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Tiny County….

Situated on either side of the Gambia river and surrounded on all sides by Senegal, Gambia is the smallest country on the mainland of Africa. Officially known as Republic of the Gambia, it is a tiny West African nation that is deeply associated with the slave trade, which was one of the key factors in the colonies established by the Portuguese (and later the British). On 18 February, 1965, the Gambia gained independence from the UK and joined the Commonwealth of Nations (it withdrew from the CoN in October 2013).

The Gambia is more fertile than many parts of Africa and their economy is very largely based on farming and fishing. What this means for Gambian cuisine is that people are able to grow things such as sweet potatoes which are common to the dishes in the Gambia.

The Gambia is a very poor nation, with almost a 3rd of it’s population living below the international poverty line.

Facts About The Gambia:

  • The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa
  • Their official language is English
  • 99% of the people in country are African
  • 90% are Muslims
  • Mostly Tropical weather
  • the highest point in the Gambia is just 53 meters.

The Dish:

IMG_0908Today we will be cooking what is known locally as Domoda. It is a peanut stew (or curry if you prefer) and we will be using chicken. Many people cannot afford meat and this dish is made as a vegetarian dish often. Domoda is the national dish of Gambia.

Ingredients:

  • .5 kg of chicken thighs or breasts cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Jar of Peanut Butter (unsweetened and crunchy if possible)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Chicken Bouillon cubes
  • 2 Maggi crayfish cubes (use chicken cubes if you can’t find these)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups of eggplant, cubed
  • 1/4 head of green cabbage, chopped into 1 inch wide strips
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Cous Cous

Method:

Chop and dice all of the veggies and meat and prepare the spices in a small bowl to make it easy to add the ingredients.

IMG_0906 IMG_0907

Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven (I used a cast iron dish).

Add the Onions and saute till golden.

Add the chicken and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Once the chicken is brown on the outside, add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the tomato paste, the spices, the bouillon cubes and cook for 1 minute.

Finally, add the water and the peanut butter and bring to a boil. Add the veggies and once it is boiling reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.

Serve over a bed of cous cous (cook according to instructions).

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