Day 13: Djibouti's Skoudehkaris

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Today, we are headed for Djibouti for its famous skoudehkaris! This is the neighbour to yesterdays meal Zigni from Eritrea. Djibouti is located between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, Djibouti declared its independence from France in 1977. Located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti was a French colony from 1842 until its independence in 1977, which explains the broad French influence in the cuisine from Djibouti.

Djiboutian cuisine also consists of a blend of Ethiopian, Somali, and Yemeni cuisine, with some South Asian influences. Popular Djiboutian dishes include sambusas (samosas), hah-fah (vegetable spiced soup with goat meat), yetakelt w’et (spicy vegetable stew), lahoh (flat bread), garoobey (oatmeal porridge), xalwo (Djiboutian halva), fatira (omelette made from bread and meat), banana fritters and skoudehkaris that we are featuring today and which is considered by most people as national dish. It is often eaten with injera, a teff flour bread, also famous in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines.

Just know that all Djiboutian dishes are accompanied by colorful spicy sauces… sometimes very spicy. Wine or alcoholic beverages are very rare in Djibouti because it is a country of Muslim tradition.

Skoudehkaris is a dish from Djibouti prepared with lamb, rice and the delicious flavors of cilantro, cumin and cardamom. A close cousin of Indian biryani, this dish is traditionally cooked with lamb but it is not uncommon in Djibouti to use beef, chicken or even seafood instead. For our skoudehkaris, a Thai rice will be perfect!

Djibouti is an important link and trade hub especially for landlocked Ethiopia. Aside from the international port facilities, another important source of revenue is the