I have had a few portions of domada, the national dish of Gambia. Most of the times it has been served to me. A few times I have enjoyed Ida Cham´s homecooking class with our travelers like with the organization Heartlift when they have traveled with ETP. She teach you the local dish Only once. I have tried to make it at home… Today was my second time!
Domada is a stew made of groundnuts (peanuts), any kind of vegetables you may have available (carrots, sweet potatoes, bitter tomatoes, pumpkin, cassava…) and meat or fish. You can also serve it as a vegetarian option. Vegetarian is my favorite option as it is rich in flavor anyway! It is served with rice (of course) . So, making domoda was my mission for today!
In The Gambia, the home cooking starts with a trip to the local market, Tanji. This is also one of the main fishing villages in the country. Normally fresh fish is on the menu. In Tanji you´ll find seasonal vegetables, which also is on our shopping list.
I will not try to replicate Ida and her wonderful domada as she has years of experience… And also just to be clear; there are several ways of making this dish, and mine might be slightly adapted to a “whats available in Norway dish”!
After the shopping at the market we go back to Idas home. Here she will take us through the process of making domada. We´re washing and cutting the vegetables, grounding peanuts and paying attention to what she is saying. After long hard work, the dinner is ready and served in her backyard. Delicious…
For my attempt to day, I am actually quite happy with the result! …and it looked like my family that I served it to was happy as well!
Meat or fish
1 large onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 gloves garlic
3 big tomatoes
½ can tomatoe paste
¼ cup of natural, unsweetened peanut butter
4 maggi (Gambians love maggi..) or know bouillon cubes
3 cups of water
Scotch bonnet chillies (pending on how hot you want ti…)
4 cups of sweet potatoes (or other vegetables…)
salt and pepper to taste
Then, the Gambian method is to cut meat into big pieces. Boil the meat in a cooking pan with water, onions and chopped fresh tomatoes for ten minutes. Then add peanut butter and the other ingredients. Bring it to boil while stirring occasionally. After ten minutes you can reduce the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes…. You will see when it is ready as the oil will separate it self.
Doesn’t sound to difficult does it?
Ps – if you don’t have all ingredients you can improvise with whatever you have handy… but the peanut is a must!