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Local Chef Spotlight: Hawa Hassan's 'In Bibi's Kitchen'

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[REBROADCAST FROM November 10, 2020] Hawa Hassan, the Brooklyn-based founder and CEO of the Somali hot sauce line Basbaas, joins us to discuss her new cookbook, In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean. The book draws on the recipes and stories of bibis -- Swahili for grandmothers -- from eight African nations that touch the Indian Ocean.


ndizi Kaanga (FRIED PLANTAINS)

As Ma Vicky taught us, plantains are a huge part of Tanzanian cooking, and there are tons of varietals and different ways of preparing each. These simple fried plantains are best made with bright yellow plantains that are somewhere in between the firm, starchy-green under- ripe plantains and the super-soft, super-sweet, almost-black overripe plantains. Fried in a little butter (or ghee) and finished with a splash of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of both salt and nutmeg, these plantains ride the line between sweet and savory. Serve on their own for a snack or alongside Zanzibar Pilau (Rice Pilaf, page XX), cooked vegetables, and grilled meat or fish for a complete meal. You could even sprinkle them with a bit of brown sugar as they cook, finish them with a splash of rum, and serve with vanilla ice cream for a Tanzanian version of bananas foster.



3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or ghee)2 large yellow plantains, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick pieces on the diagonal2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice½ teaspoon kosher saltPinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Place the butter in a large nonstick skillet set over medium- high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the plantain pieces and cook until dark brown on the undersides, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn each plantain and cook just until the second sides are lightly browned, about another minute.

Transfer the plantains, cut sides up, to a serving platter and drizzle with the lemon juice and sprinkle with the salt and nutmeg. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to a few days and warmed in a skillet before serving.

Reprinted from 'In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean' by Hawa Hassan with Julia Tershen. Photography by Khadija Farah. Published by Ten Speed Press.

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