Stews go perfectly with a lovely Sabaayad flatbread which is noteable for its crispy exterior and flaky inside. Call it the East African flat croissant!
It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose a savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make. This month we are going back to Djibouti and we willmake a Sabaayad flatbread common in Djibouti and Somalia.
Djibouti is in East Africa, bordered by Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia to the west and south, and Somalia to the southeast. The Gulf of Aden lies to the east. The country can be divided into three regions; the coastal plain and volcanic plateaus in the central and southern parts of the country and the mountain ranges in the north. Much of the country is vast wasteland with virtually no arable land.
One attraction is the Lake Abhe on the Ethiopian border. The steaming lake is surrounded by limestone chimneys and a lunar landscape used as the “Forbidden Zone” in Planet of the Apes (wikitravel).
Djiboutian cuisine consists of a mixture of Somali, Afar, Yemeni and French cuisine, with some Indian influences. Several popular dishes feature elaborate seafood and meat stews. Rice is often served with meat and/or a banana on the side. Often one will find grilled meats are frequently eaten with the pasta. Snacks have a Indian influence with pakora and Sambusa (simialr to a samosa). The staple dish Garoobey is a porridge made of milk soaked oats, with cumin or other spices.
Usually served with a stew, the Sabaayad flatbread is made from a dough of plain flour, water and salt. Otherwise the flatbread can also be eaten as a snack with some honey and tea. Djibouti are fond of rolling them into rough squares and then briefly fried in a skillet. This particular recipe has a bit of baking powder in it, resulting in a slightly more puffy Sabaayad flatbread.
After the dough is mixed you will feel like there is a lot of missing flour. Just oil it and place into a bag. After the rest period, the dough is more solid but so pliable, almost melting. I know this will sound like a weird piece of advise but ‘listen’ to the dough in each step. The dough will tell you what to do next. It did not turn out exactly as it should but still the flatbread is really tasty. I actually cut it into squares and served them as soft crackers during a cocktail hour with cheese.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking Powder
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups hot milk
- 1 1/4 cups oil for cooking
- Mix all the ingredients (except the milk) in a mixer bowl. On, low speed gradually pour in the hot milk and leave to mix for 5 minutes. it will be a super sticky down, this is normal. Smear 1 tablespoon of oil on the dough and place in a plastic bag for a 30 to 45 minutes rest.
- After this time the dough should be manageable. Shape into an cylinder and cut into 8 equal pieces. Make a ball by pushing the outside in until there is not more outside oily surface.
- Roll out each piece of dough into a rectangle and spread 1 Tbsp of oil on the surface with a spoon. Fold into thrids, turn 90 degrees and fold again into thrirds. It will look like alittle package.
- Roll out each piece into a thin rectangle.
- Place one at a time on a preheated skillet set on medium heat. Wait until bubbles start to form, about 1 minute, then flip and leave for another minute. Pour 1 Tbsp of oil underneath it in the pan. Flip it over about 4-5 times until it is browned and coated on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes in total.
Check out more bread recipes from around the world here:
- Montreal Bagels
- Sourdough Seed Anadama Bread
- Khaliat Nahal, a Yemeni Honeycomb Bread
You had me at croissant. 🙂
LOL I can relate Debra
Love the look of the folding over technique – I guess that makes it a bit like the flat bread version of puff pastry? Looks simple and delicious.
Yes exactly like a puff pastry but flat and with olive oil 🙂
The recipe is simple and is very similar to chapati bread that I did sometime ago. I will have to try this variation on my next cooking adventures. 🙂
By the way, i like the color of your nail polish, really good on photos. 😉
Thanks Eloise, it is like chapati a bit, and never realized what a hit the nail polish would be when I took the pic lol.
I’ve never heard of this but it looks and sounds amazing! I’ve had similar breads to this and I really enjoyed them so I’m sure I would like this one as well.
it is amazing all the variations there can be on flatbread, and this is the most unique one I have seen yet.
That looks like a really useful recipe to know. I will have to try!
Thanks Fiona hope you enjoy it.
This is pretty cool I need to try this one day. I’m ready to eat now lol.
Thanks Holly, pretty hungry myself I wish I had some left lol.
OMG I cannot even pronounce it haha! But the bread looks delicious!
LOL Katerina not sure how to say it either.
This looks delicious. I love how flat bread is found all over the world. In each country and region, a different twist, but in the end always served with a meat dish and/or rice. Looks like it turned out to be very tasty!! Nice.
I so agree Rosemary it is amazing all the variations there can be on flatbread, and this is the most unique one I have seen yet.
These look amazing, I love all the layers you’ve got in there!
Yes the layers are great, like puff pasty but flat 🙂
Your bread too is so beautifully done, I enjoyed making this bread.
Thank you so much 🙂 I want more already
I have NEVER heard of this, but it looks SUPER tasty!!! Must try! <3
Thanks Gingi hope you give it a go, it is delicious!
This looks similar to a naan! love these types of bread with curries
Yes it is in a nann family you could say. I have only half one left and craving more!
Ooh I love recipes like this! I’ve only had Injera bread not this but I’ve got to try making this! 😀
Thanks Lorraine and oh great now have to add Injera bread to my recipe bucket list 🙂
I’d never say no to fried bread, especially puffy fried bread. It looks yummy!!!
Thanks Liz, I think I will have to make more, half one left lol.
Love flatbreads, and never met one I didn’t like. And this one looks particularly nice. Love the way it looks! Always learn so much from you — thanks!
Thanks John! I was really surprised by this one, odd dough to work with but great flaky results. I am sure you would approve 🙂
I think they look perfect.
Thanks Tandy 🙂
Very nice! Looks delicious, Evelyne! Like the nail polish also! Take care
Lol thank and thanks for noticing the nail polish!
Looks lovely ♥
Wow this looks so flaky indeed a croissant .. Love your nail color. I really miss MENA and the gals there, wish I will be back soon. Lovely recipe Eve, this will go to my to do list for sure. Pinned
Thanks Amira and lol thanks for noticing the nail polish! Hoe you join back up for MENA, at least the new countries.
That looks really good, I love any bread though. Glad you didn’t have any issues 🙂
Thanks Noor, I came close to having a problem but it sorat worked out 🙂
They remind me of Chinese onion pancakes. Love all the sexy layers.
Yes that is true Angie, love the flainess. I keep snacking on them!
Wow! that really puffed up so well! I wanted to try this but put aside for another time. All the videos and recipes had mentioned putting the dough in a plastic bag – good to know that the dough gets manageable after the resting time. They are so flaky and I can see the layers too – must have been great with cheese!
Thanks Famidha. Yeah I was really hesitant at first I could barely hold it enough to get it into a plastci bag. But the rest period did the trick. It is a really unusual dought to work with. Great with cheese and cold cuts.
Your sabayad looks really flaky and well made… I wanted to make this, but somehow I am so lazy with flatbreads and went ahead and made the kashata… 😀
Thank you Rafeeda, I was not sure how they would turn out. My forst choise was kashata so there you go lol.
That bread looks amazing! and it comes together so quicky too, which is nice!
Yes, nice quick no yeast. it was a fun one to try and great to eat 🙂