Mafe: The Best Dish Ever!!

In my community, we have people from all over the world. As a Muslim, I get to eat all the various foods of these people when we break our fast during Ramadan. I love the Pakistani’s Chicken Tikka Masala and homemade Chai Tea. The Somali’s Sambusa (fried pastry with spicy beef) and Barris Huruud (turmeric rice) are divine. But, the Senegalese have everyone beat when they make Mafe with lamb… their coffee rocks too!

Mafe is a peanut sauce with veggies and meat (lamb or chicken) served on top of rice. It has a bit of kick to it with cayenne and makes your tastes buds happy. I am drooling now just talking about it. I usually go to Maash Allah’s Senegalese restaurant, but had fresh lamb that we slaughtered just the other day and wanted something other than the typical boring way the Mister cooks it (the Mauritanian way is dull as he is from the Sahara; where nothing grows).

I found a recipe online in hopes that it would come in as a close second to Maash Allah’s Mafe. I had most of the items already in stock: lamb, tomatoes, cabbage, tomato paste, onion, sweet potatoes (which really should be yam… no they are not the same; next time, I will go to Darou Salam Senegalese store to get some), peanut or palm oil, natural peanut butter, carrots, chicken stock, salt, pepper, cayenne and turnips (which I skipped on as I did not want to make the trip out). It is basically a one pot deal; except the rice is cooked separately. My suggestion on the rice is cook Jasmine rice, it is easy to cook and aromatic. If you cannot find Jasmine, then use Basmati; it is easy to cook as well.

The verdict… it was not bad and certainly edible, however, one thing I forgot… the bay leaf; bay leaf makes all the difference in African cooking and I plum forgot it. Oh well, next time!


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