Mali (Africa) 28 April 2023

Mali is located in the continent of Africa. It has Algeria to the north, Niger and Burkina Faso to the east, Ghana to the southeast, Cȏte D’Ivoire, and Guinea to the south, Senegal, the Gambia, and Mauritania to the west, and the Western Sahara and Morocco to the northwest.

The capital is Bamako.

The official language is French.

The climate is hot and dry. The dry season is from November to January, and the hot wind blows from March to June.

The staple foods are chicken, lamb, beef, fish, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, peanuts, millet, rice, tomatoes to name a few (


– 3 chicken breasts

– 1 tsp fennel seeds

– ½ tsp black pepper

– 1 can tomatoes

– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

– 2 tsp salt

– 4 cloves garlic

– ½ TBSP ground cardamom

– 2 tsp cayenne pepper

– 2 C water

– ½ C dates

– 1 TBSP ground cumin

– 2 TBSP ground ginger

– 1 tsp grated nutmeg

– 2 onions

– 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

– Couscous

  1. Chop up the onion and saute it in oil for a few minutes.
  2. Cut up the chicken and garlic. Add to the onion and saute until the chicken is cooked.
  3. Crush up the fennel seeds and cardamom pod seeds. Measure out all the spices ready to add to the pan.
  4. Add the spices and stir well to cover the chicken.
  5. Add the tomatoes and water. Simmer for an hour.
  6. Add boiling water to the couscous and cover with a cloth (or follow package directions).
  7. Put the dates in the food processor and blend until pureed. The dates must have been too dry because they wouldn’t puree at all.
  8. Chop up the parsley ready to garnish later.
  9. Stir in the date puree and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Here is how my dish turned out. The spices were hot, but really good, tempered by the dates in the mix.


            – 1/3 lb. fresh unpeeled ginger root, cut into ½-inch chunks

            – 1-1/2 C water, or as needed to cover

            – 4 large lemons, juiced

            – 1 C white sugar

            – 7 C water, or as needed

            – 16 leaves fresh mint, crushed

  1. Place ginger into a blender, cover with 1-1/2 cups water, and blend until ginger is thick and pasty. Strain and squeeze juice from ginger pulp into a 2-quart pitcher, squeezing ginger mixture as dry as possible.
  2. Stir lemon juice and sugar have dissolved. Pour 7 cups water into mixture, stir to combine, and serve garnished with crushed mint leaves.

I was not sure how this was going to turn out, but it was REALLY good!!


            – 2 large eggs

            – 1 TBSP unsalted butter

            – 1 TBSP grated orange zest

            – 4 TBSP apricot jam

            – ¾ C sugar

            – 1 tsp vinegar

            – ¾ C milk

            – 1 C all-purpose flour

            – 1 tsp baking soda

            – ½ tsp salt

Chocolate Sauce:

            – 1 C evaporated milk

            – ¼ ~ 1/3 C brown sugar

            – 6 TBSP butter

            – 2 oz. semi sweet milk chocolate

            – ½ tsp almond extract

             1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch pan generously with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat egg, orange zest, sugar, butter, and apricot jam until light and fluffy.
  4. Then add the vinegar and milk to the egg mixture.
  5. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Gradually, fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. The mixture might be runny, but that’s okay.
  7. Pour batter into a greased cake pan.
  8. Bake until a tester inserted the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.
  9. While the cake is baking, heat the evaporated milk, chocolate, butter, sugar, almond and vanilla extract, in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, and the butter has melted. Remove from heat.
  10. Using a skewer poke holes in the cake extending all the way to the bottom of the cake.
  11. Pour the chocolate butter sauce on the cake.

Serve immediately or set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

This was fun to make and really good!!

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