Chilli is often served as a condiment in Somali cuisine and rarely added to the dish. This makes Somali food perfect for those who like flavour without the heat, but for those who like it hot—the more the chilli the better!
This wonderful recipe was inspired by American Somali chef, Jamal Hashi, who runs the Safari Express restaurant in Minneapolis. Jamal’s version, called bizbaz, is particularly delicious and has layers of complex flavour that belie its simple ingredients.
There are many versions of this chilli sauce (bisbas, basbas, or shidni are the various names given to this type of sauce). Common ingredients include yoghurt, tomato, tamarind, lime or lemon, sugar, dates, and of course chilli.
You can serve this chilli sauce with almost anything. I love it with french fries, wedges, in a burger, with rice, drizzled over roast vegetables or meat—the possibilities are endless.
This recipe was first published by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift of The Splendid Table.
Lime, Yoghurt and Coriander Chilli Sauce
1 large garlic clove, crushed
Juice of half a large lime
½ to 2 whole fresh Serrano chilli (depending on your taste. I have used other types of chilli with success)
½ to 2/3 tight-packed cup fresh coriander leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
More lime juice if needed
1. Place the garlic clove in a coffee cup and squeeze the lime juice over it. Let stand 20 minutes while you gather the other ingredients.
2. Place the garlic, lime juice, chilli, coriander leaves, sugar, yogurt, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and purée. Taste for balance. Refrigerate the bizbaz an hour or so to mellow, and use when cool.