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Recipe: Malawa

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

This week I found myself thinking about brunch. For those that are not aware, Project CHOP launched an all new Brunch Café at our garden space on 30th Street a little over a month ago. This café gives our participants the opportunity to learn a little about what it looks like to work in a fully functioning restaurant and to serve hungry customers in real time. It also gives them the chance to share some of their unique flavors as we don’t just do the typical American brunch. From our Cambodian inspired pancakes to our east African mandazi (similar to a beignet) we have strived to provide a unique dining experience in our beautiful garden space. This week was the first opportunity for our new cohort to work the café which definitely got me thinking about brunch as its essentially like training a whole new kitchen staff every 6 weeks! One of the items on our menu that I’m happy to share with you all this week is our Somali malawa. Our previous cohort had a Somali participant who was an excellent cook. We talked a lot about the food she makes for her family at home, and one of her children’s favorite food is malawa. It is essentially like a slightly thicker crepe and can be make with sweet or savory fillings. So, one day I had her show me how she makes them, and after seeing and tasting them, I thought we definitely had to make this an addition to our café menu! The best part is that the entire recipe comes together in the blender in just a few minutes, making it a perfect recipe to do at home that’ll please everyone. I’m still working on my ladling technique to get mine to look as beautiful as her’s (they have a distinct circular design to them) but I assure you they taste the same!

Malawa (Somali Crepe) Ingredients Makes about 16 1 ½ Cups Flour 1 ½ Cups Milk 2 Tablespoons Oil ½ Cup Sugar (Use 1 Tablespoon if doing savory filling) 2 Eggs ¼ Teaspoon Cardamom ½ Teaspoon Salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Adjust consistency with more milk or flour (Should be a little thicker than crepe batter).

  2. Cook in a nonstick pan over medium heat with a little butter or oil, using a ladle to create the circular pattern.

  3. Simply ladle 2-3 ounces of batter (depending on size you desire) into the middle of the pan and use the back of the ladle in a circular motion to form it into the shape of a crepe.

  4. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

  5. Set aside on a sheet pan as they are finished.

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