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Maafe, prepared by a Senegalese cook.
Maafe (var. Mafé, Maffé, Maffe, sauce d'arachide, tigadèguèna or tigadene), or Groundnut Stew, is a stew common to much of West Africa, and especially associated with the Wolof people of Senegalmarker and the Gambiamarker, and the Fula peoples in Malimarker, Guineamarker, Cote d'Ivoiremarker and Nigeriamarker. Variants of the dish appear in the cuisine of nations throughout West Africa and Central Africa.


Made from lamb, beef or chicken, maafe is cooked with a sauce based on tomato and groundnuts (peanuts).


Recipes for the stew vary wildly, but commonly include chicken, tomato, onion, cabbage, and leaf or root vegetables. In the coastal regions of Senegalmarker, maafe is frequently made with fish. Other versions include okra, corn, carrots, cinnamon, peppers, paprika, and other spices. Maafe is traditionally served with white rice (in Senegambia), couscous (as West Africa meets the Sahara) or Fufu and sweet potatoes in the more tropical areas. Um'bidois a variation using greens, while Ghanaian Maafe is cooked with boiled eggs.

A variation of the stew, "Virginia peanut soup", even traveled with enslaved Africans to North America.


Maafe has been ascribed to a number of West African ethnicities, including the Wolof, the Fula, and the Bambara peoples. With the huge expansion of groundnut cultivation during the colonial period, Maafe has become a popular dish across West Africa, and as far east as Cameroonmarker.

See also


  1. 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.

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