Recipe - Food from Libya - Bazin
With most recipes focusing on the classic food of a limited number of countries such as France and Italy, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at food from lesser known cuisines around the world.
The following recipe is from Libya. Along the way, I will suggest 'cheats' for making a simplified version of this dish.
This is one of the oldest and most popular dishes in Libya.
To make the dough, traditionally families would roast grain until golden brown and then grind and store for future use. However, for westerners it must surely be perfectly acceptable to use commercial flour of your choice.
To prepare the dough take approximately 1 kilo of flour and add very gradually to about a third of a litre of boiling water, constantly stirring in a circular motion until the mixture becomes too hard to stir and the mixture has turned into dough.
Once it has reached this stage, place the dough in a large bowl and knead the dough as you would any bread dough (be careful to keep your hands wet with cold water as the dough will be hot).
When you have done this, form it into a ball and place in the middle of a large serving bowl and pour the sauce (see below) all around and over it.
Cheat tip: Whilst it probably wouldn’t be an acceptable substitute in Libya, I’m sure that if you wanted to try this but didn’t want the effort of making the dough, it would be acceptable to cook some rice and place in a bowl to mould into a similar shape and place this in the centre instead.
For the Sauce:
This is where you can use your creativity as any kind of sauce can be used for this, but to give you a guideline, you could base it on the following recipe for a fish sauce.
Fry 2 Onions in Olive Oil
Add garlic, turmeric, chilli, salt and tomato puree.
Add water and any vegetables and cook until nearly done.
Add fish chunks and cook until done.
When cooked, simply pour this mixture around the dough and served hot with lemon which you squeeze into the sauce.
To eat this traditionally, you would pull off a lump of dough and dip into the sauce to eat. However, as stated earlier, a more simple and perhaps less messy way if not authentic, would be to use rice and eat with a fork.