Tionna treated us to a great Ethiopian dinner tonight. Let’s start with the basics. Traditional Ethiopian food uses a spongy pancake-like bread called injera to scoop the wat (stew) or whatever else. We have made injera before, but the Caucasian non-fermented way. Giant Eagle in Stow carries Teff (the main ingredient in injera), and while this turned out well, it tended to crumble and not flex. We have since purchased from Zelalem Injera. We found their injera to be closer to Ethiopia than Empress Taytu, as Zelalem’s is sort of sour. Don’t get me wrong – we do love Empress! The injera freezes well, and Tionna can bring it back to life by warming it in the microwave with some water. Defrosting it in the fridge will kill it.
T made our favorite two dishes – Dora Wat (chicken stew) and Kik Alich’a (yellow split peas). The dora wat is made with berbere, which is a main spice for most Ethiopian cooking. We have regular and spicy berbere from Ethiopia, but even the regular is too hot for all my girls, so T makes an approximation with fewer chile peppers. Ethiopians love their super finely chopped onions, so the onion puree looks sort of like mashed potatoes before it goes in. Somehow they can chop that finely by hand. We really do need a lesson from Empress.
The girls ate it all, especially loving the injera. We do too. One CSA ingredient was used – the delicious garlic. While we love the traditional food, we couldn’t eat it 3 meals per day like most Ethiopians. Then again, maybe we could… The only improvements we could have made would be to have St. George instead of Sierra Nevada, and actually being in Ethiopia. It truly is a lovely country, and we’ll leave you with my favorite place – Awassa Lake.