And the home construction goes on. Plaster dust everywhere, plastic on all the furniture, piles of stuff in every conceivable corner, jumbo dumpster in the driveway...I could go on and on, but if I did, that would leave me no time to cook this lovely Sudanese meal. One very important note...about a year after I started this project, South Sudan became the world's newest country, when it officially broke away from Sudan after two civil wars that spanned more than 5 decades, costing the lives of millions of Sudanese people. The map I have does not reflect this geographical shift, so I've drawn a (rough) line through Sudan to delineate the two countries (please don't hold me to exact cartographic accuracy). This blog post honors and celebrates both Sudan and South Sudan, it's people, traditions and culture.
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5424.htm and http://www.goss.org/.
The country is mostly flat, with some mountainous areas to the north and south, and a troprical, humid climate to the south. Of great importance in the both countries is the Blue Nile and the White Nile, both of which provide water for agriculture, nomadic shepherds as well as transportation, trade and commerce. One of the most diverse countries in the African continent, the population is Arab/Muslim to the north and Black African/Christian animist to the south. Commerce in the country relies primarily on agriculture, oil cotton, gum for exports. Grain sorghum (dura), is the principle food crop, along with millet, wheat, sesame seeds and peanuts. Camel and sheep are exported to Egypt and other Arab countries. The country relies on imports for food, and is often beset by problems with transportation due to poor roads and mismanagement.
Sudanese cuisine varies widely by region, but includes indigenous cooking traditions, along with Arabic, Egyptian, Yemeni, Indian and Ethiopian customs. Red pepper, garlic, onions, tomatoes, okra, stews, rice, flat breads, porridge, fish and live stock are staple items.
Large, firm, slightly under-ripe tomatoes work best for this dish
Slice the tomato cross-wise, then scoop out seeds and pulp - a grapefruit spoon works well!
Brown beef, salt, pepper, garlic and dill
Stuff tomatoes, and close up as best you can
Maschi (Stuffed Tomatoes)- Recipe courtesy of UPenn
This recipe makes 8, but I cut it in half
2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 cloves garlic, mashed (or 2 tsp. garlic powder)
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 cup cooked rice
2 Tbsp. oil, for browning meat
8 large, very firm tomatoes
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. oil
2 6 ounce cans tomato paste
12 ounces of water
1 tsp. cinnamon
8 green olives (optional)
In a 9-inch skillet, heat oil then saute ground beef, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, 1 tsp. garlic and dill until meat browns. Add 1 cup cooked rice and blend. Cut a slit in 8 large tomatoes, half way across the center. Squeeze the sides to open the slit. Scoop out all the flesh from the inside of tomatoes with a spoon. Refill tomato with beef mixture and close tomato.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet and saute the tomatoes carefully, rolling them gently until they become dark red on all sides. Remove tomatoes and place in a heavy casserole.
Combine 2 6 ounce cans of tomato paste, thinned with 12 ounces of water, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. garlic, then pour over tomatoes in casserole on a low flame for 10-15 minutes until sauce is cooked.
Carefully remove to a platter and top with green olives.
Final Assessment: For a relatively simple dish, sauteing stuffed tomatoes on all sides wasn't all that easy as they kept rolling over the wrong way. Plus, the butter and oil kept splattering all over me and the stove. The taste is very mild, and will probably remind many people of stuffed peppers. Tomatoes can be substituted and stuffed for cucumbers or eggplant as well, which would probably be very good. A lovely, simple dish that goes well with flat bread or sliced cucumbers.
© 2010-2011, What's Cooking in Your World? Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved