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Bsisa

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Bsisa , Arabic: بسيسة‎, Berber aḍemmin Hebrew: בסיסה‎ is a typical North African food, based on flour of roasted barley.

Bsisa, Howira, and Zumita are all varieties of mixtures of roasted cereals ground with fenugreek and aniseed and cumin and sugar. This kind of food is known in Tunis and Algeria as well as throughout Libya. Its history goes back a long way, and travelers and nomads used to take bsisa with them on their journeys since it was both full of nutritional value and easy to carry in its ground powder form.

The herbs and spices that are added to the cereals can vary, and the mixtures can also be used as a liquid when added to milk or water, creating a strongly-floured drink called Rowina. The most common use for bsisa and howira is to mix them with olive oil into a paste. This is then typically eaten with dates or figs for a quick meal which is energy-rich and healthy.

It is eaten by Libyan Jews in various circumstances, and especially the first day of the Hebrew month, Nisan as this is the day the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was erected (in this case, the food is named bsiset el-marquma). The food is powder that consists of wheat and barley, which represents the cement that was used in the Mishkan. Additionally, the Mother puts her gold ring into the Bsisa which represents the gold that was also used in the building of the Mishkan. Before eating the father blesses in Arabic while he mixes the Bsisa with oil, which resembles the oil used in the Mishkan. The key to his house is used to mix the Bsisa with the oil and this symbolizes the "opening" of the 'new year' The father and family recite in turn:

Ya fetach,
Bla Neftach,
Arzekna warzek menna
Ya atai,
Bla mena!

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Bsisa, en.wikipedia.org

Bseisa and Howira بسيسة و حويرة, libyanfood.blogspot.com

Bedouin Cooking: How to make bsisa?, www.youtube.com

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