Ethiopia: Spiced lentil sambusas, injera and nit’r qibe, key sir alicha, atakilt wat, abesha goman, mesir wat with ayib, doro wat, Ethiopian coffee and cinnamon chickpeas
Well, this meal was in October, which is a pretty good estimate of how far behind on life I am these days. I had three really fun meals in the fall and although I’ve been remiss with blogging, I want to remember the meals and the company as best I can at this point – Hi, Dad! I finally blogged 🙂
A common meal in Ethiopian cuisine is a platter of injera and multiple types of wat. So, I ambitiously came up with a menu consisting of lots of components. It was a really fun meal to prepare (and eat), though I had to do a fair amount of substituting and improvising as I had trouble locating all the ingredients. But overall I was pretty happy with how the meal turned out.
The appetizer was spiced lentil sambusas, which were a hit.
They were a good tide-us-over as the meal was, always, running behind schedule!
I was nervous about attempting homemade injera, which is a sourdough flatbread that is an essential component of Ethiopian cuisine. I was thrilled that Wegmans sells the teff flour to make inera and although I was tempted to buy injera from an Ethiopian restaurant as backup I was brave and made it on my own. Although it turned out to look more like pancakes than really flat and thin, the injera worked-ish! I made two different recipes and here is where my memory fails me on which I liked better and I can only find one recipe from oh those many months ago, but here is one of the two recipes I made.
To slather on the injera and to use as a base for some of the other dishes in the platte I made nit’r qibe – Ethiopian spiced butter. It’s essentially ghee with spices.
Next up: key sir alicha, which is beets and potatoes.
My photography of the cooking process of all the components faltered pretty dramatically once my kitchen got dramatic with every single pot and pan I own (and some of my neighbors!) were in use. I had lots of help in the kitchen from guests as the gap between the official start time of the meal and the actual start time of the meal grew.
Mesir wat with ayib This one might have been my favorite dish, partially (okay, largely) because it involves homemade cheese! I didn’t use the ayib recipe in the link here but unfortunately I can’t find the recipe I used. But essentially it’s just boiled buttermilk, strained. So good!
The only non-vegetarian dish was doro wat – chicken stew, which was very similar in components to the red lentil stew.
And the finished platter!
This is the first cuisine I’ve cooked where there’s essentially no dessert options. I read that some people in Ethiopia would say that dessert would ruin the taste of the meal, and why would you want to do that? So, I couldn’t really find dessert recipes, but I did come across a suggestion of cinnamon sugar chickpeas. I’m sure that’s not so authentic, but they were tasty and we didn’t really have much room for dessert after this spread anyway.
A fun, adventurous meal with a great group of friends.