Digaag Duban

A Somali friend complained last week that my focus on Ethiopian fare was dismissing the remainder of Africa. And I quote ” There are other cuisines in Africa besides Ethiopian – Somalian, for example”. As incentive he forwarded a few of his family recipes. Cross-referencing those recipes on the web lead me to a version of Digaag Duban (Somali Baked Chicken) which I found extremely delicious. Its a little disarming at first to experience cinnamon and lemon in the same bite but it becomes very compelling after the first mouthful.

IMG_1697 IMG_1700

The authentic recipe calls for larger, skin-on chicken pieces but I used a combination of skin-on drumsticks and skinless thighs; about 2 1/2 pounds in total.


  • 1 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Lemons, Juiced
  • 4 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t Coriander
  • 2 t Cumin
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 1 t Chili Powder
  • Pinch Saffron
  • 2 T Jalapeno, Chopped

Make some deep cuts in the chicken with a sharp knife. Whisk together all ingredients. Pour marinade into a Ziploc with chicken, shake to coat. Marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours, overnight being ideal. Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken in large Pyrex dish in a single layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on which cut of chicken was used.

No doubt my focus on Ethiopia and Somalia will cause an uproar amongst my West African friends, who will complain that Eastern Africa is now unfairly over represented in my culinary experiments. I feel Gambian Domoda and Senegalese Cashew Soup in my future.


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