All posts filed under: Sudan (South)

Monday Meal Review: South Sudan

What is a celebrity? One definition is someone who commands “public fascination.” Could this be the profile of one such person? This week we shared our meal with a very special guest; someone who has actually traveled to South Sudan, slept in their huts, hunted in their forests, and enjoyed feasts while sitting at the right hand of the village Chief.  I’d tell you when all this happened, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy. I’ve wanted to invite this man to our table for a long time, partly because he is so passionate about the cultures of the world, but also because anywhere he goes, he comes back with stories. Enough to fill a 450 page book, actually. Say ‘hello’ to Brian Schwartz. You might recognize him from his lengthy, insightful comments… He’s been sharing them from the very beginning of this blog. Without him, my adventures into Africa and parts of Asia would have been much quieter, but his memories (and music!) have livened up our stovetop travels … making me (and I’m sure …

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Peanut Stew with Beef & Spinach | Combo

Combo. It’s one of South Sudan’s most popular dishes – a thick, wet combination of spinach, peanut butter, tomatoes, and (sometimes) meat. Peanut butter is a common meal component throughout Africa (like Ghana’s Groundnut Soup, Sierra Leone’s Gluten-free Peanut Bites, Senegal’s Cinq Centimes Cookies, and Malawi’s Peanut Balls), but Combo stands out as one of the more rustic dishes I’ve come across. Even still, South Sudanese no longer living in South Sudan make Combo to bring themselves back. That’s how they taste home again. Combo first came to my attention thanks to Brian Schwartz who kindly phoned the South Sudanese embassy to ask about popular dishes. Thanks Brian! You can have it with or without beef (or perhaps goat is more to your fancy?). I’ve even seen it with sweet potatoes in the mix. No matter what you do, just be sure to include the essentials: spinach and peanut butter. Adapted from the South Sudanese Cookbook. Ingredients: 1 1/4 lb beef, cubed vegetable oil 2 onions, chopped 4 garlic cloves, crushed 3 cups beef stock …

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South Sudanese Tomato Salad

The South Sudanese love a good, chopped tomato salad on the side of their meals. Often, it’s no more than tomato, onion, and hot, green chili peppers… perhaps a spot of parsley… But other times, a bit of peanut butter and lime juice makes for a grand dressing… and tastes just like home, if you happen to be from South Sudan. When I was deciding which of the two recipes to try, the choice was clear: if peanut butter is involved, the answer is yes. Most definitely, yes. You can make this vegan recipe as spicy as you’d like by adding more (or less) chili peppers. I thought two Thai birds made a nice, mild/medium heat (bordering on hot if someone bit directly into a piece of pepper). For little ones, you can always leave the chili peppers out. In the end, the lime juice makes the salad tangy and bright, while the peanuts give it that African flair. I call a recipe like this, all kinds of wonderful. And so does Ava. Inspired by this …

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Sudanese Kisra | Sorghum Crepes

I never thought I’d need a cow’s brain and a credit card for this lil’ ol’ Global Table Adventure of ours. The thing is, if I were to make Kisra in the most authentic way – the South Sudanese way –  that’s exactly what I’d need. Locals would use the cow’s brain,  which is naturally quite fatty, to grease the pan. I got the tip on good authority; from this amazing South Sudanese food post on Green Shakes in Sudan. There you’ll find photos of local women rubbing brain renderings on their flat griddle-like pan. According to The World Cookbook for Students, unroasted sesame oil works fine as well… and gives the wholesome crepe a clean sort of flavor and makes them entirely vegan. I know what I chose…. what would you choose? Now, let’s talk credit cards. I read several passages that indicate locals spread out the kisra batter with credit cards. I had a small plastic scraper that worked just fine… but the credit card would definitely add a touch of excitement (will it or …

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Menu: South Sudan

“A man without money goes fast through the market.” South Sudanese Proverb This week we’re digging into a menu that shows off South Sudan’s love of peanuts, sorghum, and spinach. These three staples can be found in many forms throughout the tropical country, although we’ve used them in traditional recipes that will be accessible to most home cooks. And while we’re talking about spinach, can we talk about spring for a second? What on earth is happening? No, really. Tulsa is all kinds of crazy. I keep heading outside to plant my tomatoes and Mother Nature’s like “Just kidding. It’s still winter.”* At this rate, the farmer’s market will be my only hope for awesome produce. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Sudanese Tomato Salad [Recipe] Fresh tomatoes, green onion, and parsley, tossed with a spicy peanut lime dressing. Vegan. Peanut Stew with Beef & Spinach | Combo [Recipe] A hearty mixture of browned beef, spinach, and peanut sauce. This one will comfort even the bristliest of folk, on the …

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South Sudanese children. Photo by Photo Credit: Karl Grobl, Education Development Center Inc.

About the Food of South Sudan

It is a rare thing to bite into a new country; so often we think of our geopolitical landscape as static. But countries are no more static than the mountains which shift and crack, and spew forth anew from the earth’s molten core. There are surges and separations, and somehow, from the same old earth, something new emerges. Which brings me to this week. South Sudan. The world’s newest country (as of July 9, 2011). She’s hot, tropical, and bursting with jungle and swampland. She’s been there all along, of course, but now she has both boundaries and acknowledgement. Villagers sink into her heat with abandon, removed from the flicker of tourists, pressed together in the common interest of survival. The food is simple, based on porridge made from millet (“wala-wala” or “awal-wala”), although more densely populated areas will also offer cassava fritters and sorghum flatbread (kisra) [Recipe]. Meat like goat, beef or chicken, might be grilled and served along with these starches, or it might be cooked down in a peanut and spinach leaf …

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