February 21, 2024

Maafe Recipe: Nostalgic meal becomes a sought-after sensation yet again

Maafe also known as West African peanut or groundnut soup seems to be stirring up netizens after the Wakanda premier on Wednesday, the 26th of October 2022. The highly nutritious and easy-to-cook meal comprise peanuts/groundnuts and any protein of choice to effect watering mouths. It could be made as soups, stews or sauces in various places. Here is what to know about this delectable meal.

History and Origin of Maafe Soup

The history of peanut soups in West Africa dates back to the use of local groundnuts before the introduction of the New World in the 16th century. The Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali are originators of Maafe. Its correct name is “domodah” in Mandinka and “tigadegena” in Bamanankan. Maafe span out towards Gambia and clung to Senegal during the colonial period when initiatives to boost groundnut production were made.

The peanut butter stew popular throughout West Africa is known as Maafe in Senegal. Some people prepare it using lamb while others use chicken. Boiled eggs are peeled, the whites are then pierced and placed into the stew in Ghana; the richness of the thick soup permeates the white and flavors the yolk. In Senegal, women prepare the stew by cooking it with cabbage, okra and eggplant and setting it over a bed of hot rice.

Nutritional value of Maafe

Peanuts and groundnuts contain monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that minimizes heart disease risks as well as being rich sources of vital minerals such as magnesium, zinc and calcium. Its plant-based protein content aids increased fiber intake and moderates weight management, not also forgetting the rich carbs that is paired with the meal.

Ingredients for making Maafe

The ingredients for making this delicacy varies across countries just like any other intercontinental dish but because the Senegalese are the owners of this dish, this article would focus on that.

With sweet potatoes, aromatics, stock, peanuts/groundnuts, meat and peanut butter(neatly ground peanut paste from fresh peanuts is ideal) are the constant of this meal but green cabbage is also incorporated traditionally most times with whichever green you decide to. Okra, tomatoes, hot chilies and other creative additions to help balance the stew’s undeniable richness are frequently included on the list of condiments. The peanut is the prime savor of this dish in its rich creamy texture.

Making this dish with chicken, we have:

  • chicken thighs(boneless or bone-in)
  • a tablespoon of olive cooking oil
  • minced ginger
  • a tsp of cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • a bulb of yellow onion
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper with seeds removed
  • salt
  • roasted peanuts coarsely chopped for topping
  • chicken stock
  • Ground tomatoes
  • a half cup of peanut paste
  • greens eg. cabbage(optional)
  • neatly washed chickpeas
  • cilantro

Servings to be used: cooked rice or couscous

Steps to prepare Maafe:

  • Firstly, the olive oil is added in a pot and set over medium-flame heat.
  • The chicken thighs are seasoned with pepper and salt and set into heating oil and left to brown for two minutes(cooking will continue in the soup).
  • Set aside when done.
  • Reduce cooking heat yet again and add salted and peppered diced onions and sweet potatoes to cook for five minutes. Stir frequently until browned.
  • The greens, peanut paste, peanuts seeds, cumin, ginger and garlic follow next and cooks for one minute.
  • Then the ground tomatoes, stock and chickpeas go in.
  • The browned chicken thighs from before are put into the broth pot and cook till they are softened. Bring out the chicken when soft, cut them into little pieces and add back to pot.
  • Soup is served with cilantro and extra peanuts as toppings and a plate of cooked rice or couscous.


This meal is an amazing relish and has been tweaked to taste in other countries as well to give unique and different tastes. Would you want to try a plate of Maafe now or you are still skeptic?

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