Swahili Style Halibut with Peanut Sauce

There is a strong Swahili influence in this recipe because by the Indian Ocean (especially in Kenya) you will find ingredients such as ginger, garlic, onion, tomatoes, peppers and fish. The original recipe is from a chef called Minah Jeffah and features in a recipe book I bought during my many travels through Mombasa. I added the peanut sauce since it goes very well with the fish. It is often used in Swahili cuisine and elsewhere in African cuisine. You can use any fish you like such as haddock, cod, halibut and even salmon. I sliced the vegetables but the original recipe had a vegetable mixture (vegetables blended in a food processor). You don't have to worry too much about the fat content of the peanut sauce because the fish itself is very low in fat. This recipe (with the peanut sauce) is packed with protein and vitamins, antioxidants as well as healthy fats from the peanuts and the fish (especially if you use salmon). If you are allergic to peanuts you can use another sauce or omit it altogether.

You will need a food processor or a blender to make the peanut sauce smooth (you can also use a hand blender).

A lovely African recipe, packed with vitamin C, fibre, antioxidants and protein

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free

Swahili Style Halibut with Peanut Sauce

Serves 2-3


For the Peanut Sauce

  • 750 millilitres (25¾ fluid oz) water
  • 200 grams (7 oz) organic peanut butter
  • 1 tomato, chopped coarsely
  • 1 onion, chopped coarsely
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (black)
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • Pinch of salt (Himalaya or sea salt)

For the fish

  • 500 grams (17½ oz) halibut or any other white fish such as haddock or cod (it's best to buy the fish already scaled and trimmed of bones)
  • Small piece fresh ginger (similar to a small grape in size)
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 pepper (green or red), sliced thinly
  • 1 mango (not too soft/ripe), sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (black)
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil


  1. First prepare the peanut sauce
  2. Chop the tomato coarsely.
  3. Peel the onion and chop coarsely.
  4. Place the tomato and onion in a small saucepan along with 500 millilitres (17 fluid oz) of the water and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add 200 grams peanut butter and cook for 5 minutes. Do not boil.
  6. Transfer to a food processor and blend for 1 minute for a smooth sauce, blend for 30 seconds for a coarser texture.
  7. Add as much water as you like. For a thicker sauce do not add any more water. For a thinner sauce add up to 250 millilitres (8¾ fluid oz) water (or more if you prefer).
  8. Add ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ paprika and a pinch of salt. Keep the sauce warm without boiling while you prepare the fish. Stir frequently.
  9. Peel the small piece of ginger (the skin is very thin, you can scrape it off with a teaspoon or a small knife) and chop finely. Peel the 4 garlic cloves and crush with a garlic press or chop very finely.
  10. Peel the onion and slice into thin slices.
  11. Slice the tomato and pepper into thin slices.
  12. Next, prepare the mango. Turn the mango up on the skinny side. The stone is a flat oval, so you will find your mangoes are narrower one way than the other in alignment with the stone. Cut off the "cheeks" of the mango, each side, as close to the stone as possible. If you hit the stone, just swerve around it a little. Now peel the skin off with a small knife. Slice into thin slices. Repeat with the other cheek. Next peel the skin off the centre piece with the stone. Peel it all the way around and leave no skin on the edge. Carve off any extra fruit off the stone with a small knife.
  13. Cut the fish into large pieces and place in a large oven proof baking dish.
  14. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon tamari sauce, ½ teaspoon coconut oil, ginger and garlic. Pour the mixture over the fish and distribute evenly. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  15. Place the slices of onion, pepper and tomato on top of the fish. Finish off with the mango slices.
  16. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper or according to taste.
  17. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius/400 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 6, for 15-20 minutes.
  18. Serve with the peanut sauce, a salad, brown rice and nice bread.


  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes. 
  • You can use soy sauce instead of tamari sauce (note: containes wheat).