Vegetable Maafé Recipe (2024)



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I've often made the delicious version in Sundays At Moosewood, which is listed as "West African Groundnut Stew." It's on the web and could be useful if you're looking for ingredient substitutions. For example, they use their tomatoes in a different form, and cayenne instead of Scotch bonnet. They leave out the tamarind and dawadawa but add coriander. Moosewood uses sweet potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and green peppers instead of plantains, carrots, squash, and greens.

Karen NBvW

Wondering if "Dawadawa" could be replaced w'MISO?


I've been making variations of this for over 30 years; the basic recipe I started with was from Cooking Light, I think. The greens vary - chard, kale, spinach, collards; the heat source varies - Serrano; cayenne; jalapeño; the starch varies (I often used diced sweet potato and/or black beans). Always tomatoes, peanut butter, greens, stock, garlic, cumin, hot pepper, onion. Sometimes chicken thighs. If anyone is doubting this, give it a try. No hard to source groceries required.


A Senegalese cook in Brooklyn 30 years ago taught me her recipe with chicken. She used Maggi sauce to salt the stew. I use soy sauce, cayenne pepper and sriracha. Never used plantains but I throw in carrots, peas, eggplant and zucchini whatever I have. My husband spent 2 years in Senegal during Peace Corps service. He and my daughters love this stew!! We eat it over plain couscous.

Christopher Castoro

Dawadawa is also available (dare I say it?) at that ultra large on-line retailer who shall go unnamed.


I prepared this recipe as written (except using Bragg’s Amino Acids as a substitute for fish sauce per America’s Test Kitchen recommendation for vegetarians). I also added the optional tamarind. I wouldn’t change a single thing. It was absolutely delicious served over rice.


Katzen is a genious at adopting tastes from around the world to what any American can buy in the local supermarket.


It would be helpful to note how many total cups of root vegetables are needed, esp if substitutions are made.


Made mostly as written, used chopped fresh tomatoes rather than canned, sugar dumpling squash instead of butternut, and added rutabaga. Went with the fish sauce, and subbed Korean lemon-ginger marmalade for the tamarind puree and a habanero for the Scotch Bonnet because I couldn't find either in my local grocery store. The sauce was delicious (though no heat)! The plantains were terrible, though and I would leave them out next time. Overall, good Fall dish - will make again.


For anyone allergic to Peanut Butter - you can substitute- Sunflower Seed Butter - found at most grocery stores. Sunflower Seed Butter has a very similar flavor to Peanut butter - without And Nuts or Peanuts in the ingredients or on the factory processing.eclecticos also - noted this below.

James A

I just made this. Minor vegetable substitutions. No tamarind, so I used pomegranate syrup. This is delicious! Thanks!!

David S.

I have had this stew before with tender pieces of chicken (drumsticks and thighs mostly) that my host had browned and cooked separately and then put into the pot to simmer for a few hours. It was heavenly.


Wonderful mix of flavors! Followed recipe with few substitutions: about 1lb &1/2 of cubed acorn squash, thai red pepper, omitted plantains and added 1 more carrot, lb &1/2 of zucchini, 1 large green pepper & 8 oz of mushrooms with fish sauce. homemade peanut butter and diluted tamarind concentrate. Served with squeeze of lime and crushed peanuts over basmati, heavenly. Cut off about 15 minutes by using pressure cooker. Will definitely make again!

Tim in PS

Excellent! Added ground pork and used chicken stock. Used an easily available Chinese black bean paste as sub for dawadawa. Root veggies were a combo of acorn squash, turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips. Very rifflable recipe. I could see using a lot of different left overs in this.


Never cooked plantains before. Based on reviews, I cut them into 1/2" pieces. They cooked through and were not hard. Used fish sauce and didn't get tamarind as I don't care for the sour taste it has. But after adding everything except that, I felt it was too sweet and could have used the tamarind. Thanks to the poster who mentioned worchestershire sauce has tamarind (I learned something!), I added that and it brought it all together. A starchy, filling dish. We enjoyed it a lot.


So delicious! I used chicken broth, and used the fish sauce (I'm allergic to locust beans). THe tamarind is essential -- gives it a nice tang.


This is a very time consuming dish and at the find of the day, lacks flavor. Needs more of all of the sauces/condiments in the recipe.


This is a great recipe it is infinitely adaptable. This time when I made it, I added a full can of tomatoes and the juice, used sweet potato,butternut squash, mushrooms, and carrots. For the greens, I used a very large bunch of chard. The farmers market had most of those ingredients for sale. My guests loved this also. I will make it again.


I made this to take to a vegan family and they loved it. Super flavorful and pretty easy to put together, despite the long ingredients list.


Delicious recipe and love the flexibility and substitution/tips. Used sweet potatoes and a red serrano. Had about half of the needed tamarind paste and used fish sauce in place of dawadawa. Collards were great in this though I went light as my kids don’t care for cooked greens. Served with fonio—our first time having this unique grain, but not our last. Had right after cooking and then a couple of hours later—the flavors melded so nicely with just a little time. Glad we have leftovers


Such a great recipe and absolutely delicious. We worked with what we had so used butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, and kale as our veggies. We swapped tamarind paste for worcestershire sauce and dawadawa for fish sauce. Threw in cooked shredded chicken at the end because we needed some more protein. Turned out great!


This was great. Doubled it for one of the soups for a party of 40. Guests really liked it. Made mostly as written, using carrots, parsnips, and kabocha squash. I had a little extra turkey stock, so I used that too, and substituted the dawadawa with half fish sauce and half fermented soybeans.

Erin M.

Made as directed. Delicious and I’ve been craving it since, so I’m going to make it again today. I appreciate some of the suggestions for hard to find ingredients.

Leslie D

I enjoyed this dish. I substituted fish sauce for dawadawa and chopped bell pepper for Scotch bonnet and Korean Gochujang for tamarind. (I went light on each of these in case they were a poor choice). I added cooked lean ground pork and black eyed peas.


Delicious. Changed it up easily. For veggies I used acorn squash, kale, spinach, chopped hot pepper, onion, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, peas, mixed mushrooms, and the last tiny eggplant from the garden. Could not find dawadawa or fish sauce. No tamarind so I substituted rice wine vinegar with brown sugar. Sautéed ground turkey with coriander and Better Than Bullion (Italian Herb) and added that to the stew. A squirt of sriracha at the end. Served it over white rice which became creamy. Yum.

Mrs. Sanchez

I made this over the weekend, exactly as written using fish sauce instead of dawadawa. So delicious. The flavors are warming and tangy. The lime adds a nice zing. I don't think I would change anything. But I will try to get dawadawa for next time.


Used four cups of garden sorrel for the greens and lime! Delicious.


Very tasty. Used potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots. Also used sunflower butter in place of peanut butter (as per suggestion). Served over rice. Everyone liked. Will make again.

Mary Ann

Some crushed peanuts to sprinkle on top make this just that much more delicious and satisfying for me!

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Vegetable Maafé Recipe (2024)


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