It's the must-read cookbook of the season.

By Claire Sullivan
Updated September 30, 2020
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In Bibi's Kitchen Book Cover
Credit: Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May

Crack open the new book In Bibi's Kitchen ($14.99, amazon.com), and you'll be off on a culinary tour of eight African countries that were once the backbone of the spice trade. Your expert guides: 16 bibis, or grandmothers, who share recipes that have lasted generations.

Friends and collaborators Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen brought unique strengths to their latest project. Hassan, a Somalian-born, Seattle-raised chef, interviewed their subjects, researched their home countries, and tested countless recipes. (She's also preserved her own heritage through Basbaas, a line of small-batch hot sauces and chutneys.) Turshen, a New York native and food writer, meticulously translated their techniques into easy-to-follow steps for home cooks.

In Bibi's Kitchen is organized by country, with Q&As throughout. "In creating it, we've come to understand that we have more in common than what separates us," they say. "We also found over and over again that no matter where we go, women are the ones sustaining their families and communities, and food is the main tool of that literal and figurative sustenance."

Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen, authors of In Bibi's Kitchen
Credit: Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May

Turshen and Hassan also helm Equity at the Table, a database that spotlights female, LGBTQ, and Black food-industry professionals.

chef Bibi Ma Halima
Credit: Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May

Bibi Ma Halima's Beef Suqaar

Bibi Ma Halima, who was raised in Somalia and lives in Minnesota, remembers learning to make beef suqaar from her own mother, and now she's teaching her children. "Her recipe uses all of my favorites," says food and entertaining director Sarah Carey. "Warming cumin and turmeric build layers of spice, and a hit of lime and cilantro rounds it out with freshness." One taste of this Somalian dish, and you'll feel nurtured, too.

Reprinted with permission from In Bibi's Kitchen, by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright 2020. Photographs by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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