Mafe Ginaar – Peanut & Chicken Stew from Senegal


  • 1 tbsp canola oil or other vegetable oil
  • 2 lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 habanero pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp cayenne (to personal taste)
  • 4 cups water, vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 small head of green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt to taste
  • hot sauce to taste
  • chopped cilantro and crushed peanuts for serving


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, cooking 5 minutes on each side. You want to brown the chicken, but not cook it all the way through. Remove from pot and set chicken aside.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the onions to the same pot. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and habanero (if using) and saute 1 minute. Add tomato paste and peanut butter and saute 1 more minute.
  3. Add the bay leaves, cayenne, water or stock, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cabbage. Return the chicken to the pot, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium, and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are soft, 30-40 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, lift vegetables and chicken out of the liquid into a large bowl. Break the chicken into smaller pieces using two forks.
  5. Turn the heat up  on the liquid left in the pot, and cook, stirring, until liquid is reduced into a thick sauce. This should take 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken and vegetables back into the sauce, and stir in the lime juice. Taste, and add salt and hot sauce to taste.
  6. Serve over rice or millet, with cilantro and peanuts sprinkled on top.


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