Recipe: South Sudanese Tomato Salad

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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, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cucumber Yogurt Salad | Salatet Zabady bil ajur

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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 … [Read more...]

Recipe: White Dal Curry

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My friend Ruby grew up in Sri Lanka and spent the better part of her 40th birthday making sure I learned everything there is to know about the food. Here she is drinking Ceylon Tea, grown in ... you guessed it... Sri Lanka! Ruby isn't keen on cooking (or so she claims), so she supervised while her dear friend Iona showed me the ropes. Iona blew me away by whipping up not one, not two, but three curries. I fell in love each steaming, fragrant batch. There was everything from beef to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Weeknight Paella

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Making Paella is quite the trick. Making authentic paella is even harder. My mission this week was to make a simple, yet flavorful paella for our Spanish Global Table. Something easy enough for a Monday, but special enough for a Friday. One that would be rather... well... business in front, party in the back. Or maybe not. Friends, I did my research. In fact, I spent a lot of time reading mediocre online reviews of what should have been amazing paella recipes. These … [Read more...]

Recipe: South Africa’s Bobotie

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Are you ready for a big bite of everything, ever? South Africa's Bobotie (ba-boor-tea) reminds me of when I was a little girl, playing in the kitchen next to mom. I'd dump every possible ingredient into my little inventions, hoping they'd come out amazing. While chopped apples and pickles didn't pan out when I was a kid, bobotie most decidedly does. But don't worry - there's no apple or pickle in it. So what is in it? Some people call Bobotie South African Moussaka, but I'm … [Read more...]

Recipe: Coconut Curried Corn | Galey iyo Qumbo

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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 … [Read more...]

Recipe: Beef Suqaar

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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 … [Read more...]

Recipe: Green PawPaw Curry

Looking towards the Great Reef from Fenualoa, Reef Islands, Solomon Islands. Active volcano Tinakula across the waters. Photo by Pohopetch.

It's just as important to be frugal in times of plenty as it is in times of hardship. As my mom likes to say "Waste not, want not." In the Solomon Islands, when Papaya trees hang heavy with more fruit than locals know what to do with, they don't let it rot and fall to the ground. They don't let the monsoons sweep the fruit away, either. Oh, no. Instead, they make use of the papaya at every stage of growth... ripe or unripe... which is how PawPaw Curry makes its way onto the dinner … [Read more...]