Eats & Drinks, Somaliland
Comments 11

what’s to eat #41

Somali loxoox lahoh laxoox fresh

Somali loxoox is a staple breakfast food from North to South, including in our home in Hargeisa. Pronounced a bit like lo-HOH, with a raspy, heavily aspirated that comes from the back of the throat, it’s also spelled with hs or xs or as, depending

cast iron pan

If you’ve had Ethiopian injera bread, this is similar – made with a mix of flours, beaten before resting, and fermented overnight or for a few days. But loxoox is more delicate than injera, in flavor and texture. Fathiya makes it with a combination of white and sorghum flours, along with water, yeast and a few other ingredients.

sorghum grain flour Somaliland Ethiopia cereal

Since loxoox makes an appearance in our kitchen nearly every morning, most nights we hear Fathiya pounding the batter (it’s an intense process!), grabbing wet handfuls and hurling it back into its container, making a loud slapping noise with each throw.

Usually cooked on a cast iron skillet with a thin veneer of vegetable oil rubbed across it using a folded piece of loxoox, the batter is drizzled onto the center of the pan and then pushed outwards in a circular motion with a spoon, spatula, or the bottom of a cup, creating a beautiful swirl.

Somali laxoox lahoh loxoox batter dough pan cook breakfast

Somali laxoox lahoh loxoox batter dough pan cook breakfast

Once the top starts to bubble and coagulate a bit, the edges are gently lifted with a spatula or knife. When the bottom has browned and separated from the pan, the loxoox is gently removed and placed atop a steaming heap of comrades.

Somali laxoox lahoh loxoox batter dough pan cook breakfast

Somali laxoox lahoh loxoox batter dough pan cook breakfast

Somali laxoox lahoh loxoox batter dough pan cook breakfast

I prefer loxoox fresh off the pan with a crispy bottom; otherwise it softens quickly among friends. Whisper thin and full of tiny holes, the morning sun shines through.

Somali loxoox lahoh laxoox fresh

Like most cross-cultural foods, there are a zillion and one recipes for loxoox, from Somalia and Somaliland to Djibouti, Yemen, and even as far as Israel. Locally, loxoox is eaten for breakfast with Somali tea, or honey and goat ghee, or olive oil. Oftentimes, Somali breakfasters plop a small stack of loxoox on a plate and pour tea right on top of it. The soft bread soaks in the flavor and turns a bit mushy, if you ask me, but it’s definitely a comfort food. For lunch, you might find a slightly sturdier version served with lentil or goat stew.

breakfast eggs eggshells parsley scramble tomato cook whisk

Around here, we keep it to breakfast, tearing off pieces and dipping them in a mixture of olive oil and honey, a combination borrowed from a dear Tunisian friend. Served with a plate of scrambled eggs, and washed down with covfefe coffee.

IMG_20170822_074141

Do you eat loxoox / lahoh / etc.? How do you take it?

Happy Breakfasting, and have a good week!

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11 Comments

  1. Dorra says

    This looks yummy… Your friend thinks she recognizes a Tunisian pottery =) I am glad you enjoy the olive oil and honey mix if. I am not sure if you tasted the small sorghum pastry when you visited It is called “GHRAIBA DE SORGHO “DROO”- غريبة درع“ it would combine well with this =)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I leave in West London in an area of former social housing and a fair few of my neighbours are Somalis. Now I know what’s the thing I see the ladies downstairs taking to the park picnics so often! I’ll try one day to say it so I can see the whole neighbourhood laughing his collective arse off at my pronunciation.

    Fabrizio

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: what’s to eat #44 | outerNotes

    • Totally agreed. I also like them fresh off the pan while they’re still super crisp. Sometimes I stand over the stove, plate in hand, waiting for a couple of the freshest. I’ll have to try with butter and sugar, haven’t seen that before!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: what’s to eat #45 | outerNotes

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