From the Dominican Republic, I am now taking you to Ethiopia in the 30 day culinary journey across the globe
Here are some Ethiopian facts...
- September 11 th is celebrated as the New Year here.
- Their calender has 13 month!Each month has 30 days except the last one which has 5 or 6 days.
- Ethiopia counts its clock in the reverse.Like 6pm would be 12 noon and 12 noon would be 6am! I still can't follow it!!
- The word coffee is said to have originated from the Ethiopian word Kaffa. This is the place where coffee is said to have been discovered and hence it is also called the homeland of Coffee.
- Addis Ababa is the highest city in Africa and unlike the rest of the place, the climate here is very cool.
- There are 80 different languages spoken in Ethiopia!
- Amharic is the official language and the kids learn this along with English in School.
- Abebe Bikila was the first Ethiopian to win a Gold in the Olympics. He finished the race running barefoot!
Their cuisine is said to be an exotic spicy mix of vegetables,slow simmered meat / grain stews and fresh meat sautes.The dietary restrictions due to religion and the availability of food gives this cuisine a wide berth for vegetarian dishes.
Dining in Ethiopian homes is a communal affair. Large platters of food are shared .Injera is placed with the other dishes and it is used to mop up the side dishes and stews.Eating from a common place signifies the bond of loyalty ,family and friendship.
Some of the famous dishes :
Behind the scene:
While getting ready to make this , most of the members were way ahead of me and were discussing that their respective E dish was tasty and so on. I was so intrigued and wanted to know what they cooked. But I never asked and even if I had asked, I am sure they wouldn't have told me. After all, the thrill is in the suspense right!
This is the third dish that I made for this marathon.Initially my plan was to take up one of my favorite country- Egypt. Later I changed my mind.I have already posted an Egyptian soup and salad so thought will go in for a different country this time.
I found this soup recipe with pumpkin and I was a little worried that the soup / broth / stew would be sweet.As you might be aware my folks are not into sweet stuffs and prefer hot and spicy foods. But once we tasted the soup, all my fears and worries vanished! The berberi spice mix added a nice flavor and aroma to the dish.
I remember making this on a day I was down with a nasty cold and tummy cramps because of food poisoning. After pouring my heart out to my BM friends through whatsapp and getting tips for curing my ailment, I felt a lot better and cooked up this meal!
So I made this soup and salad but something was nagging me at the back of my mind. I read that these dishes tastes best when served with Injera which is a sort of flat bread made out of Teff flour. I was 100 % sure that I would not be able to source this flour yet I wanted to click a pic of this soup with Injera! How silly can that be! I looked for alternative flours and found that Teff flour can be substituted with 50-50 wheat flour and rye flour. I don't get rye flour here , so back to square one. I remember Dk's Injera recipe
and came up with an 'Injera look alike' .Well almost!
When I was reading about this soup, several blogs mentioned that this was used like a stew along with the famous Injera. The soup was mopped up with it rather than drinking it as it is.
For the soup..
Pre-preparation time-10 minutes
Cooking time- 20 minutes
Serves- 2 as a side with a flat bread/ soup for 1
Yellow pumpkin - 200 grams, chopped
Ginger- 2" piece,grated
Garlic- 3 cloves, minced
Berbere spice mix
Tomato paste- 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Yogurt and coriander leaves to garnish
Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, ginger and garlic. When the onion turns translucent, add the berbere spice mix and the chopped pumpkin pieces. Mix well so that the spice mix coats the vegetables.
Add tomato paste and enough water to cook the pumpkin.Add salt.
Cover and cook till the pumpkin is soft. Stir in between and add water if needed. Using a potato masher, mash the cooked pumpkin.
Add more water if needed and bring to boil. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and coriander leaves sprinkled over the soup.
- Instead of mashing the pumpkin, you can puree it partially/ completely.
- Add the spice mix to suit your taste
Next comes the very simple salad. This too had a lot of variations and in some recipes lettuce was added and I even found a version that used nigella seeds! Some had garlic and even berbere spice mix in the dressing!I went for this version since most of them had made it this way.
Check out the recipe here
So there you have it- D'ba Zigni and Timitam Salata
served with an Injera look - alike! Hope you enjoyed the meal.
Tomorrow, I will be taking you to another part of the world. Do join me...