This week our church experienced the flavors, sights and sounds of Mali during our Missions Conference. It included a typical Malian meal which we prepared and I was delighted that their cuisine contained so many of my favorites – herbs, spices, teas and peanut butter!
Mali, formerly French Sudan, is a land-locked West African country that is full of variety in every aspect of life. The cuisine is as diverse as its inhabitants yet is comprised mostly of corn, millet, and rice porridges served with a diverse range of sauces. Mali has 6 main ethnic groups each with its own form of typical recipe.
In Mali sauces and tea are important culinary delights. Malinese inhabitants make sauces from ground peanuts, okra, sweet potato leaves, and baobab. Tea drinking is quite a ritual in Mali. Tea normally is drunk in three rounds: the first for life which is slightly sweet, the second for love which is very sweet, and the third for death which is bitter.
Here is the menu and recipes we used for the foods we enjoyed – the hardest part was the conversion of the recipes from metric, but this website was a great help!
2-3lb boneless chicken thighs, stewed
oil to sauté
2 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 can tomato paste
1 jar natural peanut butter
1 lg can diced tomatoes
1 can green chilies
6 c water + 6 bouillon cubes or 6c chicken stock
3 Bay leaves
1/2 cabbage, cut into wedges
8 carrots, thick sliced
1 cubed eggplant
1 diced pepper
1 cubed yam/sweet potato
salt and pepper to taste
10c cooked rice
Sauté onion until soft then add garlic, tomato paste & peanut butter and cook a few minutes. Add diced tomatoes, green chilies, water, bouillon cubes and bay leaves and cook 10 minutes. Add vegetables and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chicken pieces plus additional water if necessary for a stew-like consistency, cover and cook about 15 minutes. Season & serve over rice. Serves 15-20
Lettuce, Tomato & Cucumber Salad
Trio of Sweets:
1 1/2c water
1Tbs grated fresh ginger
32oz vanilla yogurt
6oz sweetened condensed milk
6oz evaporated milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp ginger powder
Cook couscous according to package directions with water, butter and grated fresh ginger. Combine yogurt, condensed and evaporated milk then add vanilla extract and ginger powder. Gradually pour the couscous into the yogurt, mix well and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve sprinkled with ginger sugar. Serves 15-20 (samplers)
(Malinese Sesame-Honey Sweet)
1c Sesame seeds
4Tbs Butter, unsalted
Heat the sesame seeds in a dry shallow pan until they begin to jump about and turn golden. Allow to cool.
Heat the butter over medium-low heat and then add the honey. Stir continuously until the mixture begins to caramelize, then continue for about 3-5 minutes. Stir the sesame seeds into honey mixture. Spread onto a buttered baking sheet to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cool until it is just warm and cut into sticks. Cool completely. Makes about 40 pieces
Mango/Strawberry/Banana Fruit Kabobs
Iced South African Tea
(Rooibos and Honeybush)
Jus de Bissap Malienne
(Malian Hibiscus Flower Juice)
1 3/4c dried red bissap (hibiscus flowers)
leaves from 1/2 bunch of mint
Bring 2qt water to a boil, add the hibiscus flowers and continue boiling or 20 minutes, or until the water is nicely tinted red and is aromatic. Take off the heat and set aside to cool then strain the juice from the flowers. Add the sugar and mint leaves to the liquid and mix until the sugars have dissolved. Pour into bottles and store in the refrigerator until well chilled. Serve within a couple of days of making (its best on the day it's prepared).
Hot African Mint Tea
(An herbal version of the classic Moroccan Mint)
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing
3Tbs loose leaf green rooibos
Blend together. To Brew: Use 1 teaspoon per 6oz cup or 1 heaping Tablespoon per 4-6 cup pot, add boiling water & steep for 5-10 minutes.
some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
I Corinthians 10:31