Ethiopian food is one of my favorite cuisines. It might be because I’m allowed to eat with my hands (with a little injera as my utensil), which makes me feel just a little more connected with my food than usual. But it’s mostly because it’s tasty! If you haven’t tried it before, it could be your favorite cuisine too. The flavor profiles are similar to Mexican and Indian and the dishes are imbued with healthy spices that are addicting to boot.
Luckily in 2016, the spices in my recipes below (berbere, fenugreek, korerima, tikur azmud), butter (niter kibbeh), and bread (injera) can be purchased online if you don’t live near a local Ethiopian market (do Yelp your local metropolitan area to find out). If purcashing online, try amazon.com and ethiopianspices.com for spices and pureindianfoods.com for niter kibbeh. Injera can also be found at ethopianspices.com, but I just found a listing on Etsy from Fassica’s store that offers 100% teff, which is most authentic, and what I prefer. You can fold the injera over a couple times and freeze any leftovers for your next meal. We typically use a little over one injera per person. So if you’re serving four people, you’ll need about five.
Now for those of you who don’t mind putting a little time into your Ethiopian pantry, you can make your own berbere, kibbeh, and injera. Recipes aplenty exist online for berbere and kibbeh, but for injera, take a trip over to Avery Moore’s YouTube Channel where I learned how to make injera perfectly. Written instructions are on her blog, which are great to pair with the video instructions. It’s just a little bit of work for impressive rewards and some serious bragging rights. You don’t need the injera cookware that she uses either. I’ve used a large non-stick frittata pan without a problem.
Okay, so what do you do when you’ve read this post and have purchased the ingredients? You make a feast, of course! Below is a recipe for one of my favorite Ethiopian platters. It’s absolutely delicious and I promise that if you follow the instructions, you can prepare restaurant-quality Ethiopian cuisine in your home kitchen.
An Ethiopian Feast Fit For a Sunday
Time: 2 Hours
1 large or 2 small bunches collard greens or kale, roughly chopped
2 medium yellow onions, minced
1/4 cup niter kibbeh (Clarified Ethiopian butter)
2 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeños or 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp tikur azmud (a.k.a. black seed, black cumin; nigella)
2 cups warm water
Salt, to taste
1.5 lbs chicken pieces (boneless thigh, legs)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp salt
2 onions, minced
1/3 cup berbere
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp niter kibbeh (Clarified Ethiopian butter)
1 tsp ginger root, minced
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, ground
1/4 tsp korerima, ground (varied spellings; a.k.a. Ethiopian Cardamom)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup water
4-6 eggs (older eggs = easier peel)
2 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp salt
Ice, for ice water bath
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1-2 jalapeños, finely chopped or 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
4 oz Danish white cheese or feta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Olive oil & vinegar salad dressing, to taste (about 3 tbsp)
Injera, 5 rounds
In a medium mixing bowl, rub chicken with lemon juice and salt. Cover and place bowl in refrigerator to marinate while preparing the rest of the dish.
To prepare Gomen, in a large saucepan, add onions over low heat without oil, and stir occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Add tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, and tikur azmud, and cook for 2 minutes. Add kibbeh, and cook for 5 minutes. Add greens and water and simmer until tender for 35-45 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Meanwhile, prepare Doro Wot. In a large dutch oven, cook onions over low heat, stirring occasionally until golden, for about 15-20 minutes. Add berbere, garlic, and 1/4 cup water and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in kibbeh and sauté for 2 minutes. Add remaining spices, 1/4 cup water, and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add wine, 1/4 cup water, and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, on a high simmer for 5 minutes. Add reserved chicken and coat with sauce, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
While chicken simmers, start eggs in saucepan with 6 cups water, vinegar, and salt, and heat uncovered to a 180F simmer (e.g. bubbles should just begin to break the surface). Shut off the heat and leave on burner for 10 minutes, and prepare an ice water bath. When eggs are done, add to bath and let sit for 5 minutes to cool. Carefully peel eggs and pierce with a fork on all sides and reserve.
Prepare salad by adding all ingredients to a large bowl. Mix and set aside.
When the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened, add eggs and simmer until eggs have soaked up the sauce, about 5 minutes. Add black pepper and remove from heat.
Serve Gomen, Doro Wot, and the salad over injera with extra rolls of injera on the side.