Somali and Finnish Flavours on the IHME List

From the left: Mustafe Hagi, Peter Rosvik, Tuisku Torkkeli, and Tiina Pirttilahti. Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

During the week at the IHME House the participants playing the main protagonist in Yael Bartana’s film True Finn – Tosi suomalainen prepared food dishes that reminded them of home. This week IHME recommends flavours from Somalia and Finland and presents the recipes by Mustafe Hagi and Tuisku Torkkeli.


1. Mustafe Hagi : Tomato and lentil soup

“Every morning or late at night when I go to the kitchen to get a sandwich, on which I might put cheese, pesto, or something else on top, I think back to those times when there was only one food dish to prepare. Only one dish that was edible. Barley. There was plenty of it. At every meal. In the course of time, we prepared different variations of it, e.g. grinding barley manually. A little boy pounds and grinds barley to prepare the family pancakes for breakfast.

Back then lentil soup was a delicacy. They were those rare moments when we got lentils with baquette. Oh what a joy! The mere sight of the lentils on the shop shelves evokes memories of those childhood moments. Not to mention when I prepare the soup at home and the smell of the soup fills the air. And my mind is flooded with the memories and emotions that I experienced, the good and the bad.

Lentil soup is so healthy that it is said to be a “poor man’s meat”. Today, when looking for culinary experiences it is easy to forget this wonderful flavour and how healthy and cheap ingredient it is. Lentils.

The lentil soup reminds me of my life stages, and how happy I can be of this stage of life.”

1 onion
1 garlic
vegetable stock cube
pepper or chili
crushed tomatoes
red lentils
1 cup crème fraiche

The vegetables are mixed and cooked . After that whizz the soup with a stick blender until smooth.

2. Tuisku Torkkeli : Liver Sauce and mashed potatoes

“I chose the food, because for some mysterious reason, it has been my favorite food since I was a kid, and no one prepares as good liver sauce as my mother. I was under a terrible pressure when preparing the food, because just a little earlier I had practiced it with my mother and the result was not quite as it should have been. I burnt the liver and forgot the crème fraiche. But to my surprise the dish was very successful in the end and tasted just the same as my mother’s sauce. The food does not evoke any memories from home as such, but every time we want to indulge in at home, we prepare liver sauce.”

cow liver slices
2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups crème of fraiche
1 bouillon cube
about 2 cups of water

The cow liver slices are fried in butter. Add the wheat flour and crème fraiche. Add also the bouillon cube and some water. Serve with mashed potatoes.