Molokhia is a staple. I can't really say more than that, except that I haven't met a single person who grew up in the community, or who is a descendent of someone who grew up in the community, that doesn't like it. The texture of the soup is a little gelatinous (similar to Ocra) but don't let that put you off! Cutting the leaves very fine minimises this and anyway, it's part of what makes it so satisfying.
These biscuits were adopted by the Jews in Sudan from their neighbours in the Greek community. Friends taught friends, who passed it on to their friends and so the recipe changed and was adapted from the traditional Greek version. I was given three different recipes for finikia and this version is a combination of the three that I think works best and stays true to them all. Sweet, crumbly and buttery, finikia are decadently delicious.
300g caster sugar
2 tbsps. honey
1 piece lime or lemon rind
1 stick cinnamon
- Put the sugar and water in a pan on the hob on a high heat (don't use a non-stick pan for this)
- Stir gently but constantly with a metal spoon until all the water is dissolved
- Add the rind and cinnamon stick
- Boil for 5 minutes and remove from stove
- Add the lime juice and carefully bring the syrup back up to the boil - it should remain clear
- Take the syrup off the heat and leave to cool
1tsp baking powder
1½ tsps cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
- Mix the wet ingredients together
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl
- Make a crumble using the butter and dry ingredients
- Gradually mix in the wet ingredients and combine to form a dough
- Handling the dough as little as possible form a large sausage out of the dough and cut into slices half a centimetre thick
- Gently roll then flatten each piece for a firmer texture with more 'bite', or leave sliced for a softer biscuit
- Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes
- As soon as the biscuits come out the oven dunk them in the cool syrup and leave for at least two hours before eating to give the syrup time to fully infuse
Yesterday I held a Purim cookery demonstration with my mum for the wonderful Wimshul Cooks. We made Baklava, Ka'ak ib Agwa in a variety of lovely shapes and ate Basbusa with mint tea. It was a great evening and I'd like to thank the team at Wimshul Cooks for making it such a lovely experience and doing an inordinate amount of washing up!
If you live in the UK and would like to organise a cookery workshop where you can learn to make a selection of delicious food from the community please don't hesitate to get in touch via email or social media.
Ka'ak is a biscuit and Agwa is a date - these are the imaginatively named 'Biscuits with dates', also known as 'Ma'amoul', although these are slightly smaller and more crunchy than Ma'amoul.
These biscuits are addictively moreish. A decisive crunch, then a melt in the mouth crumble, followed by sweet, chewy dates - heavenly! Traditionally made as flattened balls or rolled into fingers, this year I ran a cookery workshop at the wonderful Wimshul Cooks and we had a go at making them Hamentaschen shaped for Purim (there were no Hamentaschen in Sudan!). Everyone got creative with their shaping and it worked really well, so have fun!
Batata Hamda literally means ‘Sour Potato’ – but let’s forget about that because it’s a name that doesn’t do this dish justice. It’s a tangy chicken soup made distinctive by its gorgeous yellow colour, served with potatoes and celery. In most cases, kobeba dumplings are also added to the soup, although these are optional.
You can adjust the lemon to taste and use any type of boned chicken for the soup. It can also be served with rice and is usually eaten as a meal in itself – as well as eating it during the year, we have it before Yom Kippur because lemon is supposed to be good for thirst.