53. Djibouti: Skoudehkaris (Djibouti Rice)

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To be completely honest I hadn’t the slightest idea there was a country called Djibouti let alone where in the world it was situated. After browsing my world map for a while I found a tiny little country next to Somalia right in the horn of Africa called Djibouti,so it’s in East-Africa! Great I haven’t had many East-African countries yet. It’s a quite young country it only declared independence 37 years ago, before that Djibouti was a French colony called French Somaliland. France took advantage of bountiful trade from the nearby Red Sea, Suez Canal and other countries such as Ethiopia, building the Franco-Ethiopian railway in 1897.

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Things you didn’t know about Djibouti

  • Lake Asal: the third-lowest land depression on the planet, this saline lake is also the lowest point in Africa at 155 meters below sea level, and holds 10 times the salt content of any ocean.
  • It is the hottest inhabited in the world. Temperatures pass 45C/120F sometimes with and sometimes without humidity.
  • Space shuttles in need of an emergency landing can use Djibouti in the Grand Bara desert. Next time you are stuck in one and the engine fails, you know where to go. (I can’t prove this but it is a powerful and persistent rumor in Djibouti.)
  • Evaporation is the main activity. It makes the water go out from the famous Lake Assal. Even though the lake is very salty, it gives benefits to the life of the local people in Djibouti. People can use the salt for personal use. Sometimes, people also trade the salt for the commercial purpose.
  • If you want to use taxi, I suggest you to take it before the sunset. When the sunset comes, the fee will be raised 50%.

So this rice this is delicious. I never knew you could get so much flavor into plain rice! This dish did however remind of the first dish I ever cooked for this around the world project for Afghanistan so i you liked that one I can guarantee you will love this one aswell! It’s not refined food, but it’s good old comfort food you want to eat out of a bowl while crying during the Grey’s Anatomy Finale which is exactly what I did!

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Ingredients: 500 g lamb shoulder, diced, 500 g rice, 3 tbsp oil, 500 g fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped, 2 large onions, chopped, salt and black pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom seeds, 1 chopped red chili

Fry the chopped onions in the oil until softened. Add the meat and cook until browned then add the tomatoes and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add all the spices, cover with water and allow to simmer gently for 45 minutes. When the meat is tender add the rice and 500 ml water, bring to the boil reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is done. Cook for a few more minutes to dry the mixture immediately and serve immediately.

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