Injera is the national bread of Ethiopia.
This simple yet tasty pastry is made from distinct African cereal grains known as Tef. This highly nutritional grain contains a considerably greater amount of essential minerals such as calcium and potassium in comparison to other grains of its kind.
Tef also has thrice the amount of brain-fortifying iron compared to that of other prominent grains such as barley and wheat. Injera is prepared by first milling the Tef grain into flour. The powder is then converted into batter and set aside to activate the natural yeast present in the grains. Finally, the mixture is cooked on a huge stone oven and the fresh bread is ready to be served.
Freshly baked injera breads are available in almost every local Ethiopian store and stall. To find the best tasting and highest quality bread, visit a market or restaurant
Ethiopians are known to have an extreme fondness for spicy dishes, making way for the nationwide prominence of spice mixtures such as the berbere.
Berbere is a unique Ethiopian spice mixture which serves as the base of almost every native Ethiopian dish. Authentic dishes such as doro wat, dabo kolo and quinoa owe their distinct piquant tastes to the berbere mixture.
Fenugreek and genuine red cayenne peppers are the main ingredients of this spice mix and are often joined with other spices such as salt, black pepper, ginger, cloves cardamom and allspice.
To make berbere, the spices are ground fresh and roasted in a pan. Afterwards, the ground mixture is stored in enclosed spice containers.
The strength of the berbere spice mix can be manipulated by substituting, adding or leaving out some key ingredients. However, fenugreek and red cayenne peppers are key ingredients and cannot be replaced or removed.
Kitfo, or raw minced beef, is a prominent Ethiopian dish introduced by the Gurage people from the province of Showa.
Kitfo is one of the more sophisticated dishes in Ethiopia, served as the counterpart of the famous Western beef steak.
This sense-stimulating and lip-smacking authentic dish is prepared by first mincing lean beef fillet and seasoning it with mitmita, a spicy powder made with ground chili pepper and cardamom, among other things.
Two types of seasoning are mostly used in kitfo: lebleb or lightly sautéed seasoning, or tre or raw seasoning. Kitfo is best enjoyed the traditional way – served in a clay pot and eaten using an authentic bone spoon.
This Ethiopian dish is also often sprinkled with salt and red mimita pepper, and served with fresh cottage cheese or ayb as a siding.
Doro wat, tagged as Ethiopia’s national dish, is a mainstay food in special occasions, celebrations and holidays. As with other spicy Ethiopian meals, this citrus-marinated chicken dish is stewed in red pepper paste and is further spiced up with cardamom, onions, garlic and ginger root.
Doro wat is best served fresh from the pan and seasoned with nitir kibe or special spiced butter and served with hard-boiled eggs.
This mouthwatering dish is perfect for a satisfying lunch or supper, completely worthy of the meticulous five-hour cooking time on medium-low heat.
Quinoa is an ancient spinach-like food crop originating from South America.
This protein-rich grain contains considerably great amounts of minerals such as iron, folate, magnesium and phosphorus.
This highly nutritional grain is often made into dishes based on the famous berbere spice mixture.
Quinoa is often paired with kale, a species of cabbage which is also a nutritional nest, containing vitamins A, C and K, as well as antioxidants, calcium and beta carotene.
Quinoa is cooked in chicken broth while kale is stewed and spiced with the berbere mixture and other seasoning ingredients. The dish is often served with kale on top of cooked quinoa tossed into freshly sautéed vegetable.
Quinoa and kale dishes are covered in the berbere mixture and served with the glossy spice mix smothered all over the unique Ethiopian meal.