In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean

Ten Speed: Crown. Oct. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781984856739. $35. COOKING
With this unique title, Hassan (CEO of Basbaas Sauce) and chef Turshen (Now and Again) present recipes and stories from a diverse group of grandmothers (bibis) from eight eastern African countries: Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, and the islands of Madagascar and Comoros. Each of the bibis, some of whom have emigrated to the United States, shares recipes that represent the food of her home country as well as her own family legacy. Recipes are accompanied by photographs of each bibi in her kitchen or cooking space and a short interview exploring the significance of the dish. The dishes range from soups and vegetable sides to fish, meat, and cakes. Lesser-known ingredients are clearly described along with options for substitution. No special equipment is required other than a blender or food processor.
VERDICT This rich collection deserves special attention for the way in which it allows each bibi to celebrate cooking and food. Home cooks will feel as though they are in the kitchen alongside friends as they explore the richness and diversity of African culinary traditions with this distinctive offering.
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