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Chicken Wings With Tomatoes (Mbawa Ya Tomati)

Chicken Wings With Tomatoes (Mbawa Ya Tomati) 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Aug 26, 2019

These wings are a street-food staple on the islands of Comoros and Mayotte and come together with basic pantry ingredients you most likely have on hand. They’re mostly hands-off and need just a little time for the sauce to thicken and the flavors to develop. Once done, the final dish is saucy and smoky. They’re great as a starter or a main course.

Storage Notes: The wings will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or another neutral oil, or more if needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton, mild or hot)
  • 2 pounds chicken wings
  • One (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 scallion, sliced diagonally, to garnish
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving (optional)


In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, salt and pepper until combined.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and paprika and cook, stirring, until the onion has softened and turns reddish in color, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken wings and the salt-spice mixture, stir to combine, and cook the wings, flipping them midway, until browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add more oil, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Add the tomatoes, water, tomato paste and sugar and stir to thoroughly combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced to coat the wings, about 45 minutes.

Garnish with the scallions and serve as is or with rice.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from: "The Island Kitchen: Recipes from Mauritius and the Indian Ocean" by Selina Periampillai (Bloomsbury, 2019).

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 305

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 10g 15%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 86mg 29%

Sodium: 340mg 14%

Total Carbohydrates: 8g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: n/a

Protein: 34g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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