African Maafe Recipe (Groundnut Stew)

Vegetarian African Maafe Groundnut Stew
Colorful and delicious. Don’t be fooled, African Maafe (Groundnut Stew) is high in protein and packed with nutrients.

What is Maafe?

Maafe is an African dish and the name means “peanut butter sauce.” It’s also known as groundnut stew.  Many varieties dot the continent.

It originated in West and Central Africa.  Some versions have even been found in on the Southeastern Seaboard of the US.  Most assume the recipe traveled here during the slave era.

I have tried several versions of this recipe and have finally settled on this one as my favorite maafe recipes.

Most recipes include meats like chicken or lamb.  This vegetarian version contains tofu, and I’ve lightened it by using PBFit powdered peanut butter instead of peanut butter spread.

Why PBFit?

I love PBFit because it’s all natural, non-GMO, and contains 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter.  The best part? PBFit has just 55 calories per 2 TBSP serving, making it the perfect way to moderate the calorie count this otherwise calorie-laden dish.

Feel free to substitute 2 TBSP of traditional nut butter or your favorite powdered peanut butter.  This blog article isn’t a sponsored post.  PBFit is just one of my favorite weapons in my arsenal to lighten recipes, like this groundnut stew (Maafe).

To make prep faster, I use one package of pre-cubed tofu. Nasoya makes a good organic version.

Variations: Tofu isn’t your thing? Substitute a can of rinsed kidney beans.  You can also add in 4 oz of baby carrots to the potatoes and turnips.   Maafe’s strength lies in its versatility.  Substitute your favorite root vegetables and proteins.  Hint: it freezes well.  Double the batch and freeze the rest for another night.

Vegetarian African Maafe (Groundnut Stew)

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Colorful and delicious. Don’t be fooled, African Maafe (Groundnut Stew) is high in protein and packed with nutrients.

  • 1 8oz package tofu
  • 1 TBSP Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped
  • 3/4 lb sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small Turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red Bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup PBFit, prepared (sub traditional peanut butter)
  • 2 TBSP Tomato paste
  • 2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo Pepper (sub red pepper flakes)
  • 3 TBSP Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1 cup couscous, prepared (4 servings)

Press liquid from tofu (layer between two paper towels and set something heavy on it) and let drain about 30 minutes. Cut into cubes. Toss with cornstarch and season with salt and pepper.

Chop peanuts.

Stir together prepared PBFit, tomato paste, vegetable broth, ginger and Aleppo pepper.

Place sweet potatoes and turnips into a microwave-safe pan or bowl. Cover with wet paper towel and microwave on high until sweet potatoes are tender, ~3 minutes. (Turnips should still have a bit of crunch.) Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and spray pan with cooking oil. When oil is hot, saute tofu until golden brown, ~5 minutes total.

Set tofu aside and keep warm. Return the pan to the burner and reduce heat to medium. Spray pan with cooking spray

Saute bell peppers and garlic about 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, turnips and peanut sauce and bring to a simmer. Sauce will start to thicken in about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tofu and stir to coat. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes more so tofu can absorb flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Top with lime juice, cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Stir couscous into stew. Divide into four bowls and serve.


  • Calories: 490
  • Fat: 13 grams
The following two tabs change content below.
Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.


  • michelleferrand

    November 16, 2016 - 12:16 am

    All of these flavors sound so great together! Peanuts and sweet potatoes especially!

  • Erin

    November 13, 2016 - 7:23 pm

    I keep meaning to try a dish like this. I think my husband would love it.

  • kimchichick

    November 12, 2016 - 6:22 am

    Wow! I have never tried African food before and this really looks delicious! Also, never thought to add PB to a stew, but it sounds lovely. Thanks for the great inspiration and idea!

  • The Movement Menu | Monica

    November 8, 2016 - 3:22 pm

    I’ve never really tried African food, and now I want to… badly! Thanks for the delicious inspiration 🙂

    • Alicia Taylor

      November 10, 2016 - 12:27 pm

      You are very welcome! If you like it, be sure to come back and let me know.

  • Daniela

    November 8, 2016 - 2:26 pm

    Looks wonderful! 🙂

  • Six Ingredient Swaps that Slash Calories • TaylorLife

    September 14, 2016 - 12:15 am

    […] PB&J, PBfit makes an excellent substitute for peanut butter in peanut sauces in dishes like my African Maafe Stew.  This lower-calorie ingredient swap changes the […]

  • Adriana

    February 29, 2016 - 2:02 pm

    This looks really, really good! I’ve never heard of this but I would love to try it sometime!

  • Mama to 5 Blessings

    February 26, 2016 - 12:33 pm

    Looks like a great recipe! What a nice healthy dish, I need to try to make this for my family.

  • Laura Funk

    February 26, 2016 - 9:57 am

    I have never heard of this but it looks really really yummy. I love that it is called Peanut Butter sauce

  • Keikilani

    February 26, 2016 - 7:09 am

    This sounds super good. I can’t eat nuts, but I bet my sister would really love this recipe. Passing it on.

  • Crystal

    February 26, 2016 - 7:00 am

    I’ve never heard of this kind of stew before but that is a beautiful dish! I may have to try it with chicken while it’s still kind of cool out.

  • karlyn flores

    February 26, 2016 - 2:02 am

    Yesterday I was finding for a new recipe and great you share this now, I can’t wait to try this on weekends.

  • laura

    February 25, 2016 - 11:41 pm

    this is quite interesting it sounds like – have never had it but bet it is definitely tasty

  • Carol Bryant

    February 25, 2016 - 10:52 pm

    This sounds good. Is it very spicy I’d like to try it out at home.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 26, 2016 - 12:34 am

      Not at all. It’s quite savorty and tasty. If you want spicy, try some Sriracha

  • Janeane Davis

    February 25, 2016 - 8:05 pm

    I am not familiar with this dish. It sounds interesting and I would like to share it with my children.

  • Chelley @ A is for Adelaide

    February 25, 2016 - 7:37 pm

    This sounds so good! I do not use tofu, but I’m sure I can make a substitution!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 7:40 pm

      Sure – you can substitute chicken if you aren’t a vegetarian. It’s how it is traditionally made

  • Erin

    February 25, 2016 - 7:30 pm

    We are big peanut butter fans in our house so we will have to give this a try. We have used PBfit before and liked it!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 7:41 pm

      It makes an easy and slimmed down pb sauce

  • Censie

    February 25, 2016 - 4:38 pm

    Oh this looks so good. I think my whole family would enjoy it. adding it to our meal plan for next week!

  • Angela

    February 25, 2016 - 4:16 pm

    I have had Indian food with a peanut sauce and absolutely love it, but have never had an African dish like this. I have no doubt I would like this meal a lot.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 7:42 pm

      I have had thai food with peanut sauce – but never Indian food. That would be an interesting combo.

  • Ashley Sparks Mullins

    February 25, 2016 - 3:30 pm

    I will be passing this on to my mom. She has now become vegetarian. Sounds very good!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 7:43 pm

      It’s delicious! Hope she enjoys it. The key to loving vegetarian is variety.

  • Crystal

    February 25, 2016 - 3:23 pm

    I am a vegetarian, but the rest of my family isn’t. I love meatless dishes that will appeal to all of us. Cooking one meal is so much easier!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 7:43 pm

      That’s the same way I am. Thankfully, my husband is veg-friendly. I’m actually Pescatarian, though. I just started eating fish about 4 months ago.

  • Debbie

    February 25, 2016 - 2:45 pm

    Seems that I have heard of this. I think it looks really good. The nuts are a great ingredient.

  • maria @ closetohome

    February 25, 2016 - 11:37 am

    I really like peanut sauce so I will have to give this a chance. Are family is very open to new types of foods.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 12:16 pm

      It’s delicious. Definitely try it!

  • Rosey

    February 25, 2016 - 11:04 am

    I like the idea of trying the tofu. I’d like to make something like this for my sister-in-law.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 12:16 pm

      Tofu takes a little practice, but it’s worth the effort when done right.

  • Lory

    February 25, 2016 - 10:29 am

    Thanks for sharing. I am not a fan of tofu, so i like the idea of adding kidney beans. I have never tried a recipe with peanut butter. It’s always nice to try something new.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 12:17 pm

      I am not usually. It has to be fixed just right. If you aren’t a vegetarian, you can substitute chicken.

  • Heather Johnson

    February 25, 2016 - 10:27 am

    I had never heard of any recipe quite like this groundnut stew. My kiddos would probably love anything with peanut butter sauce.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 12:17 pm

      It’s a great way to sneak in some healthy food on them!

  • Shirley Wood

    February 25, 2016 - 10:01 am

    I like recipes with sweet potatoes in them. The combination of different ingredients is interesting across cultures. I’d never have thought to mix turnip greens with sweet potatoes but I would serve them together.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 12:18 pm

      It’s a pretty good combination. I love the crunch.


    February 25, 2016 - 9:40 am

    That really sounds yummy! Those are all things we would eat so I’m sure the kids would love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Amber N

      February 25, 2016 - 8:56 pm

      I think my kids might actually like this too. I’m going to try!

      • Alicia Taylor

        February 25, 2016 - 10:18 pm

        Amber – if you try it, be sure to come back and let me know how you liked it

  • rebecca

    February 25, 2016 - 9:32 am

    Yum!! this sound delicious. I do like
    a good stew on
    cool days.

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

    February 25, 2016 - 9:04 am

    I love the sounds of this stew…and I love peanuts. The spices would make the house smell so good.

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 9:08 am

      The smell just permeates the air. I could smell it outside. I think that’s part of the appeal

  • monica

    February 25, 2016 - 7:49 am

    I’ve been looking for some low cal options for lunches and this looks amazing! I work from home and having healthy and flavorful lunches ready keep me from snacking. Thanks!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 9:09 am

      It’s usually just David and I, so we have leftovers frequently. He works from home, too – and we eat leftovers for lunch. This is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day.

  • robin masshole mommy

    February 25, 2016 - 6:42 am

    I have never had anything like this. Wow, it sounds delicious.

  • Michele

    February 25, 2016 - 3:21 am

    That does sound tasty but the carb count is way out there-especially for a diabetic. I might try to tweak it to see if I could get it down. Thank you for the substitute for tofu!!

    • Alicia Taylor

      February 25, 2016 - 9:12 am

      The carbs are a bit high and it’s probably from the sweet potatoes – which are a bit high on the glycemic index. Feel free to substitute your favorite veggies. This dish is so versatile.

    • Alicia

      February 25, 2016 - 9:27 am

      Also, some of the carb count is the couscous. You could leave that off and really knock out the carbs. It’s delicious without the couscouse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.