Domoda is the Gambian version of a dish that you will find throughout Africa south of the Sahara. It’s a stew with a peanut sauce and is made with vegetables and usually either meat or fish, but here in Brufut, they make domoda with sole. In Holland we can easily make the same dish using peanut butter. Sole is a funny fish. Take a close look and you’ll see it’s a bit odd. Sole is a flatfish, like turbot and plaice, and lives on the seabed, hidden under a thin layer of sand, ready to pounce on its prey. Flatfish were ordinary-looking fish that somewhere in the distant evolutionary past learned to swim on their side (lying as flat as possible on the seabed). In the process one eye slid over to join the eye on the other side to become the top of the sole. The two eyes protrude above the sand side by side and alert to prey, while the sole’s mouth and stomach did not move positions and remain on what is now the underside, giving the fish its peculiar appearance.
- Yield: 5 Servings
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 Madame Jeannette chillies (chiles) or another very hot chilli (chile)
- such as habanero or Scotch bonnet, halved lengthwise, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 tsp tomato purée (paste)
- 1 x 400-g/14½-oz can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 100 g/4 oz/½ cup peanut butter
- 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup chicken stock
- 250 g/9 oz squash, peeled and deseeded weight, roughly chopped
- 4 x 300–400-g/10–14-oz soles, or 8 smaller soles, heads and skin removed
- groundnut (peanut) oil for frying
- To make the domoda sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil in a large pan and sauté the onion until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and chillies (chiles) and fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomato purée (paste) and stir continuously over the heat for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the peanut butter, stir well and then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and lower the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- Add the squash and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the pieces are very tender when pierced with a skewer. Season to taste with salt and leave over a low heat. If the consistency of the domoda is too thick, stir in some water or extra stock.
- Pat the soles dry with kitchen paper (paper towels) and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 cm/¾ inch of groundnut (peanut) oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat and fry the fish on each side for 4–5 minutes until golden brown.
- Drain the soles from the pan and serve with the domoda sauce.