Hawa Hassan & Julia Turshen IN Bibi’s Kitchen

Last updated: November 17, 2021

Hawa Hassan & Julia Turshen IN Bibi’s Kitchen

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We looked at the top Cookbooks and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cookbook you should buy.

Overall Take

Stories of family, love and tradition are what you'll find inside this cookbook. The book follows eight grandmothers, who share recipes that include ingredients that are native to their country. The rich history is sure to inspire you to get back to homecooking and creating delicious meals for your family that are also nutritious.

In our analysis of 34 expert reviews, the Hawa Hassan & Julia Turshen IN Bibi's Kitchen placed 5th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

In this incredible volume, Somali chef Hawa Hassan and food writer Julia Turshen present 75 recipes and stories gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. Most notably, these eight countries are at the backbone of the spice trade, many of them exporters of things like pepper and vanilla. We meet women such as Ma Shara, who helps tourists “see the real Zanzibar” by teaching them how to make her famous Ajemi Bread with Carrots and Green Pepper; Ma Vicky, who now lives in suburban New York and makes Matoke (Stewed Plantains with Beans and Beef) to bring the flavor of Tanzania to her American home; and Ma Gehennet from Eritrea who shares her recipes for Kicha (Eritrean Flatbread) and Shiro (Ground Chickpea Stew). Through Hawa’s writing—and her own personal story—the women, and the stories behind the recipes, come to life. With evocative photography shot on location by Khadija Farah, and food photography by Jennifer May, In Bibi’s Kitchen uses food to teach us all about families, war, loss, migration, refuge, and sanctuary.

Expert Reviews

What experts liked

This is a very special book that not only contains recipes for healthy, delicious every day meals, but also brings us into the kitchen of home cooks from different countries, providing context for the dish as well as a personal connection like the one you might have with your grandmother's cooking.
By far, my favorite thing about the book, which the Somali-born Hassan wrote with Julia Turshen, is the detailed portrait that emerges of each bibi — Swahili for grandmother — through photos and an in-depth interview, along with a few of her recipes.
What I love the most about this book (besides the absolutely GORGEOUS photography) is just how much thought was put into every aspect of it, from the layout (the chapters are organized by country location from north to south), to the thorough yet concise profiles of each country.
This book is an homage to inspiring women written by two ladies who have accomplished some memorable feats in their careers. Uplift them by cooking your way through this book, hopefully spurring some inspiration, at some point, from within your own soul.
- Issuu
By having each chapter feature a specific country, with an introduction to the country’s history, its economy and resources, the language and religion, this book really is making a very concerted effort to explain the very wide breadth of food culture in Africa.

What experts didn't like

When outlining how long food will stay fresh or how long to keep it in the oven to reheat it, time is measured in “a few minutes” or “a few days.“ It’s hard to know how long “a few” is, so it’s best to use your own instincts when it comes to leftovers.


For many people, cooking at home is a relaxing activity. It helps calm your nerves after a stressful day and creates excitement for the delicious meal you’re about to eat. For others, cooking is a group activity you do with your loved ones, working closely together in the kitchen to make culinary magic. Whether you’re a novice home cook or a master of the trade, using a cookbook to help guide you is a great way to try out new flavors, techniques and styles of cooking.

When looking for a great cookbook, first consider the kinds of food you’d like to try. Are you interested in going out of your comfort zone and making a dish from a different country, or do you want to stay within the kinds of meals you are familiar with? Are you going on a new diet where you omit certain foods like gluten or meat from your meals, or are you looking to expand your palate and add in new ingredients you’re not familiar with?

Be sure to also consider your level of culinary expertise. If you’re a new cook, you may want to choose a cookbook geared towards beginners with simple recipes that don’t require complex techniques. On the other hand, if you’re looking to challenge yourself, then opt for a cookbook geared towards experts with multi-step recipes and unique modes of cooking.

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