Tuesday, June 18, 2013


A Mozambican Recipe for 'Matapa'
This is one of my favorite dishes, and it is typical of the area where I serve. It's a green-coconut-peanut type of curry which is served over rice, or also ‘xima', which is made of maize.  

I changed a couple of the ingredients because they may be hard to find outside of Mozambique, but the result should be quite similar.

A leafy green from the mandioca (cassava) is used, (but swiss chard or collard greens could be used).

The peanuts, and then the garlic and leafy greens would be pounded out in with a mortar and pestle. (But a food processor could be used). The peanuts should be ground into a fine powder and the greens should be liquefied.

The coconuts would be broken in half then shaved on a special little wooden stool with a metal piece sticking out that has little sharp teeth.

Once the white part is shaved out into a basin, then warm water is poured over the coconut shavings and this is squeezed to get the coconut milk out and then you pour it into the curry through a sieve, so that none of the pieces go into the curry, just the milk.
This is done two or three times to get all the flavor out of the coconut. (But you could buy coconut milk in a can as long as it is unsweetened).


2 full handfuls of leafy greens (swiss chard, collard greens)
3 cups raw peanuts
3 1/2 cups of coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 small onion (chopped fine)
2 small to medium sized cooking tomatoes (chopped up)

5 cloves of garlic (chopped fine or put in food processor)

Salt to taste


Wash the leafy greens and take out any thick stems. Cut them up and put them and the garlic in the food processor to liquefy.  Cook and stir the greens between low to medium heat in about 1 cup of water for about 20 min.

Grind up the peanuts into powder. Over medium heat add the peanut powder into the pot with 1-2 cups of water and the coconut milk. Let it come to a boil.

Add the cut up onions, tomatoes, and then salt. Stir it a bit, and then put the heat on low to let it simmer for almost 2 hours.

Once it’s ready, you can pour this green-peanut-coconut curry over rice and enjoy!