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.
This is a wonderfully earthy salad—filling and nutritious. The flavour combinations are unexpected but work beautifully together.
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!
Oats are packed with nutritional goodness. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and great for lowering blood pressure. Oats also help manage weight loss as they are full of soluble fibre that keep you satisfied for longer.
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.
Brown rice has never really been part of my diet, but after trying this delicious dish I knew it was going to be a regular part of my culinary repertoire. Its nutty goodness is a bonus too.
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.
Icun in Somali means ‘eat me’ and believe me you will eat and eat these crumbly shortbread biscuits that just melt in the mouth. They are usually made for festive days, but in our household we don’t wait for a special day. Any day and everyday is icun day!
Chef Jamal Hashi, co-owner (with his brother Sade Hashi) of Safari Express East African Restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota says: “I owe it to the Italians that I make a great marinara.” Hashi was born and raised in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and immigrated to the US with his family as a teenager.