Some facts about this landlocked country:
“Balao” is Hello in Sango.
The minimum monthly wage for an office worker is $28.
Basketball is the country’s most popular sport.
Bananas are the second major food crop
Diamonds are the largest Central African commodity export, sold either for jewelry (35%), or natural abrasives (35%).
My light hearted cooking challenge is nothing when you consider that nearly half the population of the Central African Republic are now facing hunger, double the figure from a year ago.
Some traditional recipes include Kanda ti Nyma (Meatballs in Peanut Sauce) and Muamba de Galinha (chicken with palm oil and okra). I cooked Benne Wafers (sesame biscuits).
For 30 biscuits:
1 cup sesame seeds, toasted
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
Heat the oven to 190 degrees.
Meanwhile, toast your sesame seeds in a dry pan over a med – low heat, stirring constantly until they start to turn a light shade of brown. Remove them from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.
Now mix all the rest of the ingredients together and add the sesame seeds.
Grease a baking sheet. Drop the mixture by half-teaspoons onto the sheet, making sure to keep some distance between each wafer. When baking, the wafers will spread out until they’re pretty much flat, so they need a lot of space.
Bake for 5-6 minutes, or until the edges of each wafer start to brown.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool (if you wait much longer they will start to stick to the pan).