I feel like I’m on a bit of a tour of Africa at the moment… here’s another offering from the continent in the form of Chad.
Chad is the 7th poorest country in the world with 80% of Chadians living below the poverty line according to the UN, and Oxfam have listed it bottom in its list of 125 countries in the world in terms of access and affordability of food.
This reminded me of a beautiful, thought-provoking series of photographs I’d seen a few years ago called Hungry Plant: What the World Eats in which a photographer assembled and photographed the weekly food for typical families around the world. It makes very interesting reading. The typical Chadian and British families are shown here:
Great Britain: The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis. Food expenditure for one week: 155.54 British Pounds or $253.15. Favorite foods: avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream.
I settled on some traditional sour dough crepes called Kissar; the recipes for which reminded me of Ethiopian Injera which I’ve had a few times and loved. A lovely Chadian lady who runs a Facebook page called La Cuisine Tchadienne Moderne helped me out with a recipe. The dough is made from semolina, water, yeast and natural yogurt is left to prove over night before frying. After 24 hours this was a thick batter. Not quite solid like a dough batter but certainly too thick to pour. I ended up thinning it down with more natural yogurt. I really really loved the taste of kissar – it has a sour, acidic taste which doesn’t sound good but trust me, it was!
I felt that the meal might lack some colour so thought I’d make a sauce to go with the kissar. Typical ingredients and flavours from Chad which repeated themselves in many recipes were tomato, onion, garlic and peanut. So I chopped these things together and fried them off with some of the left over Gambian peanut sauce.
Fish is commonly eaten in the north of Chad, particularly Tilapia. I really struggled to get any Tilapia over the Christmas break so had to settle for sea bass. I used the same technique illustrated in many recipes; The fish is studded with garlic and fried off with tomatoes and served with rice.
I really enjoyed this meal – this fish was really fresh tasting and I enjoyed mopping up the sauce with the kissar.