In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Ma Gehennet’s Eritrean flatbreads (Kicha)

    • EmilyR on October 14, 2020

      These are super quick to make. I don't love frying things, but that's how these cook in a skillet. It was slightly mixed reviews, including some saying they tasted similarly to play-dough. They have a salty wheaty flavor.

  • Chicken stew with yogurt and coconut (Digaag qumbe)

    • bernalgirl on November 12, 2020

      A good gently-spiced stew, I followed the recipe except I substituted cut romano beans for the carrots as that’s what I had on hand. Will make again

    • Kduncan on January 18, 2021

      We really enjoyed this. Pretty easy to make with great flavor. Looking forward to making it again.

  • Xawaash spice mix

    • EmilyR on October 14, 2020

      This is requisite to make the chicken biryani. I love the scent (heavy on the cumin) and flavor and think it would pair nicely with chicken or potatoes even if you don't go the extra effort to make the biryani. Also, it's a sizable quantity, so you may want to scale it down.

    • bernalgirl on November 12, 2020

      Excellent in the recipes in this book and so much more. Works great in scrambled eggs and roasted vegetables, will try with roasted potatoes and grilled fish or chicken. While this seems like a lot, the Suqaar alone several tablespoons do I think we’ll go through this pretty quickly.

  • Somali cilantro and green chile pepper sauce

    • bernalgirl on November 13, 2020

      I did NOT like this at first, the lime and coconut milk combined seemed almost rancid. But I gave it a shake and put it in the fridge and by dinner time the clouds parted and the angels sang. Since then I’ve been enjoying it on both the suugo Suqaar and the chicken stew, as well as the leftover fried tuna steaks, roasted cauliflower, scrambled eggs, and even an onion and chile uthappam. So good!

  • Sourdough pancakes (Canjeero / Lahoh)

    • mcvl on November 29, 2020

      These are the bomb -- we're definitely adding them to our family repertoire. Yeasty, chewy, soul-satisfying. And they confirm my belief that you don't need an old sourdough starter to make a sourdough if you've baked or fermented enough in your kitchen so that you have a rich supply of yeasty guys in the air.

    • mcvl on November 30, 2020

      Additional note: These freeze and re-heat perfectly, first a quick defrost in the microwave, then on to crispy goodness in the toaster oven. I want always to have a dozen canjeeros in the freezer.

  • Ma Halima’s beef suqaar

    • dc151 on November 12, 2020

      I really liked the flavor of this one. Straightforward to make. But took longer to cook even with very small pieces. I would suggest holding off adding any vegetables until your meat is nice and tender. I also had to add more water several times during cooking

    • Kduncan on January 18, 2021

      This was fine. We enjoyed it. The biggest problem was due to the cut off beef and the cooking style, the meat was pretty tough, would probably cook the beef longer on lower heat next time.

  • Pasta sauce with beef (Suugo suqaar)

    • bernalgirl on November 12, 2020

      Delicious and savory sauce, a nice change from the standard Italian meat sauce. This would be great in a baked pasta casserole

    • Frenchfoodie on November 22, 2020

      Seriously good, really deep and complex flavour from the spice mix in what is otherwise a fairly standard bolognese.

  • Somali spiced tea with milk (Shaah cadays)

    • EmilyR on October 14, 2020

      This is a solid chai style tea. I'd cut back the sugar a bit... it's definitely sweet, but it's delicious and smells incredible, too.

  • Tomato and onion salad (Kachumbari)

    • EmilyR on October 14, 2020

      This is a refreshing and simple salad of sorts, but I couldn't help but think it felt like I was eating salsa ingredients that hadn't yet been pureed.

    • mcvl on November 14, 2020

      OK; good. I like the use of avocado as the oily element in the dressing.

  • Ma Kauthar’s chicken biryani

    • EmilyR on October 14, 2020

      I'd simplify this by not frying up your own red onions and buying those, but frying isn't my forte. There are several other components that need fried. The potatoes are quite filling and I think it generally tastes better the next day.

  • Ma Wambui’s mukimo with onions and greens

    • jenburkholder on December 31, 2020

      We omitted the greens, but still really liked this served with the next page’s kunde. It was reminiscent of mashed potatoes, but lighter, thanks to the beans, and with the occasional chewy piece of corn for texture. We had home-cooked limas, but it would have also been excellent with canned. Relatively quick and quite tasty.

  • Black-eyed peas and tomatoes in peanut sauce (Kunde)

    • jenburkholder on December 31, 2020

      Very good! Super quick and easy, but still nicely flavorful. We added collards and topped with hot sauce (needed some vinegar). We also used a mix of smashed peanuts and peanut butter. Served over mukimo. Would definitely repeat.

  • Rice pilaf (Zanzibar pilau)

    • KristenS on December 30, 2020

      Really simple and delicious. Everyone loved!

    • bernalgirl on November 02, 2020

      A very gently spiced and tasty pilau — I added toasted vermicelli a la Lebanese rice to entice the rice-averse family members, and would do this again. I also used 1/2 chicken stock instead of all water.

  • Ma Shara’s quick stewed eggplant with coconut

    • dbruijn on January 09, 2021

      This was very plain. Took a lot longer to cook the eggplants.

  • Ma Shara’s spiced fried fish

    • bernalgirl on November 08, 2020

      Addictively delicious and so easy, few simple ingredients slathered on tuna steaks just an hour before frying, this is going into the regular rotation

  • Spicy vegetable relish (Chakalaka)

    • bernalgirl on November 13, 2020

      I haven’t made grilled cheese sandwiches but I have had this on cheese toast with good w/w sourdough and sharp cheddar for breakfast a few times and it’s a new favorite.

  • Ma Jeanne’s carrot salad with vinaigrette

    • bernalgirl on January 17, 2021

      An easy side salad that is more than the sum of its parts, and adds great balance to a meal from the Madagascar section. I served with the white beans and ginger garlic chicken and would make this meal again.

  • Ma Jeanne’s traditional Malagasy white beans (Tsaramaso Malagasy)

    • bernalgirl on January 17, 2021

      Nice but very plain even with good heirloom beans. A good side dish for something with more punch, and the leftovers will be a great addition to a soup.

  • Tomato relish (Lasary legioma)

    • bernalgirl on November 02, 2020

      A great addition to my tomato salad collection, and perfect with the Chicken thighs with garlic, ginger, and coconut oil (Akoho misy sakamalao)

  • Chicken thighs with garlic, ginger, and coconut oil (Akoho misy sakamalao)

    • bernalgirl on November 02, 2020

      How can something so simple be this good? Go for the full 24-hour marinading time. Also great grilled with a drizzle of coconut oil to finish.

    • KristenS on December 30, 2020

      So simple but so delicious! Even the non-dark-meat likers enjoyed it. Definitely make again.

  • Sweet pea soup with coconut and ginger

    • Frenchfoodie on November 22, 2020

      Made this as I was keen to use up some coconut milk. It was unexpectedly delicious, delicate and a beautiful pale green colour. Very repeatable though when my husband is not around as he wasn’t a fan.

  • Watermelon juice with lime, ginger, and mint

    • EmilyR on October 14, 2020

      Refreshing and simple!

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  • ISBN 10 1984856731
  • ISBN 13 9781984856739
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 13 2020
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 288
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

Grandmothers from eight eastern African countries welcome you into their kitchens to share flavorful recipes and stories of family, love, and tradition in this transporting cookbook-meets-travelogue.

In this incredible volume, renowned food writer Julia Turshen and Somali chef Hawa Hassan present 75 recipes and stories gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. Most notably, these eight countries are at the backbone of the spice trade, many of them exporters of things like pepper and vanilla. We meet women such as Biubwa Fazaldin, a renowned cook who ran a Tanzanian high school cafeteria for years and now lives on the island nation of Comoros; Ma Vicky, a real-life princess from Tanzania, who now lives in suburban New York and makes a mean Matoke (Stewed Plantains with Beans and Beef); and Somalia's Ashura Babu-Bi Ashura, widow to Abdulrahman Babu, the late Zanzibari Marxist and revolutionary leader, known for her Samaki Wa Kupaka (Coconut Fish Curry).

Through Julia and Hawa's writing--and their own personal stories--the women, and the stories behind the recipes, come to life. With evocative photography shot on location by Khadija Farah, and food photography by Jennifer May, In Bibi's Kitchen uses food to teach us all about families, war, loss, migration, refuge, and sanctuary.


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