This is my take on unique but popular street food in Zanzibar. How or where it was originated is unknown, but if you visit the Forodhani Gardens in Stone Town, Zanzibar, you’ll find it being made there with processed cheese and mayo. I opted to leave those ingredients out. This is a lighter, healthier version.
Reprinted with permission from Flavors of Africa by Evi Aki, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Available on Amazon.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
½ cup (120 ml) water
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil, plus more as needed
1 pound (450 g) ground beef
black pepper, as needed
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
3 small serrano chiles, diced
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
6 large eggs
- Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the ½ teaspoon of salt and the water and mix to make a smooth dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Pour the oil over the balls, making sure they are coated well. Cover the dough balls with a tea towel and let them rest for 2 hours.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, salt, black pepper, garlic, and ginger. Break up the beef with a wooden spoon and stir, ensuring that all the seasonings are mixed in. Add the serrano chiles and onion and cook until the meat is brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Roll a dough ball flat into a very thin circle about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. Add a spoonful of the beef mixture on top of the dough. Add an egg to the top of the meat. Fold all 4 edges of the dough inward, like you’re making an envelope. Press the edges down to seal them. Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls and filling.
- Heat some oil in a large skillet. Place the dough packets in the skillet and cook on each side for 5 to 8 minutes, until they are golden brown and the eggs are cooked. Cut each pizza into 4 squares.
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