Category Archives: Africa

Fishy Friday Dinner News – Hraimeh

Hraimeh and Rice

Enjoy the spices and creativity of Libya with Hraimeh and rice

Today we are swimming across the pont to Northern Africa and enjoying a spicy Libyan specialty. While most of the cuisine of Libya is based on lamb the opening paragraph of Hraimeh – Fish Pouched In a Spicy Gravy (Libyan Pouched {sic} Fish) describes the variety of fish throughout the coastal region and provides a nice starting point to understand the invading influences and local seafood availability.

For some side dish and dessert suggestions take a stroll  through 16 March 2011 Dinner News – East Coast of Libya or 8 March 2011 Dinner News – Southern Libya for regional additions to a Libyan evening at your dinner table.




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Posted by on 6 May 2011 in Fishy Friday, Libya


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16 April 2011 Dinner News – Nigerian Election Day

Jollof Rice with Plantains and Salad

Jollof Rice with Plantains and Salad

Today is the dawning of a new era in Nigeria – Presidential elections with independent observers and country rich in natural resources ready to turn the page on decades of mis-management and greed.  It may not get the bandwidth that the Middle East commands, but let us all hope that it doesn’t need it. Many invading cultures and the influence of regional tribes make this a colorful and flavorful way to bring the news to your dinner table.

The Menu


Plantains and Eggs Revisited – Shrimp and Persimmons bring a tasty twist

Egusi Soup – Made with the seeds of the unique Egusi melon.  Pumpkin seeds can not be used as an alternative. Palm oil and crayfish make this dish an adventurous dish for a typical American pantry.

Suya – Peanut crusted beef kabob.

Pepper Soup – Offers African spice mix with mega mart substitutes for a combination that can be found by a home cook.  The recipe also calls for ground crayfish which our local Asian market carries.

Tuwo shinkafa or Masari with Gbergiri Stew – Mashed rice or corn served as a side to locust bean stew.

Side Dish

Funkaso – Millet pancakes that soften this hard grain with a 4 hour rest and can be served with a main or as dessert with honey.

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Posted by on 16 April 2011 in Nigeria


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14 April 2011 Dinner News – Ivory Coast Sole

Celebrate a Country on the Rebound

Bacon Wrapped Fish

Cheesy Mild Fish on a Bed of the Rice of Your Choice

With the former President in custody and the country starting to get back to normal (Ivory Coast settles into tentative peace following arrest of Laurent Gbagbo) we spent the evening enjoying a great twist on fish and rice with this adaptation of Filets de soles a la sauce au wisky . The dish went together quickly, cleaned up easily and is something we will put into our regular fish rotation.

In the 11 March 2011 Dinner News – Ivory Coast post you will find a wide variety of side dishes and desserts to accompany this entrée.



Fresh fish is a hard thing to find here.  Everything is flash frozen and then thawed when placed in the display case.  I buy IQF now since it’s frozen once and stays frozen.  When the weather gets better we will start wandering North to get fresh off the boat.

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Posted by on 14 April 2011 in Ivory Coast


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Snacking Saturday – Meat & Potato Libyan Style

Mubatan Batata

Final Product

Dinner for 2 and leftover filling

Saturday is always the “on-the-go” day in our house.  Left to the “last minute” monster it would be leftovers or fast food.  We found Mb’atten to be easy to make, tasty after reheating and very very filling.

This recipe puts some quantities behind the description given on the Temehu page for Libyan Food and slightly a different mix than the Mubatan Batata post over at visually stunning blog Libyan Food… not to mention the “growth potential” I have in photography :-)!

This recipe will provide a hearty dinner for 2 or a hearty addition to a picnic for 4 with 2 serving options:

Finger Food – Stop with just the potatoes for a sporting-event-watching food.

Bathed in Tomato Sauce – Easy to reheat later and placed in tin foil could also be taken to a picnic and heated on the grill.

If you are a more visual person complete step by step can be found in my Mubatan Batata set on Flickr.

Meal suggestions to accompany this dish can be found in the post on the Dinner News of Southern Libya.


Collage of Ingredients

8 small potatoes
Oil of choice for stove top pan frying.

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Posted by on 26 March 2011 in Libya, Snacking Saturday


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16 March 2011 Dinner News – East Coast of Libya

Battle Wages On
Explanations Become Tough

Hraimeh and Rice

Enjoy the spices and creativity of Libya with Hraimeh and rice

The Meal

With all of this diversity there are many options for celebrating the culture of the eastern coast at your dinner table.  Restaurants in this area offer fantastic classic Italian and Turkish cuisine while lamb is the protein of choice with couscous the national side and dates for a sweet dessert :


Charouf bil Pisselli o Chedra – Lamb with Kishke and Peas

Couscous bil Hoot – Couscous with fish

Hraimeh – Fish poached in a spicy gravy

Side Dish

Kara’a – Spiced Pumpkin Dip

Lentil and Spinach Salad With Onion, Cumin and Garlic

Shakshuka – Eggs poached in tomato, a dish claimed by many cultures and explained in the opening of this post.


Safra – Sweet semolina and date cake.

Zemmeetah – Boiled and roasted barley served with sugar and or dates.

Halawah bil-Fawaak – MIxed fruit with honey.

Al Batheeth – Date Candy

The View

The 8 March 2011 Dinner News post covered some of the culture and food of Southern Libya. The beautiful coastal region provides a window to a rich past:


Take a virtual tour of the ancient Fatimid palace, mosque, and fortress, along with the colonial buildings built by the Italians during their occupation:

Ajdabiya’s Tourist FAQ (Word 66 Travel Guide)
Story of a Building, A History of a City ( Story of Fatimid Palace


Travel farther back in time to the ruins of the Greeks at the base of the Akhdar mountains:

Galen R Frysinger’s Photo Tour
The Stunning Greek Ruins (Look Lex)


A cosmopolitan city of one million with a vibrant afternoon scene… there is no drinking in Libya after all… where the food of both Italy and Turkey are well represented both in town and around the lagoon:

Benghazi Restaurants (Virtual Tourist)
Benghazi Beach (Travel Pod Photo Tour)

The Chatter

Reports from Within Ajdabiya, Libya

Many battles along the coast rage on.

While the world watches and prays for Japan the people of Libya continue to battle toward freedom.  The government of the western sections is making in roads along the eastern coast with each day being more bloody than the next:

Libyan Rebels Battle to Hold Ajdabiya (The Street)
Qaddafi Forces Vow to ‘Cleanse’ Rebel-Held City of ‘Armed Gangs’ (Fox News)
Battles rage on two fronts in Libya (UPI)

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Posted by on 16 March 2011 in Libya


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11 March 2011 – Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Election Tension
Continues to Grow

Girls selling corn and eggs

Girls selling corn and eggs

The Meal

Meals are a community affair where talking is discouraged.  Elders eat first to ensure the food is not spoiled and rice is often rolled into a ball and used to scoop meat and sauces.  Once the meal is over a bowl of water is passed around to clean your hands.

Divine Chocolate Bars

Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is the largest exporter / producer of chocolate in the world, but they hardly use the beans in cooking.  You may have noticed Divine chocolate bars in the organic section of your grocery store, but the story behind them goes much farther than the beans themselves. web site has a good guide explaining the challenges with the production chain, how they prioritize the issues, what solutions they have put in place, and what sustainability initiatives are currently underway… including Divine chocolate bars.


Kedjenou (Whats4Eats)

Slow cooked chicken and eggplant stew.

Calalou (

Shrimp, meat, and spinach stew that crossed over to the Caribbean as a soup of the same name.

Ivory Coast Halibut (

Fish, pumpkin, coconut, and rice casserole.

Side Dishes

Foutou (

Boiled plantain and cassava mashed into balls.

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Posted by on 11 March 2011 in Africa, Ivory Coast


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8 March 2011 Dinner News – Southern Libya

Tagluella being cooked

The Meal

The food of the Sahara revolves around that which can be easily carried (millet and other grains) and the milk of goats and camels.  In Nalut they are creating a new tradition by holding a Spring Festival the past 5+ years to raise funds to restore the ancient castle and revive the culture of the area. Ghat also has a festival and the EWP Tour Company provides the following description of what to expect a day in food to look like:

Fresh food, vegetables and fruitsare readily available in most Libyan settlements. Breakfasts in thedesert are generally fresh bread(local bread is excellent) with butter, cheese, jam or honey. A choice of hot drinks is available. Lunch is a mix of cold vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, olives, tomato and beans withtuna or sardines and cold boiled eggs. Fruit juice and tea are alsoprovided. After an evening coffee or tea with nuts and biscuits comes a three course supper of soup then a meal of potato, rice, kus-kus or pasta with vegetables and meat (often camel meat). Vegetarians would be provided with extra beans. Lastly some fruit salad and tea are served.
Executive Wilderness Programmes



A single barley flour mound in a pool of tomato sauce that can have any variety of available meats and most likely potatoes and hard boiled eggs.  It can also be served as dumplings in a stew for more of a family style presentation.

Millet Porridge With Dates

Millet is boiled with water to make a pap and eaten with milk or a heavy sauce. Wikipedia likens it to dishes of similar style but ugali (cornmeal) and fufu (yams). There are many Chinese and Indian varieties, but a  dates are one of the foods of this region. In the US Red Mill does sell Hulled Millet commercially in many supermarkets.

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Posted by on 8 March 2011 in Africa, Libya


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