Domoda: Gambian Peanut Stew
I wouldn't be Gambian if I didn't do a post about domoda. Also known as maffe in Senegal, asindessi in Togo and aziin nusunnu in Benin, domoda is The Gambia's national dish. It's a delicious, hearty peanut stew often featuring chicken or beef. As mentioned in my post on churrah gerte, peanuts are omnipresent in Gambian cuisine. Whenever I feel a little homesick for my mother's cooking, domoda is my go-to meal. Everyone has their own vegetable preferences regarding what they like to throw in. I personally love to thrown in some sweet potatoes and carrots (which are delicious when tender), but sometimes I add bell peppers.
1 lb chicken breast, cut into ½ in. chunks
¼ cup peanut oil
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
4.5 cups of vegetable stock
3 cups water
Scotch bonnet chilies, diced
1 cup sweet potatoes, chopped (or the tuber of your choice)
2 carrots, sliced thickly
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the chicken to the pot and cook until lightly browned. The chicken does not need to be completely cooked through - it will finish cooking as it simmers in the stew.
- Dilute the tomato paste in the water, add to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, and chillies.
- In a separate pan, sauté the onions and garlic until golden brown. Add the onion and garlic to the pot.
- Add the bay leaf, salt, and the peanut butter. Adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding more peanut butter (to thicken) or adding more water (to make it thinner).
- Reduce cover the pot and allow it to cook for 45 - 50 minutes while stirring occasionally to ensure the peanut butter does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Serve hot over rice.*
*I chose to serve this over brown rice because I find that brown rice works better with thick stews. White rice can sometimes become a bit mushy. In Ghana, I've become particularly fond of Primelin Brown Rice.
Domoda is often eaten with chicken or beef, but it can also be adapted to vegetarian palettes. Throw in whatever you'd like -- squash, eggplant, yams, etc.