Terra Madre Day Special: Sinassar Recipe

03 Dec 2012

Sinasaar is a traditional crepe from the city of Djenné, in central Mali. It was once commonly prepared on the occasion of important events, such as weddings and religious festivals (such as tabaski, better known as Eid el-Adha, and Ramadan), or the arrival of guests. Today few young women know this recipe, and it risks being lost completely. A local chef, Kadidia Djenepo, has organized a cooking workshop to be held on Terra Madre Day, to teach Djenné’s youth how to prepare this unique rice flour crepe.

Ingredients for 4 people
1 kg rice flour
125g white rice
½ tbsp. yeast
125ml oil or 125g of butter for frying
1 tsp salt

Cook the rice in half a liter of water for around 30 minutes, stirring often until it reaches a dense creamy consistency. Set aside to cool.
Sift the rice flour and mix together with the creamed rice in a large bowl by hand. Add the salt, yeast and half a liter of water and mix well – the dough should be runny in consistency. Leave to rest for two hours.
Heat a knob of butter or splash of oil in a wide flat-bottomed pan and then add two ladles of the mix: cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes (popping the air bubbles that appear on the bread’s surface as it cooks), before flipping it and allowing it to cook for one more minute. If necessary dampen the side already cooked with a little water.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Sinassar is typically eaten with honey or sugar or with savory sauces prepared with mutton, beef, chicken or fish.

Sinassar batter is traditionally prepared in a calebasse or in a wooden vessel, the sides of which are smeared with bone marrow to stop the rice and water mixture from sticking. The few grams of marrow that are incorporated into the dough give the crepe its characteristic flavor.

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