In Bibi's kitchen The recipes & stories of grandmothers from the eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean

Hawa Hassan, 1982-

Book - 2020

"Grandmothers from eight eastern African countries welcome you into their kitchens to share flavorful recipes and stories of family, love, and tradition in this transporting cookbook-meets-travelogue"--

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 641.59676/Hassan Checked In
2nd Floor 641.59676/Hassan Checked In
California : Ten Speed Press 2020.
Main Author
Hawa Hassan, 1982- (author)
Other Authors
Julia Turshen (author), Khadija M. Farah (photographer), Jennifer May (illustrator), Araki Koman, 1987-
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
281 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), map ; 27 cm
  • Introduction
  • Pantry: ingredients and equipment
  • Eritrea
  • Somalia
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Mozambique
  • South Africa
  • Madagascar
  • Comoros.
  • Introduction
  • Pantry : ingredients and equipment.
  • Eritrea.
  • Kicha (Eritreaen flatbreads)
  • Kicha fit fit (torn flatbreads with spiced butter and yogurt)
  • Zebhi hamli (stewed spinach)
  • Shahan ful (mashed limas with onions, tomatoes, and chiles)
  • Firgir (stewed injera with meat, tomatoes, and onions)
  • Berbere spice mix
  • Shiro (ground chickpea stew)
  • Doro wat (stewed chicken legs with berbere and eggs)
  • Buna (Eritrean coffee).
  • Somalia.
  • Canjeero (sourdough pancakes)
  • Sabaayad (Somali flatbreads)
  • Xawaash spice mix
  • Somali cilantro and green chile pepper sauce
  • Bariis (basmati rice pilaf with raisins)
  • Spiced chicken and onion samosas
  • Digaag qumbe (chicken stew with yogurt and coconut)
  • Beef suqaar
  • Somali beef stew
  • Suugo suqaar (pasta sauce with beef)
  • Shaah cadays (Somali spiced tea with milk).
  • Kenya.
  • Kachumbari (tomato and onion salad)
  • Mango chile sauce
  • Mukimo (mashed green split peas, corn, and potatoes)
  • Sautéed cabbage
  • Mukimo with onions and greens
  • Sukuma wiki (greens with tomatoes)
  • Kunde (black-eyed peas and tomatoes in peanut sauce)
  • Chicken biryani
  • Basboosa (semolina cake)
  • Fresh carrot drink.
  • Tanzania.
  • Ajemi bread with carrots and green pepper
  • Quick stewed eggplant with coconut
  • Zanzibar pilau (rice pilaf)
  • Harees with chicken (stewed cracked wheat and chicken)
  • Matoke with steamed spinach (stewed plantains with pink beans, beef, and coconut milk)
  • Famous lasagna
  • Spiced fried fish
  • Date bread
  • Ndizi kaanga (fried plantains)
  • Kaimati (crispy coconut dumplings in cardamom syrup)
  • Fresh mango juice.
  • Mozambique.
  • Xima (smooth cornmeal porridge)
  • Mbowa (leafy greens in coconut sauce)
  • Tseke com peix frito (local spinach with curry sauce and crispy fried fish)
  • Coril de peix com coco (marinated fish in coconut sauce)
  • Plantains with coconut and prawns
  • Piri piri sauce
  • Prego rolls (steak and piri piri sandwiches)
  • Bolo polana (cashew and potato cake)
  • Rum with homemade berry soda.
  • South Africa.
  • Chakalaka (spicy vegetable relish)
  • Chakalaka and cheddar braaibroodjies (grilled sandwich)
  • Imifino (wild greens with corn porridge)
  • Denningvleis (sweet-and-sour braised lamb with tamarind)
  • Malva pudding cake
  • Iced rooibos tea with orange, cloves, and cinnamon.
  • Madagascar.
  • Mofo gasy (yeasted rice and coconut pancakes)
  • Lasary legioma (tomato relish)
  • Carrot salad with vinaigrette
  • Tsaramaso Malagasy (traditional Malagasy white beans)
  • Akoho misy Sakamalao (chicken thighs with garlic, ginger, and coconut oil)
  • Braised oxtails
  • Katilesy (beef and potato fritters)
  • Kadaka akondro (green plaintains with braised beef)
  • Mofo akondro (banana fritters)
  • Sliced papaya with vanilla cream
  • Ginger spritz.
  • Comoros.
  • Sweet pea soup with coconut and ginger
  • Ambrevades au curry (curried pigeon peas)
  • Roti ya ya houma pampa (salt cod with tomatoes and onions)
  • M'tsolola (fish, yuca, green plantains, and coconut milk stew)
  • Grilled lobster tails with vanilla sauce
  • Sweet vermicelli noodles with cardamom and butter
  • Roho (Comorian wedding sweet)
  • Watermelon juice with lime, ginger, and mint.
Review by Library Journal Review

With this unique title, Hassan (CEO of Basbaas Sauce) and chef Turshen (Now and Again) present recipes and stories from a diverse group of grandmothers (bibis) from eight eastern African countries: Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, and the islands of Madagascar and Comoros. Each of the bibis, some of whom have emigrated to the United States, shares recipes that represent the food of her home country as well as her own family legacy. Recipes are accompanied by photographs of each bibi in her kitchen or cooking space and a short interview exploring the significance of the dish. The dishes range from soups and vegetable sides to fish, meat, and cakes. Lesser-known ingredients are clearly described along with options for substitution. No special equipment is required other than a blender or food processor. VERDICT This rich collection deserves special attention for the way in which it allows each bibi to celebrate cooking and food. Home cooks will feel as though they are in the kitchen alongside friends as they explore the richness and diversity of African culinary traditions with this distinctive offering.--Kelsy Peterson, Forest Hill Coll., Melbourne, Australia

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A Bit About the Book These pages hold recipes and stories from the kitchens of bibis (grandmothers) from eight African countries that border the Indian Ocean. Their recipes and stories capture the cultural trade winds and flavors from all those who've passed through these countries over the centuries and from the many who remain. In many ways, this is an old-fashioned cookbook that has nothing to do with trends or newness. It's filled with recipes from grandmothers and their rich histories, which have been handed down through generations. It reflects on times that have passed. Yet in so many ways this is an incredibly modern book that has relied on a web of technology and social connections to come together (including, but not limited to, multiple iPhones, many WhatsApp group chats, dozens of Dropbox folders, and countless text messages). This is a book about connection, about multigenerational connection, cross-cultural connection, wireless connection (!), and, ultimately, human connection. "Food is . . . just like language. For me, stopping traditions would almost be like throwing my culture away," Ma Khanyisa, a grandmother from South Africa, told us. She said this from her home in Cape Town over Skype to Hawa, who was interviewing her and recording the interview before sending it over to Julia (more about us, Hawa and Julia, in a moment). Julia transcribed the interview and added it to the manuscript for the book you're holding, taking note of that line, feeling it to be the crux of this book. Later that week, Khadija M. Farah (more about her soon, too) photographed Ma Khanyisa at her home in South Africa, making corn porridge with a mixture of wild greens known as imifino (check out the recipe on page 211). Khadija also used her phone to film Ma Khanyisa cooking the dish, at times holding her phone in one hand and her camera in the other. She sent the videos to Julia, who wrote the recipe for imifino by watching the videos and then writing down each step that Ma Khanyisa had taken. (Julia has spent over a decade writing cookbooks and can eyeball a tablespoon from a mile away.) There was lots of rewinding to make sure no part of the process had been missed. Then Julia and Hawa tested the written recipes in their own homes to make sure the dishes would translate to Western kitchens. Variations of this process were repeated for all the grandmothers you're about to meet in these pages. Many live in the eight countries we cover, some left their homes in difficult times and now live in the United States, while Ma Sahra (see page 69) lives in the same place she was born, but because the border has since shifted, her birthplace, once part of Somalia, is now recognized as Kenya. This complicated content-gathering was at times confusing (and at times frustrating when files got stuck in the "cloud" somewhere between continents), but during the entire time, we were all driven to keep speaking this language of food and to make sure traditions and cultures were honored. In Bibi's Kitchen is not about what is new and next. It's about sustaining a cultural legacy and seeing how food and recipes keep cultures intact, whether those cultures stay in the same place or are displaced. By celebrating bibis and their cooking, we aim to use food as a way to honor the matriarchs of numerous families and countries. And this isn't just any old book with fun ideas of what to make for dinner (though you should make the recipes--they're great!). It's also a collection of stories about war, loss, migration, refuge, and sanctuary. It's a book about families and their connections to home. This book fills a deep and vast void in the contemporary cookbook market. There are barely any cookbooks published by American publishing houses that feature African food, let alone food from one of the many parts of that continent (disturbingly, Africa is often mistaken as a country, not a continent). On top of that, so many cookbooks are written and photographed by authors and photographers who are not from the places featured in cookbooks and who are unable to bring the richness and complexities of those cultures to the page. On top of that, few cookbooks, or any books, for that matter, champion women who have lived long enough to have grandchildren. We are so happy to tell the stories of these bibis. And the eight countries we focus on? Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar, and Comoros--they all touch the Indian Ocean, some just on an eastern edge, while others are completely surrounded by water (Madagascar and Comoros are islands just east of Mozambique). That they all have the Indian Ocean in common means that they're eight countries bound by trade, by veritable waves of commerce. Most notably, these eight countries define the backbone of the spice trade, many of them exporters of essential ingredients like pepper and vanilla. We can understand their economic histories, as it were, by learning about their recipes. As interest in "global flavors" continues to gain momentum, it's important to do the work of understanding the culture and people behind those flavors and what they've been through. It's important to understand how these foods have traveled and evolved from small regions across distant oceans to kitchens as far away as ours in New York. These eight countries also tell a range of stories, and in sharing the bibis' most favorite recipes, we also learn of the lasting effects of colonialism, even in countries that have maintained independence for decades. The late author Laurie Colwin once wrote, "If you want to know what real life used to be like, meaning domestic life, there isn't anywhere you can go that gives you a better idea than a cookbook." Examining a country's best-known dishes tells us about so much more than just its popular flavors. It tells you about that country's geography and climate, about farming and distribution, and about those who live there and what their day-to-day life might look and taste like. It also tells you a lot about who holds power and influence. Excerpted from In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean [a Cookbook] by Hawa Hassan, Julia Turshen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.