Food in Somalia
Meat dominates Somali cuisine, and vegetarianism is uncommon. Goat, beef, lamb, and occasionally chicken are fried in ghee, grilled, or broiled. It’s seasoned with turmeric, coriander, cumin, and curry and served over basmati rice for lunch, supper, and sometimes morning.
Vegetables seem to be mostly side dishes, and are often included into a meat meal, such as mixing potatoes, carrots, and peas with meat to make a stew. Green peppers, spinach, and garlic were all mentioned as the most frequently consumed veggies. Some of the more popular fruits include bananas, dates, apples, oranges, pears, and grapes (a raw, sliced banana is often eaten with rice). However, in Somalia, Somalis had a far wider variety of fruits, such as mango and guava, from which to create fresh juice. As a result, Somali shops have one of the most diverse selections of fruit juices, including Kern1s juices as well as imports from India and Canada. There is also a choice of quick juice, which may be frozen or powdered.
The Somali diet is distinguished by the fact that it comprises entirely of halal items (Arabic for “allowable” as opposed to haram: “prohibited”). Somalis are Muslims, and according to Islamic Law (or Shar’1ah), pork and alcohol are prohibited.
Other popular meals include injera (similar to a big, spongy pancake) and sambusas (similar to Indian samosas), which are deep-fried triangular-shaped pastries filled with meat or vegetables.
Somali cuisine varies by area and is an eclectic blend of local Somali, Yemeni, Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Italian influences. It is the result of Somalia’s long history of trade and commerce. Despite the diversity, one thing unifies the different regional cuisines: all food is provided halal.
Drinks in Somalia
Somalis are big fans of spiced tea. A subset of Somalis consume a tea similar to Turkish tea, which they brought back from Middle Eastern nations. The majority, however, drink a traditional and cultural tea known as Shah Hawaash, which is made of cardamom (in Somali, Xawaash or Hayle) and cinnamon bark (in Somali, Qoronfil).
Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, and Somalia rigorously adheres to this rule. If you do discover any, don’t display it or consume it in public, since you may offend and be punished. Foreign visitors may purchase alcohol at Abdalla Nuradin Bar.
When it comes to coffee (kahwa), try mirra, which is prepared in the Somali manner. It’s powerful and delicious, especially when paired with fresh dates, and it’s sometimes flavored with cardamom. Tea (chai) is often served with dollops of sugar and perhaps a few mint leaves (na’ana).