Vegan mafe

Big tomato and peanut vibes going off in this West African stew.

Serves 4

I first read about mafé when I was looking for flavour combos and found a suggestion that peanuts and tomatoes worked well together. The book referenced mafé – which I’d never heard of before. After a bit of digging around the internet I found that mafé is the invention of the Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali. There are a few variations of the name (maafe, maffé, or even groundnut stew) but I’m going to stick with the one I first saw.

Variations of this dish can be found across West Africa and in parts of Central Africa as well. Traditionally it’s made with dead animals (boo), so we subbed in seitan (woo) to make it vegan. If you’re not a seitan fan, you can make it with just root vegetables. We served ours on bulgar wheat, but you can also dish this meal up on rice or cous cous if you prefer.

Mafé has quickly become a favourite in the Pig Out kitchen, not only does it taste delicious but it fills the whole house with a wonderful rich smell that really gets your tastebuds going. Get it made, get it eaten and let us know what you think.


2 cups bulgar wheat


1 white onion, diced

3 garlic gloves, diced

1/2 red chilli, diced

400g tinned tomatoes

150g peanut butter

600ml vegetable stock

400g sweet potato

500g seitan

100g spinach

50g peanuts

Corriander, to garnish

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large pan/pot/dutch oven, heat a good glug of olive oil over a medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the onion, garlic and chilli.

Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to turn translucent.

Add the tinned tomatoes, peanut butter and stock to the pan. Mix everything together and then turn up the heat to high.

When the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down to low. Add in the sweet potato. Simmer for 20 minutes. The potato should now still be firmed but cooked.

Add the bulgar wheat to a saucepan. Cover with 4 cups of boiling water. Leave for 20-minutes. Drain off any excess liquid, fluff the bulgar and set aside.

Cube the seitan and add to the mafe pan. Cook for 5 minutes. In a small frying pan, dry toast the peanuts for 3 minutes and then add to the pot.

Stir in the spinach and cook for a minute until it wilts. Season to taste.

To serve, ladle the mafe onto the bulgar wheat.


If you don’t have sweet potato then other root veg will hold its own. Carrots would be perfect.

Let us know what you think over on Instagram by tagging your photos #pigoutzine.

Have you read our story about living vegan on the road? 3 months in a van travelling round Europe – check it out

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