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Soo Fariista / Come Sit Down

Soo Fariista / Come Sit Down

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A Somali American Cookbook

Author Wariyaa, Foreword by Osman Mohamed Ali

Minnesota Historical Society Press (June 1, 2018)

This accessible guide celebrates a vibrant food culture that crisscrosses national and regional borders, inviting all comers to relish comforting and flavorful meals, Somali American style.


Named Best Cookbook by City Pages 2019!

Somali Americans celebrate a shared heritage at mealtime. No matter what country they first called home, no matter how they found their way to Minnesota, members of this community come together over shaah, kackac, and halwad (that is, tea, beignets, and sweets).

Realizing how quickly traditions can change in a culture on the move, Somali American students set out to preserve their culinary legacy by interviewing family members, researching available and alternative ingredients, and testing kitchen techniques. In Soo Fariista / Come Sit Down, seventy recipes for everything from saabuuse (stuffed pastry) to suqaar (sauteed meat) to canjeelo (flatbread) to shushumow (fried sweet dough) honor memories and flavors from East Africa with adjustments for American realities. An introduction explores Somali foodways and their transitions in the United States, and each contributor is highlighted with his or her story. Notes on the recipes share the students’ journey from “a little of this and a little of that” to methods that will bring success in Somali American cooking to novices and practiced hands alike.

Also of interest: Somalis in Minnesota by Ahmed Ismail Yusuf

Author information

The members of Wariyaa: Somali Youth in Museums are high school students from across the Twin Cities metro area who explore cultural preservation and history through food.

Osman Mohamed Ali is founder and executive director of the Somali Museum of Minnesota.

Reviews and news

In the media:

City Pages Best Cookbook 2019

MPR's "Appetites"

MplsStPaul Magazine

Star Tribune

Of interest:
New York Times--"Museums Tell Teenagers: We're Here for You" featuring Wariyaa

MNopedia articles: Somali and Somali American Experiences in Minnesota, Somali Poetry in Minnesota, and Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota

Somalis in Minnesota Oral History Project

Somali Skyline Tower Oral History Project

Recipe & recipe list

Suugo Curry/ Butter Chicken Curry
Best served with a flatbread like Sabaayad, also known as Jabaati.

2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, diced
4 small tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
½ cup heavy cream
Toss chicken with vinegar, stirring to coat. Heat a skillet and add
olive oil. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until browned and dry.
Remove from heat.

Make the curry sauce by combining onions, tomatoes, cilantro,
and garlic in bowl of a blender and blending for 1 minute.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Add the cooked
chicken, curry sauce, and turmeric. Heat to boiling, stirring
frequently. Add salt, cream, and remaining 4 tablespoons butter,
stirring well. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

List of Recipes in Soo Fariista:


Saabuuse Wrappers

Beef Saabuuse Filling

Lamb Saabuuse Filling

Vegetarian Saabuuse Filling

Oodkac/Muqmad (Jerky-Style Meat)

Somali Xalwo/Halwad (Sweet Spread)
Buskud (Somali Biscuits)

Cardamom Cookies

Luqaimat (Sweet Fritters)

Shushumow (Crystallized Pastry Shells)

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


Malawax (Somali Sweet Flatbread)

Canjeelo (Flatbread)

Quick Canjeelo

Sabaayad (Somali Flatbread)

Coconut-Filled Sabaayad (Somali Flatbread)

Chickpea Pancakes


Muufo/Kidaar (Corn Flatbread)


Suugo Curry (Butter Chicken Curry)

Chicken Suqaar

Digaag Duban (Spicy Baked Chicken)

Lamb and Potato Suugo

Mishkaki (Meatballs)

Beef Suqaar (Beef Sauté)

Baasto (Pasta)

Baasto iyo Hilib Shiidan (Pasta Bolognese)

Hamdi’s Livers

Pan-Fried Kingfish Fillet

Malai Kismayo (Fried Fish)

Sides and Sauces

Shahan Ful (Fava Beans in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Walnut and Cumin Lentil Salad

Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad

Misir iyo Lows (Lentils with Almonds)

Lentil Curry

Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Spicy Vegetable Hotpot

Khudaar la Shiilay (Vegetable Stir-Fry)

Maraq Bocor (Pumpkin Soup)

Kashmiri Chile Cabbage

Curried Cauliflower

Maraq Baamiye (Okra Sauce)

French Fries

Somali Shidni (Chutney)

Basbaas (Mild Hot Sauce)


Wariyaa’s Bariis

Mom’s Home Rice

Bariis Xawaash Leh (Turmeric Rice)

Brown Rice Pilaf

Bariis Iskukaris (Aromatic Rice)

Bariis Surbiyaan (Spicy Rice with Caramelized Onions)

Cambuulo iyo Maraq (Spicy Beans)

Vegetable Risotto

Xawaash (Somali Spice Mix)


Shaah (Somali Tea)

Shaah Cadays Ah (Somali Tea with Milk)

Qaxwo (Coffee)

Cananaas Cabbid Ah (Pineapple Juice)

Biyo Cambe (Mango Juice)


Semolina Cake

Doolsho/Keeg (Vanilla Cake)

Mahamri (African Donuts)

Kackac (Somali Beignets)

Rooti Malab (Honeycomb Bread)

Macsharo Yariis (Mini Rice and Coconut Cakes)

Kashata (Coconut Candy)

Date and Banana Loaf

Banana Fritters

  • 224 pages
  • 50 color photos 70 recipes, index, bibliography
  • 8x10 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681340852

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