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Domoda, a West African peanut stew recipe, is hearty and nutritious with layers of flavor. It’s a tiny bit spicy, a little sweet, and packed with savory goodness. It’s full of vegetables, and the best part is you, can customize it to suit your tastes!

overhead view of domoda served with rice

If you’ve never had peanut soup or stew, you’re in for a real treat. With aromatic sautéed onion and garlic, nutty peanut butter, savory spices, and chicken stock, Domoda is rich and creamy with depth and complexity, and a balanced flavor profile.

This stew is very forgiving in the sense that you can use just about any vegetables or protein that you have on hand. Try something new for dinner, and this unique dish might just become a favorite at your house!

maafe peanut stew in dutch oven pot

What is Domoda?

Domoda is a popular West African groundnut stew (aka peanut stew) that’s rich, hearty, and full of vegetables. It’s the national dish of Gambia, and goes by different names in different regions. It’s known as Maafe in Senegal, Tigadèguèna or Tigadegena in Mali, Sauce d’Arachide in Ivory Coast, and Durango in Mandingo.

Domoda is originally from the Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali. Along with the cultivation of groundnuts, peanut stew traveled to neighboring regions. Additionally, it made its way to the American South where versions of this dish are still common. For example, Virginia Peanut Soup!

You can read more about peanut stew on Wikipedia.

Domoda (aka Maafe) Recipe – Gambian Peanut Stew

Domoda Ingredients

domoda ingredients
  • Vegetable oil – for searing the chicken and sautéing the aromatics
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – boneless skinless chicken breasts also work, or use lamb or beef instead
  • Onion – this classic Domoda ingredient adds great depth of flavor
  • Garlic – for savory aroma and complexity
  • Ginger – this is optional, but paired with the garlic it makes this dish truly memorable
  • Roma tomatoes – or you can use 1 (14 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with juices
  • Creamy peanut butter – natural peanut butter (i.e., just blended peanuts) is more traditional in Domoda; however, you can use whatever you have on hand (creamy or crunchy peanut butter both work)
  • Tomato paste – this adds rich tomato flavor, and body to the stew’s broth to help thicken it
  • Chicken stock – use homemade chicken stock or a good-quality store-bought chicken stock; or use 4 cups of water + 4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base or 4 cups of water + 2 cubes Maggi Chicken Bouillon
  • Sweet potato – use any type of peeled, chopped winter squash you like, such as pumpkin, butternut, etc.
  • Carrots – paired with the sweet potato, I love the natural earthy sweetness that carrot adds to this stew, but if you prefer, you can skip the carrot and add more sweet potato
  • Salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, and black pepper – these spices season our stew, making it flavorful and complex; as with any spiced dish, this peanut stew is even better the next day after the spices have had the chance to marry
  • Fresh okra – you can also use frozen okra (look for whole frozen okra, not chopped), or swap out the okra for fresh green beans
  • Fresh lemon juice – just a little bit of lemon juice added at the end brightens up the flavor of this soup and really wakes it up
  • Fresh cilantro – this optional garnish adds fresh flavor to this slow-cooked dish
  • Peanuts – another optional garnish, this adds nutty crunch and reinforces the peanut flavor

How to Make Gambian Peanut Stew

how to make domoda recipe
  1. Add the oil to a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and sear (let it cook for 2 minutes before stirring), and then cook another 1 minute. (The chicken won’t be fully cooked at this point.)
  2. Stir in the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the tomato and cook 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the peanut butter and tomato paste until it’s mixed in.
  5. Add the chicken stock, sweet potato, carrot, salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, and black pepper. Bring up to a boil, and then cover the pot and gently boil 20 minutes, turning the heat down as necessary, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in the okra. Bring back up to a boil, and then cover the pot and simmer 10 minutes, turning the heat down as necessary, and stirring occasionally. If you want to thicken the stew a bit more, cook it uncovered for the last couple minutes that the okra cooks. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

How to Store Peanut Stew

Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

front view of dish of african peanut stew with rice

Tips for Making Domoda

  • If you don’t have fresh tomatoes: You can use 1 (14 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with juices instead.
  • You have options when it comes to okra: Instead of fresh okra, you can use frozen whole okra. Or if okra just isn’t your thing, swap it out for fresh green beans or chopped kale.
  • Bump up the heat level: As it is, this stew has just a touch of heat from the cayenne. Feel free to add Scotch Bonnet chilies to taste to bump up the spicy heat level.
domoda recipe in bowl with rice and toppings around

Domoda FAQs

What Goes in Domoda?

Mafe or Domoda starts with peanut paste (peanut butter) or peanut flour base. Other staple ingredients are sautéed onion for depth of flavor, and tomato, which lends acidity. Garlic is also a common addition, as are Scotch Bonnet chilies. Maggi bouillon cubes are popular in that region, and are frequently used instead of chicken stock.

Other than those base components, it’s common to use any vegetables that are available. The beauty of this dish is that you can use what you like and really make it your own. Sweet potato or pumpkin, as well as carrot are frequently added. You can also use bell peppers, eggplant, green beans, kale, and/or okra.

This Domoda recipe uses chicken, but you can use lamb, beef, fish, or your favorite type of protein instead. Or skip the meat for vegetarian Domoda, which is still a satisfying meal thanks to the hearty vegetables and peanut butter.

front view of gambian peanut stew with rice on plate with pot in background

Can I Use Frozen Okra Instead of Fresh Okra?

Yes! Frozen okra works well here (look for whole frozen okra, not chopped), and add it at the same time you’d add fresh okra (no need to thaw it). Or you can swap out the okra for fresh green beans or chopped kale.

How Can I Make Vegetarian Domoda?

Domoda contains a variety of vegetables, which means that this recipe is easy to make vegetarian with a couple easy swaps.

To make vegetarian Domoda (actually vegan!), you will need to make two changes to this recipe:

  1. Omit the chicken thighs. To bump up the protein, you can add a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas if you want.
  2. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
serving of peanut stew with rice on white stoneware plate

What Do You Serve With Domoda?

African peanut stew goes well with any number of things. Rice is a traditional accompaniment because it helps soak up the glorious stew. Couscous is also popular, and so is fufu (also spelled foufou).

If you’re not familiar with it, fufu is a starchy, pliable ball made from cassava (yucca). Similar to tearing naan bread to dip in curry, fufu is torn into bite-sized pieces and used to scoop up stews like Domoda.

spread of domoda and rice on wooden table

More Savory Peanut Recipes to Try

pot of gambian peanut stew with ladle

Let’s Connect

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Domoda Recipe (Gambian Peanut Stew)

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Domoda, a West African peanut stew recipe, is hearty and nutritious with layers of flavor. It’s a tiny bit spicy, a little sweet, and packed with savory goodness. It's full of vegetables, and the best part is you, can customize it to suit your tastes!

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Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-grated ginger or fresh ginger paste
  • 3 Roma tomatoes chopped (with juices)
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 12 ounces sweet potato peeled and chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh okra stems trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts chopped (for garnish)
  • Prepared rice for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Add the oil to a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and sear (let it cook for 2 minutes before stirring), and then cook another 1 minute. (The chicken won’t be fully cooked at this point.)
  • Stir in the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato and cook 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the peanut butter and tomato paste until it’s mixed in.
  • Add the chicken stock, sweet potato, carrot, salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, and black pepper. Bring up to a boil, and then cover the pot and gently boil 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the heat down as necessary.
  • Stir in the okra. Bring back up to a boil, and then cover the pot and simmer 10 minutes, turning the heat down as necessary, and stirring occasionally. If you want to thicken the stew a bit more, cook it uncovered for the last couple minutes that the okra cooks.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Serve along with prepared rice, garnished with cilantro and peanuts.

Video

Notes

  • Nutritional Information: The nutrition information for this recipe was calculated without the optional rice for serving.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Okra Options: Instead of fresh okra, you can use frozen whole okra. Or if okra just isn’t your thing, swap it out for fresh green beans or chopped kale.
  • Adjust the Spicy Heat Level to Suit Your Preference: As it is, this stew has just a touch of heat from the cayenne. Feel free to add Scotch Bonnet chilies to taste to bump up the spicy heat level.
  • Fresh Tomatoes Substitute: Use 1 (14 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with juices instead.
  • Chicken Stock Substitute: Use 4 cups of water + 4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base or 4 cups of water + 2 cubes Maggi Chicken Bouillon.
 
To make vegetarian Domoda (actually vegan!), you will need to make two changes to this recipe:
 
  1. Omit the chicken thighs. To bump up the protein, you can add a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas if you want.
  2. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Nutrition

Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 898mg | Potassium: 1050mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 10749IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Gambian, West African
Keyword: Domoda, Domoda Recipe, Gambian Peanut Stew, Groundnut Stew, Maafe, Peanut Stew

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! The flavor is like nothing we’ve ever had – so rich, such depth of flavor!
    We’re not really okra people so we subbed fresh spinach. It was good, but next time I would use a more substantial green, such as kale. Also, since we didn’t use okra, we thickened our stew a bit with a cornstarch slurry. It worked out great.
    We’ll definitely be making this recipe again! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  2. 5 stars
    This is so yummy! I had Domoda at a west African food stall at a market in Copenhagen and had been craving it until finding this recipe! I use chicken breasts and leave out the okra but add a red, orange, or yellow bell pepper. Great comfort food!

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