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Nutritious food is essential for our survival, but it also has the amazing power to bring families and communities together. We asked some our colleagues around the world to tell us their favourite meal to eat with friends and family. Read on to see brilliant recipes from Victoria in Haiti and Ibrahim in Somalia.
1. Riz Djon Djon (Black Mushroom Rice)
Victoria Jean-Louis, Concern’s Programme Manager in Haiti sent through this recipe for an eye-catching rice dish. Djon-Djon is a type of dried mushroom that is sold in Haiti and not commonly available in the UK, so we have substituted this for mixed dried mushrooms.
This is my favourite rice dish. The Haitian mushrooms turn the rice black and give it a great flavour. Enjoy!
Course: Lunch or dinner
Prep Time: 15 minutes *Mushrooms need to be soaked overnight
Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 cups dried mixed mushrooms (in Haiti Djon-Djon mushrooms would be used)
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup greens peas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- ¼ cup green pepper finely chopped
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Optional - 1 small chilli or a few drops of hot sauce e.g. tabasco
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a big bowl, add mushrooms and water and let soak overnight for best result.
- When ready to cook the rice, transfer the mushrooms and liquid to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for around 5 minutes at medium high heat without covering saucepan or the liquid will spill over while boiling. Take off from stove. Drain keeping the liquid, and set aside. The mushrooms can be discarded.
- In another large pan, heat oil. Add the garlic, spring onions, thyme, cloves and green pepper and fry for around 2 minutes. Add the peas and vegetable stock cube. Stir to mix well.
- Add the mushroom water to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary. Once water starts to boil, add rice and whole hot pepper if using. Gently stir. Do not over stir. When water has almost evaporated and you only see the ingredients, lower heat and cover. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked and still grainy. Serve hot with a dish of your choice.
2. Traditional Somali Rice and Chutney
This colourful, tasty rice dish with broth and chutney was given to us by Ibrahim Abdi Aden who works in the Concern office in Mogadishu, Somalia, cooking nutritious food for all the staff.
Here is a recipe for a traditional, very nice dish. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I do!
Course: Main course, for festive occasions or for special guests
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Broth (Maraq) ingredients
- 1 kg of goat meat/beef/chicken (optional).
- 1 litre of cold water.
- 2 medium onions sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- ½ bunch (50g) of fresh coriander.
- 1 tbsp of cumin seeds.
- 1 tsp of black pepper.
- 1 tbsp of ginger.
- 1 vegetable stock cube crumbled
- ½ lemon
- In a 3 litre pot, pour 1 litre water and place the washed meat, then add chopped onion, garlic, coriander, then add cumin seeds, black pepper, ginger and vegetable stock cube.
- Cover and then let it boil and simmer for 1 hour, after strain the broth into a clean bowl set broth and meat aside.
- Rice (preferably basmati rice) 2 cups 500g
- 100ml of canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
- 4 grounded cardamom
- ½ teaspoon of grounded black pepper
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 1 vegetable stock cube crumbled
- 80g of raisins
- 80g of frozen green peas
- A small pinch of Saffron
- 500ml of the broth
- Pour the rice into bowl, wash and then soak it for 20 minutes.
- In a 2 litre pot with medium heat, place 2 finely sliced onion in the oil, add cinnamon stick then stir it for 2 minutes. Then add the ground cardamom, ground coriander and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Strain the rice and add it to the pot with the green peas. Then add the vegetable stock cube and fry the rice for 5 minutes.
- Add the broth into the rice, lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for 15mins until the broth has been absorbed.
- In small bowl mix the saffron with ½ teaspoon of water and pour on top, then add the raisins. Cover and cook on very low heat for 5 minutes.
Somali Chutney (Shidni) ingredients
- 3 chillies green or red. (Adjust number of chillies to taste)
- 1 red pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ red onion
- 5 tomatoes
- 125g of Tamarind (soak it in water for 10 mins)/ or Tamarind sauce/paste.
- 2 tbsp of canola oil (or another vegetable oil)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 3 tsp of tomato puree
Somali Chutney (Shidni) method
- In a blender place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, red pepper, chillies and 1/3 cup water and blend until smooth.
- In a small pot pour oil and place ½ chopped onions and minced garlic fry until slightly golden brown then add the pureed mixture, add tomato paste and add 1 tsp salt and then mix well.
- Soften tamarind in ¼ cup hot water and mix well, then add to the mixture stir it well. You can also use tamarind sauce instead if so just add this in there is no need to add water.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 20mins, stir and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Rice dish topping ingredients
- 25ml of canola oil (or another vegetable oil)
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 Pepper (any colour) sliced
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- Optional – meat used in broth
- Place 1 chopped onion and the pepper in a clean pot, fry until soft, then add the minced garlic, season to taste and stir well.
- Optional step: Add the meat from the broth, cook until golden brown.
- Place on top of the finished rice dish to decorate, and serve with the chutney.
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