I used this method instead of a recipe for biscuits, which is beginning to feel strikingly apt as a metaphor for life right now. No recipe. Barely following the rules. Outcome unknown. Fingers crossed for something edible.
After I climbed atop a chair to snap a few images, they generously offered to share, and we squeezed fresh lime juice over the dish and dipped torn pieces of baguette into the thick mixture, interspersing spicy bites with steaming sips of sweet Somali tea.
For millions (billions?) around the world, there’s nothing especially thrilling about this bread. But I cherish those foods that reach across continents, and infiltrate entire hemispheres, because of their practicality and facility as a template for local iterations.
A squadron of chefs from China pitched a restaurant concept to the Somali owners of a Hargeisa cafe. Their mission was to impress; ours was to stuff ourselves.
With contributions from staff, chef supreme Xukun prepares a daily office lunch. Our mid-day fare ranges from Somali standards like spiced rice and camel meat, to lentil stews, to my personal favorite, fried fish with chapati. Chapati is a bit time consuming, as it’s prepared piece by piece on the stove. But today we lucked out–Xukun turned out round after round of flaky bread. Around 1pm, we tucked into a goat stew, a creamy mix of chard, onions, and peas, along with chapati hot off the skillet, and salad. As they say around here, Qado wanaagsan – Bon appetit !!
A seaside lunch on Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar: Calamari and cabbage, Chicken curry with rice, naan, and roasted veggies.