrots
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 onion yellow or red
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp peanut paste or peanut butter
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried or ground chilli optional – you can also use smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Cut the onion into strips and chop the garlic and ginger.
  • Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and eventually the squash and clean the vegetables, then cut them into medium-sized pieces.
  • Heat a small amount of oil (olive or sunflower) in a casserole or large saucepan. Brown the onion over a low heat and stir from time to time. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare about 600 ml of vegetable stock.
  • Add the tomato paste and turmeric and optionally the chilli. Mix well and heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables, mix again and cover the vegetables with the stock.
  • Add the bay leaves and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Mix the peanut paste with hot water.
  • After 20 minutes of cooking, add the diluted peanut paste. Stir vigorously and cook again without a lid for a good 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Check that the vegetables are cooked with the tip of a knife: the flesh should be melting. The sauce should also thicken. It will continue to thicken after cooking if you prepare the maafe in advance and let it cool.

Notes

This dish is often made with meat (chicken in particular, but you can also make maafe  with beef or lamb) or fish (fresh or dried), if you want to try a non-vegetarian version.
When in season, you can also add one or two fresh tomatoes, diced (or otherwise canned).
You can also try other vegetables, for example manioc, potatoes, cabbage, okra…
Finally, for a crunchy and decorative touch, you can serve the mafé sprinkled with coarsely crushed peanuts or sesame seeds, and a few coriander leaves for a fresh note.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African

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