Alternative names Groundnut stew
Type Stew
Place of origin Mali
Main ingredients Meat (Lamb, beef, or chicken), tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, leaf or root vegetables, peanuts
Cookbook: Maafe  Media: Maafe

Maafe (Wolof; var. mafé, maffé, maffe, sauce d'arachide (French), tigadèguèna or tigadegena (Bamana; literally 'peanut butter sauce'), or groundnut stew, is a stew or sauce (depending on water content) common to much of West Africa. It originates from the Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali.[1] Variants of the dish appear in the cuisine of nations throughout West Africa and Central Africa.


Made from lamb, beef, chicken, or without meat, maafe is cooked with a sauce based on groundnuts, especially peanut butter/paste, and tomatoes.[2]


Recipes for the stew vary wildly, but commonly include chicken, tomato, onion, garlic, cabbage, and leaf or root vegetables. Other versions include okra, corn, carrots, cinnamon, hot peppers, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, and other spices. Maafe is traditionally served with white rice (in Senegal, Mauritania and Gambia), fonio or to (millet porridge) in Mali, couscous (as West Africa meets the Sahara, in Sahelian coutries), or fufu and sweet potatoes in the more tropical areas, such as the Ivory Coast. Um'bido is a variation using greens, while Ghanaian maafe is cooked with boiled eggs.[3] A variation of the stew, "Virginia peanut soup", even traveled with enslaved Africans to North America.[4]


The dish originated with the Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali. The proper name for it in the Mandinka language is domodah or tigadegena (lit. 'peanut butter sauce,' where tige is 'peanut,' dege is 'paste,' and na is 'sauce') in Bamanankan.

Domodah is also used by Gambians, having been borrowed from the Mandinka language.[5][6] In Senegal domodah or domoda is another dish different from mafe. It is a favorite dish among several Senegal and Gambia ethnic groups. With the huge expansion of groundnut cultivation during the colonial period, Maafe has also become a popular dish across West Africa, even outside West Africa such as in Cameroon and France.

See also


  1. James McCann. Stirring the pot: a history of African cuisine, p132. Ohio University Press, 2009ISBN 0-89680-272-8
  2. Dorinda Hafner. "Maafe - Chicken And Peanut Stew - Mali". Chef2Chef culinary portal. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
  3. Um'bido (greens & Peanuts) Recipe
    Ghanaian Maafe: My Changing Memories of Mafe
  4. Where Settlers, Slaves and Natives Converged, a Way of Eating Was Born, By Geneva Collins, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, May 9, 2007; Page F01.
  5. James McCann. Stirring the pot: a history of African cuisine, p132. Ohio University Press, 2009. ISBN 0-89680-272-8
  6. Emma Gregg, Richard Trillo. Rough guide to the Gambia, p39. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN 1-84353-083-X

Further reading

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