An incredibly rich and delicious African peanut stew recipe that tastes even better the next day! Known as Domoda, it’s the national dish of Gambia.
Domoda is the national dish of Gambia. It is a delicious “groundnut stew” (peanuts) consisting of whatever vegetable happens to be available, typically pumpkin or sweet potatoes, and a saucy base. Whether vegetarian or including meat, the base is pretty consistent: A rich and flavorful sauce featuring ground peanut paste (or natural, unsweetened peanut butter), fresh tomatoes, and tomato paste. Caramelized onions, chicken and tomato stock, and hot chili peppers are also added. Maggi bouillon cubes are readily available in many parts of Africa and are commonly used in African cooking, including this dish.
Situated in West Africa, Gambia was a British commonwealth until 1965 when it gained independence. The land is relatively more fertile than other parts of Africa and Gambia’s economy is dominated by farming, fishing and tourism. Thus, they’re able to grow things like the pumpkins and sweet potatoes that are common to Gambian cuisine.
Though Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, it’s culture and history are diverse. Some of this history was popularized in the Alex Haley book and TV series “Roots,” parts of which were set in the Gambia.
A very poor country, a third of Gambia’s population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. Vegetarian dishes are common in Gambia because of the expense of meat. Domoda is often eaten without meat as well. But when a Gambian family is able to enjoy a little luxury, they’ll often add chicken or beef to this national dish. It’s humbling preparing something that by our standards is simple and relatively inexpensive, knowing that for other countries, like many households in Gambia, it’s a luxury. I’ve made this dish different times with beef and chicken and they’re both delicious. This time I used beef, but chicken can be used interchangeably (the resulting stew will be a little lighter in color).
This Daring Gourmet version is true to authentic roots. It’s a simple dish to make with a rich and rewarding flavor. This is African comfort food at its best, folks, and believe me, it’s a winner!
African Peanut Stew Recipe
Let’s get started!
Heat the oil in large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan. Saute the onions until golden. Add the beef and garlic and continue to sauté until the beef is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, chilies, peanut butter and stir to combine.
Add the water and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add squash, cover, and continue to cook for 35-40 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve hot with rice. This stew tastes even better the next day.
African Peanut Stew (Domoda)
- 1 lb beef steak or 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch chunks (or use bone-in chicken pieces and simmer them in the sauce; once cooked leave the pieces whole or remove the meat from the bones and add it back to the stew.)
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Roma tomatoes diced
- 1/2 can 3 oz tomato paste
- 3/4 cup natural unsweetened peanut butter
- 4 Maggi or Knorr tomato bouillon cubes
- 3 cups water
- Scotch bonnet chilies diced, according to heat preference
- 4 cups pumpkin or sweet potato diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in large Dutch oven. Saute the onions until golden. Add the beef and garlic and continue to sauté until the beef is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chilies, peanut butter and stir to combine. Add the water and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, cover, and continue to cook for 35-40 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot with rice. This stew tastes even better the next day.
This is the best domoda recipe I have found on the internet! I was a PCV in TG and make this at least once a month. My kids love it. I’ve done vegetarian as well, but usually make it with chicken, white sweet potato, pumpkin and cabbage. ..I also use peanut oil. Adeeyata baake!
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
Thank you so much, Jeremy, I really appreciate the feedback and compliment!
I also was a PCV in TG and I am in the end stages of Pancreatic cancer (it’s in my lungs now – I have fought a hard fight for over 4 years). My oldest son makes a special dish for me every week. One week, I asked for Domoda…he made it for me! I have now had it twice! It’s been a long time since I had the real deal (1980), but I enjoy it! Thanks for the recipe!!
Hello, this looks amazing and i cant wait to try it. 2 questions though – Can you recommend a substitute for tomato paste? Can fresh tomatoes be used instead? Also, a substitute for Scotch bonnet chilies please – dont get these 2 easily in India. Thanks!
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
Hi Shonali, tomato paste is very thick, concentrated, and condensed so fresh tomatoes will not be a good substitute. If you cannot find tomato paste (if often comes in a tube as well) then the next best thing would be to use tomato sauce/puree. For the peppers, you can use any spicy pepper of your choice. And if you prefer it not to be spicy, you can use a mild pepper.
Joy Datta says
This is one of my go-to recipes. You’ve explained this quite simply. I was an instructor at UTG in 2018 and 2019. Fell in love with this and the street goat.