Grandmothers from eight eastern African countries welcome you into their kitchens to share flavorful recipes and stories of family, love, and tradition in this transporting cookbook-meets-travelogue.
“Their food is alive with the flavors of mangoes, cinnamon, dates, and plantains and rich with the history of the continent that had been a culinary unknown for much too long.”—Jessica B. Harris, food historian, journalist, and public speaker
In this incredible volume, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and renowned food writer Julia Turshen present 75 recipes and stories gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. Most notably, these eight countries are at the backbone of the spice trade, many of them exporters of things like pepper and vanilla. We meet women such as Ma Shara, who helps tourists “see the real Zanzibar” by teaching them how to make her famous Ajemi Bread with Carrots and Green Pepper; Ma Vicky, who now lives in suburban New York and makes Matoke (Stewed Plantains with Beans and Beef) to bring the flavor of Tanzania to her American home; and Ma Gehennet from Eritrea who shares her recipes for Kicha (Eritrean Flatbread) and Shiro (Ground Chickpea Stew).
Through Hawa’s writing—and her own personal story—the women, and the stories behind the recipes, come to life. With evocative photography shot on location by Khadija Farah, and food photography by Jennifer May, In Bibi's Kitchen uses food to teach us all about families, war, loss, migration, refuge, and sanctuary.
About the Author
Hawa Hassan is the founder and CEO of Basbaas Sauce, a line of condiments inspired by her country of origin, Somalia. Hawa and her brand have been featured in Forbes, the New York Times, the Observer, Grub Street, Vogue, The Cut, Eater, and more.
Julia Turshen is the bestselling author of Now and Again; Feed the Resistance, named one of the best cookbooks of the year by Eater, and Small Victories; named one of the best cookbooks of the year by the New York Times and NPR. She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Saveur. She is the founder of Equity At The Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women and non-binary individuals in food.
“What moves me most about In Bibi’s Kitchen is Hawa Hassan’s connection with these admirable women whose cooking traditions serve their families and help define their communities at home and abroad. I am thankful to see their faces, to meet them in their own words, and to know them and their diverse cultures far beyond the stifling generalities that America so often wields to conflate African people. This book illustrates what the wisest among us have known all along: The seat of power in food—its soul and expertise—has always begun at home, at the hands of skilled women in their kitchens.”—Osayi Endolyn, James Beard Award–winning writer
“In Bibi’s Kitchen is rooted in tradition and reverence, but carries forth its stories with an urgency and energy that feels brand new. The book’s tenderly reported interviews and East African recipes shine a light on a group who must be seen, must be heard from. Of course we all need more bibis in our lives. And we need the ones in these pages more now than ever. In Bibi’s Kitchen is an inimitable accomplishment and an essential read that will enrich kitchens and souls everywhere it lands.”—Howie Kahn, New York Times bestselling author, James Beard Award winner, and host of Take Away Only