Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Papa Tofu and I Love Ethiopian Food!

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?

26 comments:

Sayward Rebhal said...

Oh damn, you just completely sold me on this zine. Seriously, it will be my stewy winter bible!

T said...

Wow, looks like the recipes turned out perfectly! I love the vegan-ethiopean- avocado fusion we've got going on there. And those collards sound amazing...

Chocolate-Covered Katie said...

Injeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeera!!!!

But I don't think I've ever met an Ethiopian dish I didn't like. Ethiopian food rocks. As do you.

JL goes Vegan said...

My one PDX regret? I didn't buy soycurls! I can't find them anywhere!

The Health Sleuth said...

awesome meal you made there, and i can't wait to get some Ethiopian soon. We have two amazing spots here, located two blocks from each other...weird but yes i'm all over some ethiopian!

VeganLinda said...

I miss Ethiopian. Our closest restaurant is two hours away. I have never bought a zine, but you've sold me on this one.

Babette said...

Oh, I love Ethiopian food and eating with my hands... but I don't know the names of the things I like... although I like pretty much everything.

I have one of Kittee's Papa Tofu cookzine, and there are some Ethiopian recipes in there. I should definitely try them.

Kristen B said...

I found Abysinnia's food to be way too greasy. Yummy, but greasy. I felt sick when I left there.

Tati G. said...

I've never had Ethiopian food before but these pictures have inspired me to go find a restaurant and try it out!

Tami said...

I have this and am so excited about it. I want to cook every single thing in it, but haven't had a chance to get going. Looks awesome, Bianca!

Sheridan said...

Ooooh! Perhaps we should have Ethiopian for dinner next weekend?? haha! Looks amazing and I've never been to Abyssinia! YUM! That zine sounds great too! Remember when you used to write a zine?! Frenzy!!

Allysia said...

I have that book! It arrived a few days before I went on vacay, which was a horrible tease - I got to flip through it and be all, "wow, look at all the yumminess" only to be away from my kitchen for a month and a half. I'm gonna cook that book with a vengeance when I get home.

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

This looks fantastic!

I love Ethiopian food, but I actually haven't had it often enough to know a favorite dish. I should remedy that...

JohnP said...

For serious, make the butecha!

Scissors and Spice said...

Bianca, you are going to make me go broke! I always buy the cookbooks you recommend! ;)

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Oh yum! Kittee rocks... I am getting her zine when I move.

Kittee Bee Berns said...

Thanks for the review, Bianca. I hope you liked the dishes! I woke up today and had 8 new orders, so I knew someone had written something...so thank you very very much.

If you can, please add your photos to the flickr group! Whoohoo!

xo
kittee

A.Hurt said...

Vegan Ethiopean Cookbook? Done and done. It's on. Thanks for the post!

http://confessionsofavintagestoreowner.blogspot.com/

Michelle said...

I haven't tried Ethiopian food yet, but I do LOVE Ethiopian coffee! I'm sure I'll be searching out some recipes soon after reading your post...this sounds and looks awesome!

Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

I was just thinking of buying this book!

blessedmama said...

Oh, our whole family loves Ethiopian food! It looks like you did a great job making some classics. I didn't know that injera froze well, so I'll have to ask my local restaurant if they have any to sell.

Christina said...

I need this zine. Everything you made looks crazy good!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

I looove Ethiopian food; I bought Kittee's zine at VVC too! Just last week I made yekik wat, split peas in spicy gravy. So yummy!

Katie Pemberton said...

I just got a huge order of teff for my birthday! I made some last night and I loooooved it! I had never had it before. I would love to try making injera but the whole fermentation thing makes it sound like science, and I suck at science.

I would be happy to donate some teff to the blog if you want some! :) I have never been able to find it around here.

janet @ the taste space said...

Ooh, I wasn't sure about getting the zine but thanks to your recommendation I may just have ti splurge and get it! I actually only recently discovered Ethiopian cuisine, and fell in love with Kik Alicha at a local resto. Easy enough to make at home, so I can't wait for my first Ethiopian feast. :)

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

I love Ethiopian food, for serious, but I don't actually know any of the names of the dishes! I usually just get a vegan sampler platter and eat it all with a roll of injera. Lol! It's all delicious, but I especially love the lentil dishes and the one potato dish, if that tells you anything!

I go to the Blue Nile in KC. :)