Mafe (or Maafe) is a popular African peanut stew made in a spicy, creamy peanut and tomato sauce. This is one mouthwatering and appetizing dish you would not be able to get enough of!
Many different variations of peanut butter stew are eaten in various West African countries. In the Gambia, peanut stew is made with squash or sweet potatoes and is known as Domoda. In Nigeria, it is called Groundnut Stew and is usually eaten with fufu or rice.
For a low-carb option, I serve my Mafe with cauliflower rice. This peanut stew is gluten-free, keto-friendly, and dairy-free.
It has so many complex and bold flavors that will leave you wanting more. And I make mine in just one pot so there is less clean-up!
Ingredients used to make Mafe (peanut butter stew)
There are different variations when making Mafe, and it is so easy to make the dish your own.
Here are the ingredients I use for a quick and simple version of this peanut stew.
- Beef: You can use beef, lamb, chicken, or any meat of choice. You can even leave it out entirely for a vegetarian or vegan option.
- Peanut butter: A peanut stew won't be complete without this. You can use store-bought peanut butter or you can roast and blend the raw peanuts for a more authentic taste.
- Vegetables: Onions, red bell pepper, and tomato paste. I use tomato paste rather than tomatoes because it has a sharper taste and gives more richness to the peanut butter stew.
- You can add as many vegetables as you want, but I like to keep it simple.
- Spices: bouillon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
- Water and stock/broth: If you don't have stock on hand, just use water but add more spices.
- Olive oil: to sauté the meat and vegetables.
How to make Mafe (African Peanut Stew)
Wash the beef and cut them into smaller pieces. Pour some olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
When it gets hot, add the beef, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and a pinch of salt, and sauté till the meat is browned. This can take anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes.
Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to do this in batches.
Chop the onions and bell pepper and add it to the meat. Stir and let it sauté for a few minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir till it dissolves and is mixed in. Turn the heat down a bit lower and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add water, stock, bouillon, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. If you use stock, remember to add the salt last, so you don't add too much.
Bring everything to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes on high heat. Add the peanut butter and stir till it is dissolved.
Let it cook till it thickens, roughly 2-5 minutes. If you used chicken, lamb, or another choice of meat, you might have to let it cook longer until the meat is cooked through.
Serve with cauliflower rice and enjoy!
This recipe serves 6 and contains 6 net carbs per serving. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips when making African Peanut Stew
If you use beef for your peanut stew, cut it into smaller pieces before sautéing, to cut down on your cooking time.
You can adjust the cayenne pepper to your desired preference. To increase the heat, add a whole habanero pepper after adding the stock.
After adding the peanut butter, you can add a little water if the stew is too thick.
Enjoy these delicious low carb African dishes!
Mafe/Maafe (Senegalese Peanut Stew)
- Wash beef and cut into smaller pieces.
- Pour olive oil into a pan on medium heat.
- Add beef, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, and a pinch of salt, and saute for 8-10 minutes.
- Chop the onions and bell pepper.
- Add onions and red bell pepper and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and stir.
- Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add water, stock, and bouillon, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add peanut butter and stir till it is dissolved.
- Let it cook till it thickens, roughly 2-5 minutes.
- Serve with cauliflower rice and enjoy!
- If you use beef for your peanut stew, cut it into smaller pieces before sautéing, to cut down on your cooking time.
- You can adjust the cayenne pepper to your desired preference. To increase the heat, add a whole habanero pepper after adding the stock.
- After adding the peanut butter, you can add a little water if the stew is too thick.