I initially went to Hargeisa [the capital of Somaliland] in 2001. The detail you have to recall is that this was when men and women were at ease more than enough to go again, and even started off shifting back to be with their family members. I was eight yrs previous when I initial frequented and was exposed to Somali tradition like never ever just before. I saw a good deal of distinctive varieties of Somali food, including sabaayad, which was becoming eaten at any time of the working day. That was extremely distinctive as, for us, sabaayad wasn’t anything we produced incredibly generally. This built it rather specific when my mom would put together sabaayad for the family.

In Hargeisa, I viewed sabaayad remaining produced on a Burjiko stove, which is a Somali-type cooker or charcoal-burning stove. One particular of my fondest reminiscences from that first journey to Hargeisa was observing sabaayad staying eaten in a various way, and don’t forget it tasting a bit diverse. Every person has a preference — I like it flaky. I imagine to get it more flaky you require to make positive you insert a whole lot of additional flour, and that flour develops the flakes on the exterior. Making sabaayad is normally a collaboration with my mother she is the most important artist and I am that includes. The explanation I do it with my mom is since it is a large amount of entertaining, it can be a group effort and hard work, you set on a little bit of music in the qualifications, and it is really satisfying. I consider supporting my mom get ready the sabaayad was undoubtedly a bonding encounter. I would usually love acquiring my palms filthy and participating in all around with the dough. Cooking with the family members is a great deal of pleasurable, and if I ever have kids, I’d certainly instruct them and put together Somali dishes jointly.I have brought bariis and hilib, which also means rice and lamb. It is a very unique food in our lifestyle, which we feel to be our key dish. We eat it at minimum two, a few occasions a week. I have received the fondest recollections [of] taking in it [when] acquiring house as a schoolboy right after a totally free university food which was not the most effective.

When I acquired house and my mum was cooking rice and lamb for me, it would just brighten up my working day even more. There was this kind of a difference involving that school meal, which took least effort, compared to my mum pouring her really like into that dish for me and my siblings. It made me enjoy my mum additional for all the minor points, like producing positive the foods was made just before I received dwelling and then laying it on the table for us. My mum could’ve simply just ordered us a takeaway given that she was doing the job all through the day and will have to have been exhausted, for sure, but she even now built the energy for us. Bariis and hilib can take all-around an hour and a half to make. My mum would devote a lot of time planning the food, and a good deal of love and blood sweat and tears went into it. A single specific thing Somali men and women really like to increase to their meal is a banana, I have no clue why but it’s often there now. [Whether the dish is] rice and lamb to pasta or lasagne, it truly is constantly there. I seriously fell in like with it when I was three. Bariis and hilib is my favourite dish ever, and I do not think something else will beat it.

Iqra Osman, 30, foodstuff blogger


I was out with my mum one particular day, and I explained to her I was heading to make xalwo cheesecake and, generally, she appeared at me like I was nuts and stated, “I don’t know how which is going to taste,” because xalwo [a Somali dessert made from sugar, spices, and oil] is by now sweet by itself. I like xalwo because of its sweetness, and it reminds me of my childhood.

I additional some biscuit and made it into the foundation, and when I did that, I realised I can’t really bake it because the xalwo is heading to soften.

So I believed, why never I just do a no-bake cheesecake? I designed it a single working day and I was really rather stunned, and my mum was like, “This really tastes nice!” A ton of my followers had been like, “Can you mail me your recipe?” and then they manufactured it and they liked it and reported that it’s the best point at any time. My followers on Instagram and Snapchat seriously beloved it and they were like, “Yay! Very first particular person to make Somali xalwo cheesecake”, and which is it basically. The to start with person to essentially taste it was my cousin mainly because he was coming back from operate and he was like, “Have you produced something?” and he was like, “Oh, that sounds good.” He came around and experienced it with Somali tea, and he claimed it was truly pleasant. He took the total cake dwelling. At any time considering the fact that then he’s asked me to make him one more 1 and he loves it.

Maryam Mohamud, 21, student


I brought mufo (a flatbread) and suqaar (stew). Mufo is fundamentally a flour, or a actually thick pancake you could say. I applied semolina and yeast and pounded it up. Suqaar is just meat lower into genuinely, definitely little parts, and you can add vegetables to it and make it into a maraq (soup) … and you can try to eat it jointly. I selected it since currently being from Mogadishu, or Xamar, which is a truly standard food for us. If you go to a household as a visitor, you will find mufo there and it’s just so simple to make. Even when you’re at household and there’s practically nothing to cook you can just make mufo. You just pound it up and set it on the stove. My mum applied to make mufo, like, each day. You know, when you have 4 youngsters, you can just make it each day so, yeah, it’s just like a childhood food stuff. We manufactured this mufo with each other. We produced the bur (the flour for the mufo) yesterday so it can established, and we designed the rest of it this morning. Mufo tastes like pancake it is floury like bread. It’s definitely thick and smooth within, and suqaar is just meat and xawaaji (seasoning).

Escalating up, I’ve eaten malawax with sugar and butter for breakfast, and even now when my mum finds the time, I nonetheless handle to eat it early in the early morning. We consume malawax in heaps of distinctive methods. I largely do with sugar and some fruits or with suqaar. It has a quite unique sweet scent that will make you look forward to waking up early on a Sunday. All through Ramadan, we consume it as a major strength booster as owning a couple of malawax doesn’t just fill you up, but it also nourishes you pretty well. It goes astonishingly with Somali tea and even superior wrapped more than a samosa. I have a great deal of fond reminiscences joined to malawax, for instance, when my non-Somali mates from faculty would continue to be in excess of they’d usually request for it. It bought to a issue wherever we tried using to re-generate the recipe ourselves and it would never get as shut to my mum’s edition. It’s been extremely hard to replicate and has produced me much more and additional appreciative of her malawax.


This article was created in tribute to Hanna Yusuf, a journalist who died previous month and was scheduling to acquire section in this tale. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.