If you are craving carb-heavy and delicious food, head over to the nearest stall or restaurant in Somalia to try these tasty foods. Somali cuisine often revolves around pancake-like flatbreads, pastas, and rice, so it’s got everything you need to feel happy and satisfied. We bet you’d even break your diet for these delicious dishes.
This article originally appeared on AFKInsider.com.
1. Somali Steak and Cheese Rolls
If you’re a fan of egg rolls, churros and steak, you may be surprised nobody told you about this fried, fluffy dish. The steak mixture is added with a flour paste to the inside of pieces of flattened bread, which are then rolled up and fried in breadcrumbs. Dip these in your favorite hot sauce, ketchup, or even ranch dressing — you really can’t go wrong.
Here’s another delicious, deep-fried item that comes in a fun hand-held shape. Samosas are considered a pastry because their dough is sweet, but they’re usually filled with savory ingredients like ground meat, chopped vegetables and onions. The outside becomes flaky and crispy, but the inside remains slightly undercooked, doughy and so delectable.
Anjero is like a cross between a crepe and a pancake in fluffiness and thickness, but it’s more savory in flavor and meant to be wrapped around other food like chickpeas or vegetable stews. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with rolling one of these up and eating it solo.
4. Bur Saliid (aka the Somali Puff-Puff)
These are Somalia’s doughnuts, but they can be eaten as savories. For breakfast, Somalians eat them with beans in coconut sauce. For lunch or dinner, they may eat them with a curry. The best way to eat them is soon as they come out of the oven.
5. Black Eyed-Beans Bhajia
These delicious little fried balls are great as a snack and often sold as street food in Somalia. They’re full of great spices like green and red chili, coriander and curry powder. They’re so easy to pop in your mouth, and taste delicious dipped into cold sauces–anything from barbecue to marinara sauce tastes great with these. Even though they’re deep fried, their high fiber content redeems them a bit.
6. Green Coriander Chicken
This is Somali’s version of fried chicken, but it’s so succulent, you’ll never return to plain old fried chicken again. The drumsticks are saturated in a delicious yogurt sauce that keeps the meat moist. Ginger, fresh coriander, lemon and garlic cook all the way through so every bite is bursting with flavor.
7. Somali Stew
This will warm you on a cold night and make you feel thoroughly nourished. It’s the type of dish that looks like it could have been cooking for days in a giant iron pot in a mountain cabin. It has all the fixings of a traditional winter stew, plus some Somali staples like okra, squash, and cumin.
Another food with an undeniably cute name, mashmash is a traditional dish that’s delightfully greasy and, Somalis use it as a sandwich filling. So if you have a serious craving for carbs, this is a perfect dish to satisfy your hunger. Mashmash has a great savory and sweet flavor.
9. Chickpea and Potato Bhajia
Bhajia makes it twice on this list because it’s such a yummy way to make almost anything. The crispy, crunchy dough tastes amazing against the soft potato inside. Both versions are traditional staples in Somali cuisine.
10. Date-Filled Sambusas
This dessert has everything you could want: a cakey dough that’s slightly crunchy on the outside, with gooey, sweet filling from the dates on the inside.
This is a pancake-like bread which is popular not just in Somalia but also in Dhibouti and Yemen. It is often eaten with honey and ghee, but during lunch can be eaten with a curry, soup or stew.
12. Filling breakfast
This is a popular breakfast dish around the Mogadishu area of Somalia. It can either be made from polenta (mishaari) or form a type of porridge (boorash). The resulting mixture is eaten with butter and sugar, but not milk.
You may have encountered this as halva in Middle Eastern cuisine–but this is Somalia’s version, xalwo. Note that it is not made from tahini (or sesame seed paste) but rather from sugar, cornstarch, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder, and of course the ubiquitous ghee. Peanuts can sometimes be added as well. It’s served during special occasions such as Eid or wedding celebrations.
Similiar to the Indian snack, pakora, this is a snack popular in the south of Somalia. It’s a mixture of maize, vegetables, meat and spices which is then deep fried. Eat it like the locals, by dipping it into a hot sauce known as bisbaas (and have some water on standby!).
Ending on a sweet note, this is a very popular sweet dish in Somalia. It’s made from coconut, sugar and oil, and spiced with (what else?) cardamom. It’s extremely easy to make, as you simply boil the sugar with a bit of water, then add the cardamom, and finally the shredded coconut. Sweet, but very delicious.
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