All posts filed under: Somalia

018-somali-proverb

Monday Meal Review: Somalia

Keith falls asleep quicker than I can slip under the comforter and lay my head on the pillow. Most nights, I find myself staring out the window – watching the moon arc across the sky – while Keith snores next to me. I don’t know how he does it. My mind rarely clicks off… each night my head hosts a cluttered, clamoring PARTY of thoughts. Just as with the most ruckus of house guests, I’m lucky if I can control one out of ten of these thoughts. There’s no peace in my mind. There is just swirling, swirling, swirling. Worry, insecurity, negativity, hope, joy… it’s all bundled up in their, tied up and tangled in the confetti of my life. And yet, the Somali people say: This beautiful proverb made me question what I am doing at night to keep myself from this kind of soul-satisfying slumber. I asked myself: What is my personal roadblock to attaining inner peace? I sat with this question for a long time. I thought about it while dicing vegetables for the …

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Coconut Curried Corn | Galey iyo Qumbo

When I was a little girl, I’d sit on the back porch and shuck long ears of corn, the silk wrapping around my fingers, clinging to my dress, and falling onto my shoes. Similar scenes can be found throughout southern Somalia, where men, women, and children pull together to harvest their corn. To shuck the corn. And, eventually, to grind it in wide, stone bowls, to make porridge. If the kernels don’t get ground, the whole cobs might be dressed up in curried coconut milk in a dish called Galey iyo Qumbo. It seemed to me, with the edge of winter still upon us, that whole corn, richly coated in spiced coconut milk, would be just the trick to get our family out of our vegetable slump. There’s just not that much that looks good at the market – the brussel sprouts are on their way out and the artichokes don’t quite look right. Not yet. So corn. With coconut milk. From Somalia. In this recipe, ears of corn simmer in a bubbling mixture of salted coconut …

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Beef Suqaar

Sometimes we need a meal that can fill every corner of our heart, one that can bump out those rough and tumble emotions that bog us down… the ones that keep us from being happy. Carefree. Enter Suqaar, from Somalia. Suqaar (pronounced sooh-car) is one of Somalia’s most beloved dishes and can be made with any meat, from lamb, to chicken, to beef. Generally the meat is cut into very small pieces, about 1/2″ cube or smaller. The meal is then rounded out with an assortment of veggies – usually carrots, bell pepper, onion, and -sometimes – potato. There are no complex spices. There are no convoluted cooking techniques. Just good food, hot and happy. While some like to add cumin, most recipes omit any spice but salt. The flavors are simple and reflect the Italian influence on Somali food (hello, garlic and onion!). The meat and vegetable juices reduce to form a luscious gravy … and a delicate, controlled flurry of cilantro adds the finishing touch. Suqaar can be scooped up with flatbreads, but it …

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Menu: Somalia

Somalia quite the melting pot, and this week’s menu shows it. The food is peppered with a little bit of Italy (hello, tomato sauce & garlic!), a lot of east Africa (howdy, stewed meat with veggies!) and a smidgen of India (hey there, yellow, yellow turmeric!). I made this menu while Ava was home from school, so I purposefully chose recipes that were easy to make. That way I’d have more time to wiggle and spin my way through a toddler dance party. Priorities. Even with such simplicity, I think you’ll be pleasantly be surprised by these recipes. They’re just unusual enough for a dinner party, but easy enough for a week night. My kind of food. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Beef Suqaar [Recipe] If there was ever any comfort to be found in slowly simmered meat, this is it. A cozy combination of beef, carrots, peppers, onions, and potatoes. The flavor comes from the very Italian addition of garlic and onion. If you want to spice things up, a …

Boats on the beach in Merca, Somalia. -tahir turk

About the food of Somalia

On the easternmost edge of Africa, next to the Indian Ocean, lies Somalia. This long, lean country is shaped rather fortuitously like the lucky number 7. Or a boomerang. The arid land is a haven for wanderers –  rugged nomads who trace trails through the shifting sands and savannas until they can find a suitable spot to set up home for yet another night. Date-dotted mountains line the northern reaches of Somalia, while the south is known for farming treats like corn, sugar cane, sorghum, citrus, and bananas. Thanks to her lengthy coastline, fishing is a major source of food and income. The food reminds me both of our Ethiopian Global Table and our Djiboutian Global Table (her immediate neighbors), where spongy flat breads like lahooh start the day off right, perhaps with a drizzle of honey, or a soaking of tea, or even some egg and cheese… (see the Djiboutian recipe called laxoox).  Other breads include chapati [recipe]  and muufo (a bread baked in a clay oven). The chapati is a mainstay from the days Somalia was the center of trade between countries to the …