CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 19…Djibouti formally French Somaliland…

Welcome to my new A-Z …World Cuisines…where I will be looking at the countries of the world, their food and national dish or their most popular dish around the world…by this I mean some dishes are eaten in many countries as their fame has spread around the world…I have Chel to thank for giving me some ideas from which this one took shape…Thank you Chel x

Today I am looking at the cuisine of Djibouti…

Djibouti is a tiny country on the northeast coast of the Horn of Africa. It is situated on the Bab el Mandeb Strait, which lies to the east and separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden…so it’s no surprise that Yemeni fish and its accompaniments are its National Fish Meal…Yemeni Fish is served with mukbaza which is actually a kind of folded bread, that after being cooked, it is cut into pieces and blended with honey and banana, or dates. Served as a thick purée along with some nuts, it is the perfect dip for your Yemeni fish dish, where the fish is traditionally cooked over charcoal in the souks…

Djiboutian cuisine is a mixture of Somali, Afar, Yemeni, and French cuisine, with some additional South Asian (especially Indian) culinary influences. Local dishes are commonly prepared using a variety of Middle Eastern spices, ranging from saffron to cinnamon…two of my most used spices…

Djiboutians are originally nomadic and pastoral people, and thus have a particular preference for camel, goat and lamb meat …which is served with a delicate yoghurt sauce, lentil stew, flatbread, and cucumber salad, served with mineral water and fruit juice…predominantly Djibouti has a mainly Muslim population…there is a strict policy where alcohol consumption is allowed.

Fah-fah is a classic Djiboutian stew which many will say is the National Dish made with goat meat, vegetables and chillies, that can also be made with camel or lamb meat. This dish is normally served with a sponge-like bread called canjeero to soak up the stew sauce…an elaborate version of this bread which is baked for weddings and feasts is cambaboor or canjeroo made of onion, garlic, corn or teff flour and enhanced with nigella or anise seeds, the mix is perfumed with Curcuma, which gives it its royal golden colour, then cooked and served with a fatty butter called subag and sweet-sour yoghurt.

Normally I like to find a video which gives you a taste and feel of the country’s food when I am giving you a virtual tour…hard to find as it is one of the strictest countries about filming and you can risk jail quite easily or find yourself with no camera and a hefty fine it seems the police do all they can to deter tourists…I found this one which shows some of the food on offer…

Djibouti…Today the culinary art of Djibouti incorporates various elements brought in by merchants and foreign invasions that at different times held the land in their grip.  as well as those borrowed from neighbouring countries…formally French Somaliland, the cuisine has through the centuries taken the bits and pieces of the many cultures that came by their way and have made the cuisine what it is today…

Among the most important influences found in the Djiboutian kitchen are the Indian and to some extent the British, whose seamen and merchants brought chapattis, lentils, and curries into the country.  The Portuguese were responsible for introducing pineapples as well as lemons, limes and oranges which the Arabs had first introduced into the Iberian Peninsula.  Also, both the Portuguese and Spaniards brought many other foods that they found in the New World such as corn, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes.  The French who still have a base in the country heavily enhanced the Djiboutian cuisine…

However, the Arab influences in the kitchen of Djibouti feature strongly and this is where the spices of the East such as cardamom, cinnamon and saffron and taste enhancers such as pomegranate concentrate…feature heavily…a true mixture of cultures is reflected in this diverse cuisine…

However throughout history food has kept its own traditions in such dishes as the staple food of the country that include: Injera, a type of spongy bread; Soupe Dijboutienne or Fah-FahYetakelt Wet, a spicy mixed vegetable stewas well as Nitter Kebbeh, spiced butter and its Banana Fritters…Oh, banana fritters there is nothing like a good banana fritter… different around the world but all delicious…

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of the cuisine of this tiny country…as always I look forward to your comments…for those of you who are enjoying the sunshine like me on my extended trip to the Uk…Enjoy!

26 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 19…Djibouti formally French Somaliland…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 10th -16th July 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review, Nakd Bars “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Secret” is my one word prompt.… | Retired? No one told me!

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      It was a new one too me as well Sue I have come across quite few unknown countries (to me) during my reserach my geography is not as good as I once thought…lol xx

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  2. beetleypete

    Thanks for this introduction, Carol. The only thing I knew about Djibouti was that it used to have a French Foreign Legion base there. I once worked with an ambulanceman in London who had served in the FFL, and he hadn’t enjoyed his time in Djibouti.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. marianbeaman

    I’m back! Blogging and reading other blogs, like yours, Carol. I’m glad you have a chance to return to the UK, where I believe the weather is more congenial in summertime.

    I notice that both European and Asian flavors flourish in this cuisine. Enjoy your day! 😀

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Welcome back, Marian…Yes, I am in the Uk and have had my stay extended by 3 weeks due to the flight fiasco but thats ok I am enjoying spending time with family and friends and the weather is beautiful which is a bonus…:) x

      Liked by 1 person

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  4. Pingback: CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 19…Djibouti formally French Somaliland… – MobsterTiger

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