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Hawa Hassan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Cookbooks

In Bibi's Kitchen (With: Julia Turshen) (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Hawa Hassan is a Somali born cookbook author and entrepreneur that is best known for her cookbook “In Bibi’s Kitchen” and her condiment company “Basbaas Somali Foods.” Hassan moved to Seattle in the United States as a seven year old after spending three years as a refugee in Kenya.

Her mother and siblings were to join them later but due to visa issues that never materialized. While she never knew it at the time, it would be a decade and a half before she would be reunited with her family that was now resettled in Norway.

After graduating from Bellevue College, she proceeded to become a model as she capitalized on every opportunity afforded to her. More than two decades after she arrived as a skinny and awkward girl in Seattle, she is now a food industry rising star with a company that specializes in chutneys and Somali hot sauces.
“In Bibi’s Kitchen,” her debut cookbook, she compiles a range of recipes that she has collected over the years cooking with her family. While the journey to success as a cookbook author and CEO has been tumultuous, she prefers to count her blessings rather than tell sad stories.

After modeling for a few years, Hassan decided that it was time to reunite with her family. It had been more than fifteen years but she finally got reunited with her mother and her siblings in the early 2000s.

It was a soul nourishing and jubilant time and the time she spent with her mother in Norway was instrumental in the rediscovery of her Somali roots. It was from this extended stay that she started thinking of founding Basbaas, her somali condiment and chutney company.

Living in Oslo, she spent a lot of time cooking with her mother and once she was back in Seattle, she continued doing the same living with her adopted American family. Hawa started improving the coconut cilantro chutney and the tamarind date sauce that would form the basis of Basbaas.

She would sometimes take her Vitamix everywhere she went as she was determined to fine tune her ingredients and recipes. During this time, she was also working with contacts who would provide the necessary resources to launch her company. She finally launched her company in2014 and has never looked back since.

Hawa Hassan initially had the idea for her debut cookbook “In Bibi’s Kitchen” at the tail end of 2015 though it was something that she always wanted to do. She thought that she wanted a smallish proposal as she did not want to lose or overwhelm the reader.

This is something that she had experienced and hence she wanted to be more methodical. Shortly after putting together her proposal, she started shopping for a publisher and finally published in 2020.

The cookbook “In Bibi’s Condiments” is a collection of recipes and stories from the many grandmothers Hawa has had the honor of working with in eight African countries. It is a groundbreaking collection that takes the best dishes cooked for centuries by these older women that most publishers have failed to capture.
Hawa Hassan says that she often gets letters from African cooks who see themselves in the cookbook. Many have asserted that their mothers never kept recipes and hence this is a breath of fresh air for people needing African cooking recipes in the States.

“In Bibi’s Kitchen” by Hawa Hassan is an incredible volume that comes with stories and more than 75 recipes gathered from grandmothers from Eritrea, South Africa, Somalia, Mozambique, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, and the Comoros.

It is important to note that these are the countries that are at the center of the space trade and export all manner of condiments from vanilla to pepper.
She tells the stories of women such as Ma Shara that are determined to show the real Zanzibar to tourists. To do this, she teaches them how to make Green Pepper with Carrots to eat with Ajemi Bread.

Readers will love the story of real life Tanzanian princess Ma Vicky who is now a resident of New York who makes some mean Stewed Plantains with Beef and Beans known on the East African Coast as Matoke.

Ashura Babu-Ahura, the widow of the deceased Zanzibari revolutionary leader and Marxist Abdulrahman Babu also makes some great Coconut Fish Curry known as Samaki wa Kupaka in Swahili.

Through Hawa Hassan’s writings and the personal stories of the women providing the recipes, the cookbook comes to life. It also includes some evocative food photography as the author makes use of food to teach about family, sanctuary, war, refuge, migration and loss.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Hawa Hassan

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