Vegetables appear to largely be side dishes, and often are woven into a meat dish, such as combining potatoes, carrots and peas with meat and making a stew. Green peppers, spinach and garlic were also noted as the types of vegetables most commonly eaten. Bananas, dates, apples, oranges, pears and grapes are among some of the more popular fruits (a raw, sliced banana is often eaten with rice). But in Somalia, Somalis had a much larger selection of fruits - like mango and guava - from which they would make fresh juice. Somali stores, therefore, carry among the widest selection of fruit juices, both Kern1s juices as well as imports from India and Canada. And there is also a selection of instant juice: frozen or available as a powder.
Other common foods include a type of homemade bread called anjara (it looks like a large, spongy pancake); black tea sweetened with milk and sugar; and sambusas, which are deep-fried triangular-shaped dumplings usually filled with meat or vegetables.
Like all Muslims, Somalis fast from eating or drinking from dawn to dusk during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar known as Ramadan. Anyone in good health over the age of 15 is required to fast.
While fasting is obligatory during Ramadan, fasting is also practiced among Somalis at any time of the year they want more spiritual purification. Many Somalis fast for one day or more at least every month.
Foods Commonly Eaten and Methods of Cooking
Family meal is still the norm. Frying is the most common method of cooking. Lamb or goat meat is considered the best meat to eat. Tea is the most common drink with lots of sugar. Drinking 4-6 cups of sweet tea a day is common. Homemade cakes are often eaten as snacks.
In the list of foods below, the dietitian considers:
Malawa, Chapathi, Roti Shanai, and Halwa are high carbohydrate/high fat foods.
Sambosa, Burkaki, and Maqhumri are high fat foods.
Ambola, Fool, Iskudahkaris, and Soor are high fiber foods.
Meat sauce/curry, Sukhar, and Kabaab are high protein foods.
Angera is made several ways as follows:Teff and corn flour
Teff and Sorghum
Self rising flour, corn flour, and eggs
Corn flour, eggs, wheat flour
Self rising flour, water or milk, and sugar
Westernization of foods and dietary practices is happening including making anjera with pancake mix or all purpose flour instead of corn, teff and other ingredients of traditional anjera.
Sauce with Angera is made of 1/2 cup tea, 1 tsp. Butter, and 2-3 spoons sugar added to the tea during preparation.
Ambola is made with red beans boiled in water, and is sometimes mixed with rice and a pinch of salt. It is smeared with sesame oil (called masara) and sugar when served.
Malawa looks like a pancake and is made with flour, sugar, oil and eggs. It may or may not be served with honey.
Fool is made with Pinto beans, tomatoes, and onions in water. The onions are fried before being added to the other ingredients.
Mufo is bread made with corn flour, salt and sugar and is baked like a cake.
Meat sauce/Meat curry is made with ground beef and mixed vegetables and lots of spices. It is also made with goat meat that has been fried or baked.
Rice is eaten steamed or fried. Fried onions and spices are added to the rice before adding water. Plenty of oil is used.
Iskudahkaris (called Pilau in Tanzania) is a combination of onions and vegetables that are fried in oil, to which rice and water are then added.
Roti is pan cooked bread without oil.
Chapathi is a pan fried bread using vegetable oil or butter to fry.
Roti Shanai is similar to chapathi or East Indian paratha; it is served with butter and honey.
Sambosa are curry puffs stuffed with meat and vegetables and then deep fried.
Pasta is served with tomato and meat sauce that may have vegetables added to it. Carrots and potatoes are the commonly used vegetables.
Halwa is made with wheat flour, clarified butter and sugar.
Sukhar is a beef and tomato sauce, or a beef and vegetable sauce.
Soor is made with corn.
Burkaki (Mandazi in Kenya) are two types: 1. Balls made out of Angera mix and deep fried, and 2. Chapati rolled out of Angera dough, cut into triangles and fried.
Maqhumri is dough made out of flour, sugar, eggs and baking powder. Small balls of dough, about 2-3 inches in circumference, are deep fried in oil.
Kabaab is ground lamb or beef that is mixed with spices and baked or grilled.