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The Hopeprint Blog
A Taste of Somalia

Enjoying the warm winter day, I walked down to North Salina with our new intern from Cazenovia College, Rossy, for lunch. As we walked along, a car came halting to a stop and a very friendly face waved out the window. Squinting to see who it was, I saw my dear friend Muheyidin greeting me and pulling over. Having yet to see each other since my return from his homeland area of the Horn of Africa, he was anxious to hear about it.

As we walked into the African International Restaurant with the football (soccer) game playing on the TV, Somali talk in the air and sat down for some rice with goat, I felt this twinge of joy and familiarity. The sip of Somali tea pushed it over the edge. I love that the world I traveled over 24 hours to get to exists right here in my everyday life. Who gets to have such things at their fingertips?!

On the evening of February 9th, Hopeprint will be hosting the Hope Gala which provides a chance for you too to taste and experience the tapestry of culture and cuisine that we have here in Syracuse’s Northside. For more information, click here for the event webpage.

For those of you who want to enjoy a little taste of Somalia in your own kitchen, here’s a recipe you can make at home (straight from the mouth and cooking lessons of a well-renowned Somali cook in Africa)…

Somali Spaghetti

1. Cook spaghetti pasta

2. In a large saucepan, prepare the sauce:

  • 5 tomatoes shredded (on a typical grater or in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 head of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 carrots shredded (on a typical grater or in a food processor)
  • thinly sliced green peppers
  • thinly sliced onions
  • ground white pepper to taste

3. Toss spagetti pasta in sauce to combine

4. Serve covered with hard boiled egg and/or banana

Somali Meatballs

1. Toast whole cumin (not ground) on stove top

2. Place one bunch of cilantro, one head of garlic and a small amount of water in a blender/food processor and blend into a paste

3. Mix and roll the following into medium sized balls:

  • 2 lbs Ground camel (or beef)
  • Cilantro paste (above)
  • Toasted cumin
  • 2 eggs
  • Ground white pepper and salt to taste

4. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and place the meatballs in the oil, flipping them as needed until thoroughly cooked


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