I adore Ethiopian food — the spicy lentil gravies, the slow-cooked collards, and most importantly, the spongy injera bread. We have a great Ethiopian joint in Midtown called Abyssinia, but I always overeat when I go there. They give you so much food! Plus, they have a lunch buffet and that spells danger for an eat-aholic like me.
But I recently bought a copy of Kittee Berns' new zine, Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food, so now I can make my own and control my portions. Kittee has a few Ethiopian recipes in her original Papa Tofu zine, but this one is all Ethiopian, all the time. Plus, it's gluten-free since Kittee has gone all xgfx. You can buy your own copy for only $9 on Kittee's Cake Maker to the Stars blog. It's 85 pages, and in my opinion, worth way more than a measly $9! So buy one!
I stocked up on Soy Curls at Food Fight Grocery in Portland, so I had to try the Bakela Dinich W'et (Soy Curls and Potatoes in a Spicy Gravy) first:
Soy Curls and baby red taters are simmered in a spicy (like spicy with spices, not hot spicy) sauce seasoned with ginger, garlic, berbere (an Ethiopian spice blend ... I made my own), cumin, coriander, and tomato paste. Even though it's not traditional, Kittee suggests serving this with sliced and salted avocado. And when somebody tells me to eat avocado, I don't question it. The cool avocado slices were, indeed, the perfect complement to the spicy sauce.
On the side, I made Kittee's Y'eabesha Gomen (Mild Collard Greens):
These are similar to my own Southern-style greens in that they're slow-cooked and seasoned with fat. I typically use olive oil. But to make these Ethiopian, Kittee suggests making your own Niter Kibbeh, a butter sauce seasoned with onion, garlic, ginger, and spices. Amazing!
In true Ethiopian style, I ate with my hands, scooping up each bite with a fingerful of injera bread. That's the spongy stuff under my food in case you're not familiar with it. Now Kittee does include a recipe in the zine for making your own, but I've always been intimidated by the injera-makin' process. So I bought a big ole bag of pre-made injera from Abyssinia. It freezes beautifully, so now I'll have plenty for future Papa Tofu meals.
Have you tried Ethiopian food? What's your favorite dish?