Hawa Hassan’s Easy Spring Recipe
The powerful personal testimony of activist, author and TV cook Hawa Hassan is a much-told tale. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she spent a year in a UN refugee camp in Kenya and, aged seven, travelled onwards to Seattle in the US, alone. The inspiration behind her bestselling cookbook In Bibi’s Kitchen was not, however, rooted in trauma. Instead, it is about the joys of the matriarch’s kitchen. Paying homage to ‘bibis’ – AKA, grandmothers – it features glorious stories of family, love and home-cooked recipes that span eight African countries: Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar and Comoros.
A triumph in a publishing genre largely criticised for its lack of diverse perspectives, it’s no wonder Vogue called it “The most important cookbook of 2020.” Here is Hassan’s easy spring recipe, created exclusively for Service95.
Mango Cucumber Salad | Serves 4
Tropical fruits are great when you crave something both fresh and crunchy, however the heat from the chilli keeps this salad from tasting too sweet. It works well with chicken, pork or seafood, or as a quick, light meal on its own.
juice of 2 limes
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno or Fresno chilli, halved and sliced
2 ripe mangos, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Persian cucumbers, halved and sliced on the bias
2 ripe avocados, cubed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
In a large serving bowl, combine the lime juice, red onion and chilli. Season with salt and let it sit to pickle for 5 minutes or so. Add the mango, cucumber and avocado and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss well to combine. Sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve immediately.
Hawa Hassan is a TV chef, activist, author and founder of the condiment line BasBaas Sauce. Born in Somalia, she lives in Seattle, US