Chad is the country of the three S. The Sahara, the Sahel and the savanna.
In the north, the Sahara occupies almost half of the territory. The Sahelian zone, with a sub saharan climate occupies 40 % of the territory in the center of the country. The south is characterized by a savanna climate with more rainfall.
These climatic and topographical differences obviously have an impact on the country’s cuisine. In the north, Chadians tend to use more products from livestock, as well as dairy products and fish. In the south, people prefer fruits, vegetables and spices.
Besides rice and sorghum, one of the most used cereals is millet. I used this cereal for the first time when I made zoom koom.
Millet is mostly cultivated in semi-arid climates in waakye from Asia (mainly India) and waakye from Africa. This cereal is appreciated in these regions whose cultivation is adapted to short rain seasons. This grain is often used as flour in porridge or pancake recipes. The millet leaves can even be used in cooking, as in waakye from Ghana. It is even brewed to make drinks and beers like ajono from Uganda.
Chadians use this cereal in many recipes as porridge, pancakes or those millet snacks from the Ouaddai region that I prepared this week. These millet snacks made me think of North African biscuits that our mothers and grandmothers prepared. Often quite dry and greasy, they were the joy of our afternoon snacks.
The recipe for these cookies is really very simple, with only a few ingredients. They make great biscuits for tea and also after-school snacks for young kids… and older kids too. The traditional recipe contains no flavorings but feel free to go wild by adding vanilla (as I did) or even lemon or orange zest or even orange blossom water.
- 2 cups millet flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- Oil (for frying)
- Mix the millet and wheat flours together.
- Gradually add the preheated vegetable oil in the flour mixture.
- Incorporate the sugar with the whole egg into the dough.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it becomes firm.
- If the dough is too dry and sandy, add a little water.
- Spread the dough with a rolling pin on a board or a lightly floured surface and reduce its height 1/4 inch.
- Cut the dough into 1-inch strips with a knife or rolling pizza cutter.
- Deep fry in a pan with oil (preheated to 300 F) until the snacks are golden, about 2-3 minutes.
- Place snacks on paper towels to remove excess oil and serve with a cup of tea.