I plan to proceed as before. If a new recognized country pops us, like South Sudan, they will certainly be included. However, Nagorno-Karabakh isn't recognized by any UN member states, and I am not going to include it. For now. We'll see about later. I need to draw the line somewhere.
Background: After 100 days in office, the first democratically elected president of Burundi was assassinated. This led to a conflict that lasted almost 12 years and took the lives of more than 200,000 Burundians
Location: Central Africa
Area: Over 27,000 sq km; 147th largest in the world
Slightly smaller than Maryland
Population: Over 10.2 million; 81st largest in the world
It is estimated that only 2.5% of the population is 65 and older
Population Growth Rate: 3.5%; 5th largest in the world
Life Expectancy at Birth: 58.78 years; 190/222
HIV/AIDS in Adults: 3.3%; 21st highest in the world
Per Capita GDP: $300; Lowest in the world
Source: CIA Factbook
Given my history with the recipes of small African nations, I wasn't so sure what would happen with Burundi. The first dish I found was seafood, so that was out. I promise I am getting better, but I'm not quite there yet. Then I found multiple mentions of a dish called Boko Boko Harees. It sounded good, but also oddly familiar. I searched my memory and did some research. Harees and harissa share a Wikipedia article. Harissa. What I made for Armenia.
So how did it end up in Burundi? Apparently the commonality here is the Middle Eastern influence. This article explains a bit, but I still feel like there are some questions. Where is the origin? Is it common everywhere with an Arabic influence?
And more immediate, should I make it? It is so similar to what I had previously done. Wasn't I supposed to be trying new things? But there were a few differences - I would get to use ghee for the first time. There were spices in this version. I decided, in the end, this is exactly what I wanted. I could learn how the same dish is interpreted differently by different countries. What better way to really experience the diversity of the world? So I had my recipes, and even some leftover bulgur wheat. Oh happy day.
Plus, I found a dessert recipe: Date Banana Mix. I'm not entirely sure about authenticity, but since it is the secondary, I wasn't as worried. It was listed as Burundian and therefore good enough
After soaking the wheat for a few hours, I got Kevin to help speed up the meat defrosting, and took my first few steps.
|I'm getting pretty good at this soaking thing.|
|I didn't tell him the picture was done and he almost made it overflow.|
|Cutting it into smaller portions makes the job much easier.|
Now, the first step reads "Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy." Steps like this make me realize how little I really know about cooking. And I'm the one writing the blog. Scary.
I took the butter right out of the fridge for this step. Didn't warm it, didn't let it get to room temperature. Sometimes recipes don't include steps because they aren't well written. Sometimes they don't include them because they are common sense. I often have a problem with these. :-(
|Not getting light and fluffy.|
|This is what I ended up with.|
I worked through all of the dough, and then I had to move to the chicken. Kevin took over the rest of the dessert. What a good husband.
|I was worried it was going to be too dry, but it came together quite well.|
|First and foremost an engineer. Here he is trying to figure out if the pan measurement was for the bottom or top of the pan.|
|What beautiful work. Our pan was smaller than the recipe called for.|
|The end result. I think if I had made more the consistency could have been different.|
|When I scraped it up, this is what I got. Actually kinda like paste!|
|I was also left with this. When I added water to the next part, I ran it over the pan first to get up the leftovers. See? I know a few tricks.|
|Neither of us has worked with dates much before, so it was a new experience.|
|He wanted to make sure you saw the overkill knife he was using due to the dishes situation. There were also some captions I was spefically NOT allowed to put...|
|Very neat and ordered.|
|Due to the unevenness of a layer of dates, the top was more difficult.|
|Take the galaxy from the Empire, Jedi!|
|Tesla wants to be an architect when he grows up.|
|Kevin titled this one the "World's Most Expensive Pillow."|
|The difference between Kevin and me. Note the banana peels and things still all sitting out.|
|Sweet turmeric sauce = complete!|
|The pile is bigger than it appears.|
|Kevin and the dessert he mostly made.|
|Boko Boko Harees, with the sweet turmeric sauce mixed in.|
The dish was a solid meh. It was (obviously) very similar to the Armenian dish, but not quite there. The sweet turmeric definitely added flavor, but not enough to elevate to a "would ask for this" status. I can definitely see how this would help you get some nutrients and substance when it is needed. Similar to the dish from Armenia, it could be versatile with different spices and additives. Edible. Not bad. Not great.
The dessert, however, was excellent. The dough was good and still had some fluff left. The banana gave a nice texture and the dates really went well. It wasn't too hard to make, and you only need a small serving to feel like you had your dessert. Perhaps a good dish to pass? International potluck!
I am incredibly excited for next time. Thank God for moving through the alphabet! It goes beyond just that, though, and I can't wait to eat this food.
Next time: Cambodia