Natural ingredients with no artificial preservatives, Mambá (Dominican peanut butter) is a savory, sometimes spicy spread that you'll love.
If you're used to the sweet peanut butter typically found on supermarket shelves, you're in for a surprise if you try ours. A pleasant surprise.
This is not like the supermarket peanut butter, as the title of this post suggests. This is a savory, spicy version. How spicy depends on each person's taste. I call it "peanut butter for grownups".
Mambá is not the name of a snake (notice the tilde/emphasis on the second syllable). The word is almost certainly of African origin; however, I am uncertain of the origins of the dish itself. The word for peanut in Congolese is muamba, with nearly the same pronunciation as the Spanish/Dominican word. As mambá is traditionally served spread on casabe it suggests that perhaps mambá is also a very old tradition. Since the word can be neatly traced back to African slaves of Congolese origin, the dish or something similar may have arrived with them.
Thanks to John, one of our readers, for pointing us in the right direction.
Mambá is also popular in Haiti where it is produced commercially, as a cottage product, and as a home dish. In the Dominican Republic though, it's either a homemade concoction or a cottage industry product. I have never seen it available commercially.
About this recipe
I have to say that I'm partial to our peanut butter - not only is it very flavorful, it's probably also healthier than the industrial version. And it's a staple of our frugal living strategy. It contains very few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen, or can get at short notice.
Mambá is always a savory spread, never sweet, and some people like it spicy - this is also my preference. Others prefer to forego the spicy peppers. It is usually served with casabe (cassava bread), but if you don't have any at hand, rustic bread or toasted pita is a good way to serve it.
[Recipe + Video] Mambá (Spicy and Savory Peanut Butter)
- 1 cup unsalted toasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 spicy pepper, (I suggest scotch bonnet)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Blending: Combine all the ingredients in the processor vase (only ¼ of the hot bell pepper). Grind until you get a smooth paste.Taste and add more pepper until you find the point you like (not all hot peppers are the same, for this one I used a whole habanero because we like very spicy food).
- Serving and storing: When you find the flavor you like, pour into a lidded jar and keep refrigerated. Consume within a week of preparation.