Our first trip around the world

Allow me a brief introduction; I’m Carly, a proud Minneapolitan with a range of culinary skills falling somewhere between novice and amateur. I love to experiment but also have a hard time breaking from my comfort meals. I do have Celiac’s Disease so you will see quite a few recipe modifications throughout our blog. More often than not the group is kind enough to go gluten-free with me but there are ingredients and recipes here and there that just cannot be substituted. I suppose we are the faces of the evolving foodie; dietary restrictions and all!

Back to the topic at hand, our second foray into the Swish and Dish dinner club (way back in June) was the result of a spinning of the globe–an actual globe, not the “magical” iPhone mentioned earlier–where my finger landed serendipitously on Somalia. I found it in good fortune because Minnesota happens to be home to the nation’s largest Somali population. One of the most successful and well known men in the Minneapolis Somali culinary scene is Jamal Hashi, chef and co-owner of Safari Express in the Midtown Global Market. When looking for recipes it was a no-brainer to turn to Safari for inspiration.

In the fall of 2009 Heavy Table Magazine interviewed Hashi where he spoke about the diverse influences of Somali cuisine–from the oral tradition of passing recipes from one generation to another to the effect the European occupation of Somalia had on food–and because of that there is no concrete definition of Somali fare. In a Somali meal there may be curry with traditional Indian spices, pasta which had been introduced by the Italians, or injera bread from their western neighbor, Ethiopia. When constructing our Somali meal I took a variety of influences into account and created a diverse menu reflecting the historic nature of their cuisine.

First course:
Baajiye iyo Basbaas: Black-eyed Bean Fritter

Second Course:
Mango “Ambe” Curry Chicken, Hashi’s recipe from the Heavy Table Article
with injera bought from Holy Land market

Third Course:
Rice pudding with cardamon 

Our meal was deliciously aromatic, the flavors were rich, sweet and savory, and a good time was had by all!

Until next time,
Carly

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