peanut sauce is a staple west african dish. in senegal it’s called “maffe” and it’s a deep reddish brown color because of all the tomato paste they put in it, and they fry the peanut butter first. there are so many variations of this dish; this is my second one on the blog. there’s no meat in the recipe but you can easily include it. however, i would not make this sauce with fresh fish; it’s been done, it’s just not my thing.
the sauce base is prepared in the blender and you can really get creative with what you put in it: bell peppers, root vegetables, okra, sauteed chicken would all work. growing up, we would have this with smoked fish, eggplant, carrots and okra.
yesterday my mama came over and we had a lovely family meal. she made this old childhood favorite, which is one of few west african dishes that it’s easy to find all ingredients for here. sharing it with loved ones absolutely made my day.
peanut sauce version steph et afi
combine in a blender:
1/2 c all natural peanut butter
1/2 can tomato paste (small cans)
1 habanero pepper (go for a jalapeno if you’re sensitive to spice or leave it out altogether)
2 inch chunk of fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp anise
1/4 tsp ground allspice (as a substitute for susulwa)
1 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cube maggi/jumbo
3 cups water
5 small sweet potatoes
3 large carrots
2 medium eggplant
one packet of oyster or white mushrooms
3 small/1 large white onion (thinly slice this, do not chop)
1) in a large saucepan heat 2 tbs vegetable oil on medium head, and add the onions. stir well. after 2 minutes add the sweet potatoes to the pot. stir and cover, stir again after 15 minutes and add the remaining vegetables.
2) while veggies are sauteing, blend the peanut mixture until smooth. pour this into the pot, stir well, and cover. let the sauce cook on high for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to med/low and let it simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
serve with rice and a side of greens.