Senegalese Mafé

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Senegalese Mafé (Meat in Ground Peanuts Stew) is a national favorite dish in Senegal. May African countries make soups and stews using peanuts. They typically call them “ground nuts” because they are “nuts” that grow under ground. Mafé can be made with almost any meat: chicken, beef, lamb, goat, whatever. This Senegalese Mafé recipe calls for beef. It is a marvelous stew, very African, and very delicious!

Senegalese Mafé

(Photo Attributed to Author: Rezwalker)

Senegalese Mafé Recipe-

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 lb. lean stewing beef, cut into bite-sized cubes (Beef Eye Round Roast is a good choice for this dish)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 6 to 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground ginger root
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chili pepper, seeded and minced (Note: if you want really hot & spicy, leave the seeds in)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded and rough chopped tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup all natural, unsalted, creamy peanut butter (Note: almost all prepared peanut butter has some salt in it. Just use peanut butter with 1% or less salt, and you will be fine)
  • Freshly ground coarse sea salt and black peppercorns
  • Optional: chopped vegetables of your choice, such as eggplant, yam, okra, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, squash, etc.
  1. In a large cooking pot over medium-high heat, heat up the oil.
  2. Add in the cubed beef and sauté, stirring, until lightly browned on all sides. About 5 or 6 minutes should do the trick, then remove from pot and set aside in bowl.
  3. Now add the onion into the oil, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant and translucent. Next, stir in the ginger and garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
  4. Now return the browned beef cubes to the pot, add in the tomato paste, stir everything well, and cook for about one minute.
  5. Next, add in the chopped tomatoes, stir together well again, and bring the heat up to a rolling boil.
  6. Turn the heat down to where the dish is cooking at just a lively simmer, and cook for 9 or 10 minutes—until the tomatoes have reduced some.
  7. Add in enough stock to where the Mafe takes on the consistency of a stew, then simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes. Note: if you are going to add in vegetables, at this step is where you would add in those that require longer cooking time to become tender, like potatoes, yams, carrots, eggplant.
  8. Now add in the peanut butter, minced chili, and salt and pepper (to taste) and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the beef is nice and tender. As the stew becomes well cooked, the oil will rise to the top. You can skim it off, or some people like to leave the oil on their Mafe.
  9. During the 45 minutes of simmer-cooking, you may need to add in water or more broth, if it gets too thick. Also add in any vegetables you want that require less cooking time as the stew approaches being fully cooked.
  10. This authentic Senegalese Mafé is traditionally served over couscous or rice.

Note: this recipe is taken from out Senegalese Cuisine page. For more great dishes from Senegal, click here. And for many, many more recipes from lots of different African countries, go to our African Cuisine page.

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6 thoughts on “Senegalese Mafé

  1. I thought I left a comment before, but came back and don’t see it? Anyway, I love West African groundnut stews and dishes, and I had not yet tried this one. I did, and I must say – yeah! Really good!

    • Hi Kafui – we did get your earlier comment, and approved it, I don’t know why it wasn’t showing for you. But I’m glad you came back and let us know you really enjoyed the Senegalese Mafe. 🙂

  2. I’m West African, and “groundnuts” are indeed a favored element in stews and traditional dishes. I haven’t tried this Senegalese version, but I get it tastes great, so why not?

  3. I have a sister-in-law who is from Ghana, and she makes this wonderful dish, that she calls Groundnut Stew. I imagine this would have a similar taste? If so, I’m all for it!

    • Yes Howard, Senegalese Mafe will remind you a great deal of Groundnut Stew. So your sister in law is a Ghanaian, eh? My wife is from Ghana! Small world, huh? lol

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