Today our Veganmofo 2016 challenge is to create a dish that we have never tired...well we eat Ethiopian a lot but I have never actually cooked it so it was about time. A year or so ago I picked up Kittie Berns cookbook, Teff Love, with the intent of cooking Ethiopian but life happens. Last week I picked it up again and got into the kitchen...such a fun and well written cook book - go buy it!
It's not so tough!
Just the thought of sharing a meal, eating with our hands, it is just very human and down to earth.The base for Ethiopian dishes is injera. Injera is a sour and spongy round bread, made of teff flour, that’s naturally vegan and gluten-free. Sauces and dishes are commonly poured on top of the injera, which is then used to get the deliciousness from table to mouth. Just tear off a portion and spoon on the the different foods. Many East African Ethiopians celebrate vegetarianism or veganism several days of the week due to religious beliefs and that makes for delicious meals. Shiro is a delicious chickpea powder-based dish (sometimes also including lentils and broad beans), slow-cooked with Ethiopia’s spicy red berbere sauce. Atkilt wot is a delicious vegetable combo of cabbage, carrots, and potatoes simmered in a light sauce. Azifa is a green lentil salad...you can also serve a nice green salad on the injera. Try Gomen, spicy collard greens or make Mesir wot, a combination of split red lentils simmered in spicy berbere sauce. I also made Kik alicha - a split pea stewish dish cooked in a turmeric sauce. So good! The best part is we had left over injera which worked perfectly as a side to my soup all week long. One of the basics for good Ethiopian food is making the berbere sauce. So here it is:
1 teaspoon gound ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons dry red wine (to moisten)
2 cups hot or half-sharp paprika
2 tablespoons ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoons oil
1. In a heavy 2 – 3 qt. saucepan, toast ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice over low heat, stirring constantly, just until heated through. Let cool 5 – 10 minutes.
2. Combine the toasted spices, onions, garlic, 1 T of the salt and the wine in the jar of an electric blender and blend at high speed until the mixture is a smooth paste.
3. Combine the paprika, red pepper, black pepper, and remaining salt in the saucepan and toast over low heat, stirring constantly, for a minute or so, until they are heated through.
4. Stir in the water, ¼ c at a time, then add the spice and wine mixture.
5. Stirring constantly, cook over the lowest possible heat for 10 – 15 minutes.