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Understanding Our Grandmothers’ Recipes With Hawa Hassan

Hawa Hassan
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Foods from other lands are a great window into other cultures”

Hawa Hassan
Nothing makes you feel quite as warm, fuzzy, and cozy as eating some of  your comfort foods from childhood. What is it about these meals that is so magical? How can they bring us meaning and connection even across oceans and decades? 

Hawa Hassan has spent her life exploring the magical power of family memories and recipes. She turned this experience into a marvellous cookbook called “In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean.” In it, she shares the recipes of 8 African grandmothers and writes a moving and delicious love letter to African food that’s also a thought-provoking testament to the universal power of family recipes. We’re chatting food, family, spices, and more with Hawa!

Episode Show Notes:

  1. Learn more about Hawa Hassan on her Instagram and be sure to check out her amazing cookbook.
  2. Our headshot of Hawa comes from photographer Khadija M. Farah.
  3. Hawa also has an incredible line of hot sauces called Basbaass.
  4. Some of Hawa’s go-to spices to have you your pantry to make Somali food are: cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper.
  5. Hawa is also a big fan of Xawaash, a Yemeni spice blend that Hawa often calls the “Garam Masala of Somali cuisine.”
  6. Learn how to make Hawa’s Suugo Suqaar, a delicious Somali take on pasta sauce.
  7. Hawa’s go-to karaoke song is “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” by Shania Twain.

If you enjoyed this episode with Hawa about the power of food culture, then be sure to listen to our episode with Giselle Kennedy Lord of Slow Food. To keep learning about and appreciating the many complex cuisines of Africa, check out our chat with chef Kess Eshun.

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