Oh the Wonders of Ethiopian Food!
For those of you who don’t know me, I should let you know that I absolutely love food, good food that is. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite types of food is Ethiopian food. I use the word “type” because it is in a category all on it’s own, there is no other like it. Ethiopian food is so full of flavor that it’s literally a burst of flavor with every bite that is taken.
First of all, make sure to wash your hands before eating because those will be your utensils. Yup, you eat with your hands! It’s not as bad as one would think, it actually requires a bit of skill and getting used to. To begin, almost all Ethiopian meals are served on their unique flat bread known as injera. This bread is unique because up until now this type of bread wasn’t found anywhere else. Injera is made out of ground teff seed, water, yeast and a little bit of flour. Nearly all Ethiopian meals are communal unless otherwise requested. In a restaurant setting the guest’s meal would be served on a large round piece of injera in a slightly larger round flat pan and then the food would be placed on top of it. After every thing is served, you can dig in by ripping off a piece of additional injera that is served with the meal and then picking up the food on your side with it. Traditionally it’s considered rude to pick from other people’s side unless the food you want is on the other side. However, I’ve learned that this rule usually doesn’t come into play if you’re amongst friends.
I want to share my top five favorite Ethiopian dishes:
It’s made out of injera, tomato, berbere (a spice native to Ethiopia), onion, garlic, green chili pepper, kebbe (Ethiopian spiced clarified butter). I prefer this dish to be made without meat. If it is made with meat it’s usually a sliced up beef
SHIRO (Chick Peas)
This is a raw meat dish that is usually eaten with ayib (home made cottage cheese and yogurt). It is a finely chopped lean beef that cured with spices, kebbe, and mitmita (very ho3t powered spice also native to Ethiopia). It can be served slightly cooked for those who aren’t too keen on the idea of raw beef.