In Bibi's Kitchen by Hawa Hassan
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In Bibi's Kitchen by Hawa Hassan

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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.

“Their food is alive with the flavors of mangoes, cinnamon, dates, and plantains and rich with the history of the continent that had been a culinary unknown for much too long.”—Jessica B. Harris, food historian, journalist, and public speaker


In this incredible volume, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and food writer Julia Turshen 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 Ma Shara, who helps tourists “see the real Zanzibar” by teaching them how to make her famous Ajemi Bread with Carrots and Green Pepper; Ma Vicky, who now lives in suburban New York and makes Matoke (Stewed Plantains with Beans and Beef) to bring the flavour of Tanzania to her American home; and Ma Gehennet from Eritrea who shares her recipes for Kicha (Eritrean Flatbread) and Shiro (Ground Chickpea Stew).

Through Hawa’s writing—and her own personal story—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.

IACP AWARD FINALIST • LONGLISTED FOR THE ART OF EATING PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker  The New York Times Book Review  The Washington Post  Bon Appétit • NPR • San Francisco Chronicle  Food Network  Vogue  Delish  The Guardian  Smithsonian Magazine  Salon  Town & Country