Somali dinner at Hamdi Restaurant, Mpls.

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Rather insipid soor (soft cornmeal), well spiced goat meat & basbaas (a green hot sauce made of lime, chili, & coriander).

Minneapolis has the highest Somali population in the U.S. Numerous restaurants are spread all over the city, most of them rather little snack bars than restaurants (like Hamdi).

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Hamdi, one of Mpls’ hotspots of Somali cuisine.

Somali cuisine varies from region to region and is a fusion of Somali, Ethiopian, Yemeni, Persian, Turkish, Indian and Italian culinary influences.

The meal is often an elaborated main dish of, believe it or not, pasta (baasto) or rice (bariis). Beyond the many styles of stew (maraq), rice is also served with meat and/or banana on the side. Another side, the soft cornmeal referred to as soor, is mashed with fresh milk, butter and sugar.

Very attractively visual menu.

Very attractively visual menu.

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Rice (bariis) spiced with cumin, cardamom, and other spices. Much better than the soor.

Sandra is the only woman in the restaurant but feels comfortable.

Sandra is the only woman in the restaurant but feels comfortable.

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