Recipes and cooking are really their own sort of stories and that’s what Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen wanted to share in the new cookbook, In Bibi’s Kitchen. The collection of recipes featured are based on their extensive research in the kitchens of grandmothers across eight eastern African countries. Hassan and Turshen explain in the introduction to the book that, “This is an old-fashioned cookbook that has nothing to do with trends or newness. It’s filled with recipes from grandmothers and their rich histories, which have been handed down through generations.”
Included among the more involved recipes is this quick stewed eggplant, which comes from the kitchen of Mo Shara, who runs a cooking school in Zanzibar. As with each of the grandmothers featured in the book, they asked Mo Shara about her relationship to the food she cooks and her live and culture.
This recipe is so quick, easy, affordable, and healthy—the things we all seem to look for these days. It’s also very forgiving. Don’t have green bell pepper? Throw in a red one. Forgot to check the pot on the stove while you started doing something else? Not the end of the world—the eggplant will just get silkier if it cooks a little longer.
Feel free to also throw in extra vegetables like thinly sliced carrots, chopped okra, or diced sweet potatoes. This is one of those dishes you can throw together after work and just eat with rice or flatbread, or make as part of a more elaborate meal with other vegan dishes or meat, chicken, or fish.