All posts filed under: Sudan (North)

Monday Meal Review: North Sudan

If you could taste life, it would be salt of the earth, spice of the heavens. It would leave you thirsty, and yet it would quench you. When I see people sweat through complicated recipes to impress each other, rather that for fun, I wonder if they taste life… if they really drink it in. Because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen her. That girl who’s crying before a dinner party because she’s taken on a recipe that’s much too complicated. Or because she’s just splattered oil on her favorite blouse. Or she answers the door with flour on her face and doesn’t realize it until a glass of wine and two hours later. While her friends fill the walls of her home with effervescent laughter, her insides are writhe with stress, fear, insecurity. She’s wondering if everyone’s doing okay, without taking a moment to breathe for herself. To live. To take it all in. To taste life. I know, because I’ve been that girl. I recently read a cookbook review that claimed the author wasn’t sharing true “recipes” …

Read More

Sudanese Flatbread | Gorraasa

Gorraasa is a soft, doughy bread enjoyed in the Sudan that tastes like a really thick tortilla. The texture is a bit more spongy, however, and when I pulled mine into pieces, I was delighted to find the slight elasticity at once addicting and good for picking up food. Which is exactly how the Sudanese use Gorraasa. They place a round of Gorraasa under stewed meats or other entrees, then tear off bits of the bread to pick up the food instead of using utensils. It can also be enjoyed on its own… as Ava demonstrates here: I first learned about Gorraasa from Mark Tanner who spent quite a bit of time traveling through Sudan, though I found his recipe needed adjusting to work in my kitchen. Namely, more baking powder was needed to obtain the open holes (and if the batter happened to be too wet, the holes would pop before they set). Also, I found that, though he suggested flipping the Gorraasa while cooking, when I did so, the results no longer matched the photo …

Read More

Cucumber Yogurt Salad | Salatet Zabady bil ajur

A cucumber salad is a thing of beauty. It cools, it refreshes, and it provides important nutrition thanks to a happy scoop of yogurt and tons of fiber from the cucumber (not to mention garlic’s anti-vampire qualities). While cucumber salads span the globe in one form or another, this version is popular through the Middle East, western Asia, and even parts of Europe (with minor variations). In Sudan, this salad can be enjoyed on it’s own, as a dip* or on the side of spiced meats, like grilled kofta [recipe]. All you need is a love for yogurt and garlic, and you’ll be on your way. Serves 4 Ingredients: 2 cucumbers, peeled & cubed 1 1/2 cups yogurt 2 cloves garlic, crushed salt & pepper Method: Mix cucumbers, yogurt, garlic, and seasonings. Plenty of salt and pepper really make this salad shine. *In Sudan cucumber salads are traditionally served as a dip with lettuce leaves and even sliced vegetables (like peppers). If you go this route, consider dicing the cucumber smaller, to make it easier …

Read More

Sudanese Cinnamon Tea

Under the pulsing noonday sun, Tea Ladies line the streets of Sudan. They soak up what little shade they can find. Water simmers over charcoal stoves. They swirl a mishmash of ingredients through the steam, into the pot. You can pick your combination. Will it be mint? Or what about ginger? The most popular option for many patrons is cinnamon tea, a blend of black tea steeped with cinnamon sticks. Many patrons like to hold a sugar cube between the teeth while drinking to sweeten the brew. When business is good, men sit and talk at the edge of their Tea Lady’s makeshift stall. They sip her healing brews on metal chairs, a wooden box, or on their haunches. They don’t rush. They soak in the warmth. The might nibble some Zalabya, a.k.a. sugar dumplings, to go with it. Others rush by and drink on the run. When their too busy at home to make tea, this is their version of Starbucks or perhaps Dunkin Donuts. Makes 3 cups Ingredients: 3 cinnamon sticks 3 cups …

Read More

Menu: North Sudan

“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fatted ox where there is hatred.” Sudanese Proverb I’m taking this proverb to heart. This week happens to be a simple week. We’re breathing easy with vegetables, grain, and tea. We’re making room for love in a busy, busy time.  The end result? This is a quick menu, something that can be made on a weeknight… without stress or strain. Thankfully, North Sudan accommodated us easily (and I felt guilt-free about going so simple since we’ve made so many of her other favorite recipes during other Global Tables (for a list of them see our post from yesterday… you can click through to the recipes and try them whenever you like). All recipes and the meal review will be available throughout the week. Cucumber Salad | Salatet Zabady bil Ajur [Recipe] An easy, refreshing blend of cucumber, yogurt, and crushed garlic. Goraasa [Recipe] Soft, doughy flatbread leaved with baking powder.  (vegan) Cinnamon Tea [Recipe] Find out why the Tea Ladies of Sudan call this their best-seller. P.S. I’m curious.. Do …

Read More
Market in Darfur courtesy of COSV.

About the food of North Sudan

If you wander through the deserts and hot winds of Sudan, you’ll be rewarded with a collection of richly spiced and lemon-laced foods, and even cooling cucumber and yogurt salads [Recipe]. You’ll recognize many dishes traditionally enjoyed by the Sudanese from our previous Global Table meals, such as ful medames (also enjoyed in Egypt), kofta, and basboosa (beloved throughout the Middle East). That basboosa cake? It’s soaked with lemon and rosewater syrup. I could eat that every day for the rest of my life and be a very happy woman. Like Ethiopia, flatbreads are incredibly popular in Sudan. Diners enjoy their meals with a wide range, including injera, sorghum crepes (kisra), and Gorraasa (simple flour and water flatbreads) [Recipe]. When you’re done eating, you might trouble one of the Tea Women for a spot of cinnamon tea [Recipe]. They sell it right on the side of the road… so don’t hesitate! Just be sure to keep an eye out for an impending haboob… otherwise known as a sandstorm of such intensity that it can blot out the sun. Phew. …

Read More