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Mozambican Casava Leaves recipe: Matapa

Mozambican Casava Leaves recipe: Matapa

The unique Mozambican cuisine Matapa is like a treasure trove of cultural history and flavor. It is created using coconut milk, peanuts, and cassava leaves, which combine to make a delicious blend of flavors and textures. To make Matapa even more tasty, meat or shrimp may occasionally be added. However, Matapa is more than simply food; it serves as a portal to the past.

Matapa was first made in Mozambique using cassava leaves a very long time ago. Cassava is a robust and practical plant that has existed for a very long time. After removing the cassava roots, people discovered that the leaves, which were typically thrown away, could be utilized to create a delectable delicacy. With time, people came to trade from locations like Arabia, India, and Portugal, bringing peanuts and coconut milk with them. These components were incorporated into Matapa, transforming it into a fusion of unique new flavors and regional African customs.

Preparation Time

2 hours



1 cup unsalted peanuts (roasted and ground)

1 cup coconut milk

2 cups fresh or frozen cassava leaves (chopped)

1 onion (chopped)

200g shrimp (peeled)


Hot chili pepper 


2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1-2 tablespoons red palm oil (0r vegetable oil)


  • Clean the fresh cassava leaves or use the frozen leaves.
  • Chop the leaves finely to make them easier to cook.
  • Roast the peanuts in a dry pan over medium heat until they are slightly browned. 
  • Allow the peanuts to cool down and then grind them into a fine powder using a food processor.
  • Heat the red palm oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
  • Add the garlic and hot chili pepper to the pot
  • Add the chopped cassava leaves to the pot.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and ground peanuts. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer until it becomes thick.
  • Add salt and serve!