All posts filed under: Djibouti

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Monday Meal Review: Djibouti

I ladled the thick batter into the pan and pushed it around. Sizzle-sounds swizzled through the air. A few moments later air bubbles sluggishly began to push their way through the batter. Pop. Pop…. pop. Mr Picky walked over and sniffed the batter. “What is this stuff? It smells weird.” “Laxoox, from Djibouti, but I’m not sure how to pronounce it. It’s got yeast in it. Like, for bread.” “Oh,” he said, perking up at the word bread. We leaned against the counter and watched as the bubbles slowly dried out. Tick, tick, tick. I shifted my weight around a bit. This was a lot like watching paint dry, but without the noxious fumes and I was a lot hungrier. Eventually the glossy sheen was replaced by a soft, dull surface. Perfect, I said, scooping the finished flatbread up and taking a giant bite. Mr. Picky’s eyes got huge. “You’ll burn your …” “Tongue..?” I interrupted, “Nah. Want a bite?” He looked at the pocked surface carefully. “Is it good?” “Yeah, dip it in honey.”I said, as I swooped it …

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Skoudehkaris

Serves 4 Suffering from 1 digit weather? Ice, snow, and rain? What about sleet? Let’s warm things up with Skoudehkaris. Known as the national dish of Djibouti, this heavy stew is a spicy, comforting treat. The bonus? It’ll make your house smell amazing. Ingredients: 1 lb lamb, cubed 1 onion, chopped 1-2 Tbsp ghee or vegetable oil 1 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp cloves 1 tsp cardamom 1/4 tsp cayenne (or to taste) 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes 1 cup water, plus extra as needed 1/2 cup long-grain rice salt & pepper Method: Put on your beret – today you are going to be an artist, painting flavor with spices.  (Trust me, the beret is totally appropriate: Djibouti has been heavily influenced by France – it was French ruled until 1977) So.. like I said, get out your beret. Here is your palette… the warm colors of cumin, cloves, cardamom, cayenne, and cinnamon. Heat it up in a large pot or skillet with lid with ghee (or oil) and onions. Cook until soft …

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Laxoox

Serves 4 Have ten minutes? Mix up a batch of Laxoox for breakfast tomorrow. This yeasty, tiny-bit-tangy flatbread is a lot like Injera. The people of Djibouti enjoy Laxoox for breakfast with butter and honey. In the evenings they use it to dip and scoop and enjoy all manner of stews and sauces. Sounds great to me. Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup wheat flour 1/4 cup millet flour (aacceptable substitutes include rice flour or sorghum flour) 1 1/2 tsp yeast 1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar 2 1/2 cups water Method: Let’s go to Djibouti. First step? Add flour to a large bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast… A pretty dusting of sugar… .. and a happy scoop of salt.. If you squint a little, it almost looks like the arid mountains and sandy-scapes of Djibouti … yay! Now, here’s where things get crazy. Splash on some water. Give everything a good whisk. Cover and … a) refrigerate overnight b) let sit on the counter for a few hours It is ready when it looks …

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A Little Perspective from Djibouti (with poll)

I don’t know about you, but I cook standing up. I never gave it any thought until today. It’s just what I do in my daily cooking routine. To add some pizzaz to my routine I even bought an apron. It has a sage green floral print and makes me look very tidy. Until you look down and see that I’m wearing fuzzy slippers (shh, don’t tell Fly Lady). So, what does this have to do with Djbouti? Just the other day, American blogger “Djibouti Jones” had a friend over for dinner. A Djiboutian friend. That friend asked her lots of questions. It was her last question that floored me. She asked “Why do you cook standing up?” Think about that for a minute. Soak it in. Ask yourself that very question. Why do I cook standing up? What cultural assumptions am I a part of… without even realizing it! Amazing. Turns out, in Djibouti, many people cook squatting or sitting around a fire. Different technique… different “normal” but, guess what? Dinner still comes out grand. …

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Dyed Rice | Rainbow Rice Palau

Serves 6-8 I could confetti dozens (hundreds!) of newlyweds with all the rice we’ve made for our Adventures around the world. While they’ve all been incredible, I’m here to tell you that Rainbow Rice takes the cake for beauty, novelty, and fun factor. Want your own festival on a plate? Here are 5 important tips to making perfect Rainbow Rice: Only use one or two colors to dye the rice. Any more becomes a bit… chaotic. Make a theme out of it – pink for a baby shower, red and green for Christmas, orange and red for Thanksgiving, etc. Only dye a little bit of rice (maybe 1/4 cup of cooked rice per color) so that the dominant color is white. Use a lot of dye for a more dramatic effect. To avoid color bleeding: let the dyed rice air out and finish steaming before mixing with the other rice. It helps to dye the rice from the top of the pot, which is naturally drier than the rice at the bottom of the pot. …

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Menu: Djibouti

Food coloring fun,  one-sided “pancakes,” and one pot wonders… we’ve made it to Djibouti. This east African country really has a way with flavors – rich, bold, and warmly spiced – yet so simple to put together. I mean, what cook wouldn’t love a whole grain “pancake” that you don’t have to flip? I’m officially in love.  Even Mr. Picky wasn’t so picky this week. And that’s a good thing. Rainbow Rice Palau (Dyed Rice) [Recipe] Brighten up the dinner table with the vivid colors of Rainbow Rice. One bite fills your mouth with warm cinnamon, cumin, cardamom and more. Traditionally served for special holidays – try any combination of colors to coordinate with your special day. Djiboutian Lamb & Rice (Skoudehkaris) [Recipe] A one pot dish of lamb stewed with tomatoes, onion, rice, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and a teeny pinch of cloves. Yeast-Risen Flatbread (Laxoox) [Recipe] This yeast-risen flatbread/pancake can be eaten with sweet or savory food. It is browned on one side only – try it topped with lamb stew or dipped …

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About the Food of Djibouti

Djibouti: if you’re pronouncing the name of this African country right, English-speaking people will raise their eyebrows. Try it out – “dja booty.” The word has had endless inappropriate puns associated with it. But let’s move past the unusual name… to the unusual food situation. According to doctor’s without borders, less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the small, arid landscape can be farmed. As a result, most food is imported and expensive. I’ve read accounts of eggs costing seven dollars a dozen. Seven dollars! Meals are a blend of Middle Eastern, Somali, French, and other regional influences. Imagine slaughtering your own meat. Would you have the stomach for it? In Djibouti, the practice is fairly common – meat is purchased “living” and then, when feast day arrives, the animal is slaughtered and prepared. Lamb is particularly popular and is served in association with special holidays such as the Islamic one, Eid al-Adha. The national dish, called Skoudekharis, is a one pot dish of rice and includes generous portions of lamb [Recipe]. I found an incredible blog by the mom …

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