Minnesota Historical Society

Soo Fariista / Come Sit Down: A Somali American Cookbook

$ 24.95

Author Wariyaa, Foreword by Osman Mohammed Ali

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.

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, bur, and halwa (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 sambusa (stuffed pastry) to suqaar (curry stew) to basbousa (honey and nut cake) 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, told in Somali (with translation) or English. 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. 

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.


  • Author: Wariyaa, Foreword by Osman Mohammed Ali
  • Publisher: MNHS Press
  • Format: Paperback, 224 pages, 50 color photos 70 recipes, index, bibliography, 8x10 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681340852

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