Adapted from In Bibi’s Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2020), by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen
A collection of “recipes and stories of grandmothers from the eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean,” Hawa Hassan’s new book with Julia Turshen is a fascinating survey of diverse cuisines told from the perspective of the continent’s elders. This dish features berbere, a seasoning common in Eritrea and Ethiopia composed of warming spices. Available online and at specialty stores, it can transform a simple braise into something remarkable.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
- 2 large red onions, fine-diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 3 tablespoons berbere spice mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium tomatoes, fine-diced
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- 6 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in berbere and salt, and cook until very aromatic, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices. Stirring occasionally, cook until liquid is almost evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Add 1 cup water, then increase heat to high. Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer. Add chicken pieces to pot and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken becomes very tender, about 1 hour. Stir in eggs, and cook until heated through and coated with sauce, about 10 minutes.
Use slotted spoon to transfer chicken and eggs to serving dish. Return sauce to boil, and cook until thick and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken and eggs. Serve with rice or flatbreads. Serves 4–6.
Stark-Condé 2017 Three Pines Syrah (Jonkershoek Valley). Berbere is packed with dried red chiles and spices like cinnamon, fenugreek, coriander, cardamom and allspice. The ripe fruit and subtle peppery notes of a well-balanced Syrah are a perfect foil. This bottle from South Africa, another country featured in Hassan’s book, offers brambly berry and juicy plum flavors alongside similar warm baking spices.