Next in the gluten-free breakfast series is laxoox (pronounced lahooh), a popular Somali staple. With a spongy texture on one side and crispy on the other, it can be best described as a cross between a pancake and a crepe, or as I like to call it, a ‘pancrepe’.
I have fond childhood memories of my mother mixing up a batch the night before in anticipation of the next day’s breakfast. We would enjoy our laxoox with sugar, honey or milk tea poured on top. Years later, as an adult and one with a gluten intolerance to boot, I found myself missing the comforting taste of home. What a delight when I found I could substitute the whole wheat and white flours traditionally used to make laxoox with gluten-free versions and still come up with an awesome authentic result. I have successfully used buckwheat and sorghum in previous versions. In this version, I use a gluten-free white flour from Doves Farm to prepare the laxoox. While this is a relatively easy-to-prepare recipe, it would be ideal to make on a morning where you have a few hours to spare. Trust me, once you’ve tried these bad boys you’ll realize they were meant to be savoured.
Gluten-free Laxoox – (makes ~12)
- 2 cups gluten free white flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tblsp instant dry yeast
- 1 tblsp black seed (nigella seeds)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- Sesame seed oil (for drizzling)
Combine all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl (except the sesame seed oil). Make sure to mix well. Leave the mixture for at least 2 hours allowing it to ferment.
Next, using a ladle pour the mixture onto a preheated lightly greased non-stick frying pan over medium heat and lightly swirl clock-wise taking care not to overdo it. Cook for a few minutes only on one-side until you see all the holes forming and it is dry. Then remove from the pan.
Add some sesame seed oil and either honey, sugar or even some sauce for a savoury take on breakfast. These are best eaten using your hands. Any left over batter can be kept in the fridge and made the next day, breakfast for 2 days SOLVED!
I haven’t been back home to Somaliland in a few years. Last time I was there I bought a few cultural items (as seen below). The one on the right is what nomadic herders use as a pillow. After a long day’s work they rest their necks on the curved part. That way, they are comfortable but not to the point where they lose track of their livestock! (Disclaimer: that might not be factually correct but it makes a great story). To the left are several items from a market in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, the topmost being a few dabqaads which are used to burn incense in otherwise known as uunsi or bakhoor (in Arabic). A dabqaad is something which can be found in most Somali homes around the world.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as last week’s. I look forward to sharing even more in the future. Please leave your comments, suggestions and any requests for breakfast items below!