I enjoy giving tradition a new twist so when a Vietnamese friend served me some vegetables in a lettuce cup I thought I would try that idea on Somali food. Combining meat and salad seemed like a good way to go and my suqaar lettuce cup recipe was born.
The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favourite chefs, vegan guru Tal Ronen who likes to use ancient grains. Tapping into my own ancient Horn of Africa heritage with its African and Middle Eastern influences I have used hulled millet, pomegranate and added ingredients that I don’t usually use such as black quinoa and artichokes.
Strain Greek yoghurt, which is already strained, even more and you get labneh (laben in Somali), a popular Middle Eastern and North African breakfast dish. It is a great alternative to cream cheese and spreads easily on bread.
I was beyond flattered when I given the daunting challenge of putting my own twist to the famous chef Tal Ronnen’s vegan menu at the Wynn Luxury Resort in Las Vegas.
This nutritious salad with its nutty and earthy taste is not only filling, but looks pretty good on the plate. I also love the fact that something so delicious can also be healthy.
You expect raclette, cheese fondue and rosti in a Swiss kitchen and not tamarind flavoured kebabs, but for Kenyan-born Fatuma the flavours of home have helped her acclimatise to her new world. Read more
Fried coffee? I know what you are thinking! It sounds weird, right? But let me tell you the taste is incredible and Somalis have some interesting stories that we associate with the bean.
Rich, smooth, creamy, garlicky with a hint of spice – that’s how I like my hummus. Not only does it make a great protein-packed dip, but it can also be used to ‘butter’ your bread or used instead of mayo in a sandwich.
This is one of my favourite soups. Warming and nutritious – it is just the thing to warm the cockles of the heart on a chilly day. The addition of mushroom, capsicum and eggplant add a wonderful texture and heartiness to the soup.
You have try this recipe if you want an appetizer or a side dish with attitude. The fragrance of the spices combined with the moist chicken is a marriage made in heaven!