My goal is to create simple vibrant dishes inspired by my Fulani roots, using gourmet techniques and showing the love I have, put into each dish through its colour, taste and texture. When a great chef puts trusted culinary skills to work, magic happens. My name is Fatimata Binta and I am your chef de cuisine! For a better part of my adult life, I have been actively meshing my passion for food with quality skills from certified institutions across the world. The beauty and appreciation of food across the world hinges on not just the taste; but also on the safety of meals consumed, the proper management of consumer needs and the artful presentation of meals for aesthetic appeal. These touch points guide my sojourn as a professional chef.
I describe myself as the Fulani Chef, a classic nomad due to my background of been born and raised in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Like my ancestors, I have travelled to several corners of this globe and have been fortunate to work with renowned African chefs. My passion to share African cuisine with the world is based on my experiences as a child growing up during the darkest period of Sierra Leone’s history – the civil war and the ensuing unrest. I experienced firsthand how food and food preparation can bring people together and bring down walls. During many episodes of the conflict, food was probably the second most important ally for residents of Freetown.
I saw my neighbours contribute and share ingredients to prepare meals that could be shared with everyone who had contributed. This is what I call creating food for sustenance. I honestly believe, having knowledge on how to blend and create totally new dishes with a handful of ingredients is a lifesaving skill in a war zone. With quality skills traversing tourism, hotel management and culinary art, my contribution to the food industry in Africa and beyond has also given me the opportunity to share memorable cuisine experiences with the happiest people from all walks of life.
The Fulani cuisine is mainly derived from cattle such as yogurt, milk, butter and meat. Also, porridges, groundnuts, starches like sorghum, Fonio, corn, and local rice they call “Nyiiri” which they eat with leafy soups called “Haako” made from onions, peppers, vegetables and sun-dried root vegetable dishes.
They believe in self-sustenance and as such, you will find many of them cultivating vegetables and crops in their backyards which they call “Soontureh”. They also produce their own organic fertiliser by digging a pit which they call “ngieka laiedi” in their yard where they throw away vegetable peels and ashes from the fire place.
Kanya recipe inspired by Sierra Leone
2 cups gari
1/2 cup groundnut paste
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of sugar (to your sweet tooth taste)
- Toast gari in a nonstick pan.
- Set aside to cool.
- Blend sugar, gari and salt in a mill blender (not too smooth).
- In a prep bowl, combine the gari with the groundnut paste together.
- Mix well till the gari is coated well with the groundnut paste.
- . Serve with your preferred ice cream.
SOURCE: Glitz Africa
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