Category Archives: Somali

Somali Chickpeas and Spinach

Continuing with the Somali thread, here is one for the vegetarians. It definitely tastes Indian, maybe a little different since its missing ginger. In any case, this will become something I make in mass and freeze.

  • 3-4 C Chickpeas, Cooked
  • 4 C or 1 big-ass bag of Spinach
  • 4 Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1-2 Serrano Peppers, Chopped
  • 1 T + 1 t Curry Powder
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 3 T Green Onion, Chopped
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Heat oil in large pan over medium high heat. Saute onions until golden, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and serranos, saute for 5 minutes. Add tomato, curry, salt and pepper, stir. In batches, add the spinach and cover until wilted. Stir to mix. On the last batch reduce to low and cook for an additional 5 minutes for flavors to blend. Remove from heat then add green onions.IMG_1703

Personally, not a huge fan of the canned chickpea but they would work well in this dish. If using canned, you could safely omit additional salt. Also, not a huge fan of triple washing spinach myself, so I buy the big-ass bags of pre-washed.

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.

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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.