Ka'ak bil Agwa

Ka'ak bil Agwa

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

Batata Hamda

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. 

Warak Enab (Stuffed Vine Leaves)

Warak Enab (Stuffed Vine Leaves)

It seems strange to think that I began this project just over a year ago, and that it is once again coming up to Rosh HaShannah.  At our house no feast would be a feast without Warab Enab; stuffed vine leaves. We have meat, rice, vegetables and all sorts of other things on the table, but these are the crowning glory – the thing that everyone looks forward to.  Maybe it’s because we only eat them twice a year, or maybe because knowing how much time and effort has gone into making them gives them that extra bit of special.  

Ka'ak bil Milch

Ka'ak bil Milch

If there was one taste that could sum up the amazing experience I have had since starting this project it would be the taste of Ka’ak ib Milch.  Quite literally ‘cake with salt’ ka’ak (or kahqa) is actually more like a breadstick. It has been offered to me in almost every house I have visited and even with a few variations it has reminded me of home, comforted me, and replaced more than one meal on my marathon interviewing trips when I woke up too late for breakfast or got back too late and tired for dinner.  It is quite fitting then that my uncle requested that I upload the recipe for this particular version (my grandmother’s of course) while he is living far from home.  So here you go, the ultimate and eternally versatile taste of home!