Monday, May 30, 2011

Ethiopian Food

There are millions of Ethiopians living in different parts of the earth. This has led to many restaurants being opened, with the characteristic food. These restaurants are not only visited by Ethiopians themselves, but by many others. A lot of us have learned to appreciate this rich, tasty food. The only problem I can think of is that you have to eat by hand! While this might take a while to get used to, it does make the food taste even better.
The staple food is called injera and looks like a big pancake. It is made of a special flour called teff, and has been fermented for three days before being fried on one side only, without any fat. Teff is easily available in the US and some parts of Europe. It is actually cultivated in some parts of the States! You can buy it both on amazon, as well as in the health-stores.
With injera they serve a lot of different sauces and stews. With or without meat. In fact, Ethiopia has many vegetarian dishes since the major religion prohibits meat on a regular basis.
Usually a lot of onions are used. These are chopped finely and made to sweat in a big pot! Once all the water has gone away, spicy butter and chilli pepper is added. When it has all cooked together, meat or lentils are put in the pot. This will result in a rich, thick stew!
A piece of injera is put on the plate, and a little stew (watt) is put on top. You eat with your right hand, and drink with the left one. The fingers should never touch your lips, so eating from the same plate (as is the culture) is quite OK! A good injera eater will have clean fingers when finished. Try to achieve that next time you go to for Ethiopian food!
Since I love the food, I have prepared a few recipe collections for Ethiopian food. An introduction,including the national chicken dish, some vegetarian recipes, as well as how to prepare the injera and butter. It is really not too difficult to learn how to make this food, and it is so much worth it. It is really, really tasty!

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