She quickly started getting booked for shoots with major retailers like Nordstrom and Macy’s, then moved to New York City in 2005 with dreams of supermodel stardom. About Hawa Hassan is the founder and CEO of Basbaas Sauce, a line of condiments inspired by her country of origin, Somalia. Hawa Hassan is the founder and CEO of Basbaas, the only line of Somali hot sauce sold in America (her flavors include tamarind-date and coconut-cilantro chutney). Feeling a little defeated, she headed to Oslo, where her mom had relocated with her new husband and Hassan’s nine other siblings, to regroup after 15 years apart from her family. For Hassan, who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, learning to cook was a necessity growing up. Hawa also has an incredible line of hot sauces called Basbaass. Right now, it seems that Hassan is running towards her destiny as she sips her Pineapple Peach KeVita Master Brew Kombucha and reflects fondly on a memory from 2014. Hawa Hassan: The Hot Sauce Boss that Goes with Her Gut. “It makes me feel like there isn’t much I can’t achieve,” Hassan adds. Hawa and her brand have been featured in Forbes, the New York Times, the Observer, Grub Street, Vogue, The Cut, Eater, and more. I was born in Somalia and raised in Kenya. “I host dinners with about 20 to 25 friends from all over the world to have the conversations that are really hard. Process lime juice, oil, ginger, sugar, chiles, 4 teaspoons of the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a … Part of Somalia, for example, was an Italian colony, and Hassan has included a recipe for spaghetti sauce that's infused with coriander, cardamom, … They're handcrafted in small batches and now bottled in the Hudson Valley. “It was jarring. It was during those four months in Norway that Basbaas came to fruition. “My best friend was a model and I would go with her to these castings and photoshoots with the agency and her booker would say, ‘Hawa, you really should think about modeling.’ I said, ‘I am a basketball player and basketball players don’t model,’” she explains. “I think that when you bring people together with good food—and wine!—on the table, almost any conversation can be had from a place of love.”. Vogue may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Unfortunately, as she describes it, New York at that time was a “we already have a black girl who looks like you" market. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. How Hawa Hassan Built a Cookbook Around East African Grandmothers: Women Who Travel Podcast Somali author and sauce maven Hawa Hassan joins the podcast this week. But in that process, I started blending these sauces that my family was eating every night during Ramadan and then I realized that I wanted to start a different kind of conversation—a positive one—about being Somali. (Little did she know that she would later parlay that culinary knowledge and love of good flavors into a food business.) In one afternoon, we transformed Hassan’s rental into a multifunctional space primed for cooking and hosting. ; Some of Hawa’s go-to spices to have you your pantry to make Somali food are: cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper. By Lale Arikogl u and Meredith Care y To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Last week Hawa Hassan showed us how she prepped before her boyfriend and sister joined her for brunch to celebrate her new book, In Bibi’s Kitchen. “I have a love affair with the Indian Ocean,” adds Hassan. Information about your device and internet connection, including your IP address, Browsing and search activity while using Verizon Media websites and apps. She’s also using her platform to help create and inspire change in the world through food, speaking on podcasts like Radio Cherry Bombe and Prince Street about changing the rhetoric around Somali culture, and putting together small dinners to inspire action. “Basbaas is like what ketchup or hot sauce is to Americans. This week—with the publication of … With that in mind, we turned to hot sauce entrepreneur Hawa Hassan to get the scoop on how she would prep her New York City kitchen for fall entertaining—then we turned her wishlist into reality with the help of Walmart. She stayed with a family friend while she waited for the rest of her family to join her in the States, but after a few years in, she realized no one was coming. To try a recipe from the book, check out: Canjeero (sourdough pancakes), digaag … By Katherine Sack s June 21, … Some nights I had hot wings from 7-Eleven for dinner but I got creative with that.”. Season the sauce to taste with salt. Hassan wanted to show Americans that Indian flavors they love (and have been eating for over 30 years) like coriander, cardamom, and turmeric, are also found in African cuisine. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia during the country’s civil war, Hassan eventually escaped to a … Hawa Hassan was 7 years old when she arrived in America in 1993 as a refugee. Yahoo is part of Verizon Media. When Hawa Hassan couldn’t find the sauces from her home country of Somalia in the States, she made them herself. Editor’s note: Hawa Hassan is the founder of Basbaas Sauce, a deliriously good line of organic chutneys inspired by the flavors of her native Somalia. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until beginning to … This hot sauce boss has an extraordinary culinary journey that begins in a war-torn nation. Part of Somalia, for example, was an Italian colony, and Hassan has included a recipe for spaghetti sauce that’s infused with coriander, cardamom, … Now, she’s the creator and CEO of Basbaas Sauce… Basbaas sauces were being made at Hot Bread Kitchen until Hassan needed a bigger production space. © 2021 Condé Nast. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Photo: Courtesy of Anastasia Mikhanoshina. Hawa Hassan’s Bariis in partnership with LG Dishwashers with TrueSteam® Bariis is a rice pilaf that Somalis often serve with cooked meat like Somali Beef Stew or stewed chicken. “Even when I was a little girl, I was doing the cooking and the shopping while my mom was selling at the store. She lived in a U.N. refugee camp in Kenya with her mother and four other siblings before moving all by herself, at just seven years old, to Seattle in 1993. Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil, then decrease the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally as the sauce cooks, for 30 minutes. As for what’s next for Hassan? Hawa Hassan shares her Somalian roots with her Somali chili sauces and recipes like this delicious, crowd-pleasing beef stew. Everyone makes it a little bit differently.” While the sauces make for a great fish or meat marinade, they are meant for everyday use like sriracha or salsa or any other hot sauce. In addition to being a cookbook author, Hawa is the founder and CEO of Basbaas Sauce, a line of small-batch, hand-crafted organic condiments inspired by the flavors of her native Somalia. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. All rights reserved. I really wanted to have a healthy conversation about my origins, and I wanted to introduce people to the cuisine of the continent of Africa. If I can get to their table, then they'll be interested in the larger picture. ; Our photo of Hawa comes from photographer Khadija M. Farah. The name "Basbaas" comes from the Somali term for chili, but our sauces actually build on a much richer (and spicier) history. Hassan went through high school and headed to Bellevue College in Washington, where she accidentally fell into a modeling career. “I kept telling my mom I wanted to start a juice business and she said that ship had already sailed,” says Hassan. Part cooking guide, part educational material, and part journalistic exercise, the book features the beloved recipes, and stories, of matriarchs from eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean. “The level of strength she had to restart so many times gives me so much gratitude for my life,” Hassan says of her mom, who started selling gold at the markets before opening her own shop, then opening a Somali goods store and a furniture outlet, all while raising 10 kids. That’s why, for her new cookbook with Julia Turshen, In Bibi’s Kitchen, she decided to make them the focus. Hassan also found a mentor in Beth Linskey, creator of the NY-based jam company Beth’s Farm Kitchen, who showed her the ropes as she navigated the challenges of launching a food business all on her own. The latest fashion news, beauty coverage, celebrity style, fashion week updates, culture reviews, and videos on Vogue.com. “When I realized what a good moneymaker it could be, I decided to try it.”. Hawa Hassan personally embodies the cultural diaspora of her hot Heat oil in a large pot over medium. She’s also a refugee and an activist, and she knows that pasta is the easiest way to feed a crowd. We eat it every single day, with every single meal,” says Hassan. https://www.vogue.com/article/hawa-hassan-somalia-basbaas-hot-sauce The mix of savory and sweet, more specifically the combination of cooked onions, warm spices, and sweet raisins, is very typical of Somali food. “It’s a family heirloom, but also a Somali thing. In 2015, she returned to Seattle and got to work on building Basbaas (which means ‘chili’ in Somali) from the ground up, with a little help from some fellow female entrepreneurs, including her mom. Hawa Hassan: I was very strategic in terms of producing condiments first off. We are excited to share our newest collaboration featuring NYC-based chef, author and entrepreneur Hawa Hassan! Article content. “I would go home at night and Google things like ‘how do I find a co-packer’ and a man gave me her name...Beth made a big impression on me and my work,” says Hassan, who is also an alum of the incubator program at Hot Bread Kitchen, Jessamyn Rodriguez’s East Harlem-based non-profit social enterprise and bakery that employs low-income women and their families. When you’re ready to grill the steak, prepare an outdoor grill (charcoal or gas, whatever you’ve got) for medium heat. “It’s the warmest and most flavorful sea.” She’s focused on fundraising so she can bring her business to the next level. Ad Choices. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/hawa-hassan-hot-sauce-boss-040000176.html Episode Show Notes: Learn more about Hawa on her Instagram and be sure to check out her amazing cookbook. What could be a better way to do that than through food?”. Hassan, a Somali native, founded her condiment line, Basbaas, in 2014 on the basis of such memories, drawing inspiration from her mother’s recipes. “Grandmothers are the ultimate home cooks,” says Hawa Hassan. Our cookbook of the week is In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen. The best new culture, style, and beauty stories from Vogue, delivered to you daily. 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