Malian Tiga Diga Na

A Malian experience.


  • 1 chicken
  • White rice
  • 3 medium tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 small handful peanuts
  • 4 carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 bell peppers (sliced)
  • 2 potatoes (cubed)
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 small cabbage
  • A few mushrooms
  • Veggies (add as you like)
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Bob Marley cassette tape (use digital music file as alternative)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Spicy chili peppers or hot sauce (add as you like)
  • Flour
  • Cooking oil


  • Tell a child to go grab a chicken and kill it. Be careful to negotiate price first.
  • Start fire and find an old bicycle wheel.
  • Using wheel as grill, burn feathers off of chicken.
  • Gut and cut into pieces. If unable to kill own squab, purchase cut up chicken, or cut your own if you know how to use a knife. You may feel free to use just breasts of chicken, but I think the dark meat is better. Tofu people should begin improvising now. 
  • In Dutch oven (deep pot) heat 3-tablespoons of oil.
  • Cook onion in oil until translucent over medium heat.
  • Drop in garlic oil with onion over medium heat.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in flour (or shake in plastic bag of flour).
  • Drop pieces in oil with now translucent oil and goodies and brown them slightly over medium to high heat.
  • Place Bob Marley cassette in 'tape deck' and switch on.
  • When chicken pieces are browned a bit, drop in tomatoes and "stir it up."
  • Pour 4 cups of water over the whole mixture and crank up the heat until it boils.
  • If it seems too much, cut it down, if it doesn't seem enough to stew the meat and veggies to follow, add more.
  • When it boils, add 1 cup of peanut butter and a small handful of peanuts. Stir it up.
  • Add salt, depending on your taste, paprika, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, and some of whatever it is you use to add a bit of hot to your food. (red pepper, cayenne, some green hot type, etc.)
  • Add in carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, and spinach. Whatever your own personal vegetable fetish is, now is the time to do it. Okra is nice, as are eggplants. But do not overdo it now. Show a bit of restraint... but do not block your natural verve either. 
  • Toss it all in there. Should be enough liquid to cover it all up and still leave you some gravy. If not, add some more plus a cup of white wine. Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Now get yourself some nice white rice and cook it up. BUT, do not commit the occidental sin of putting too much water into your rice, or you'll end up with gloppy muck. 1-cup rice to 1.5 cups water is usually okay.
  • Taste, re to salt if necessary, re to spice, add more peanuts if you like, toss in a few more peppers or another ½-cup peanut butter if needed. The consistency shouldn't be too thick, but shouldn't be like soup either. You gotta use the force here.
  • Enjoy...


Recipe submitted by Carl Hammerdorfer – Peace Corps Country Director, Bulgaria (2005).

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