On trips to Ethiopia one of my favourite things by far has been Ethiopian coffee, made in homes and cafes from freshly roasted and ground beans and served quite strong in small cups with sugar, and if you’re lucky, a sprig of rue. Sometimes spices such as clove, cinnamon and cardamom are thrown in with the roasting beans for a delicately spiced version.
Espresso drinks are also very popular in cities, especially macchiato (with incredible ‘macchiato art’ of which any London barista would be envious). Italian influence in some areas of Ethiopia is also visible in the food and architecture.
I put all these things together to come up with this recipe for an Ethiopian themed Secret Kitchen dinner. Remember to freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker in advance if you have that sort!
This is one of my favourite Ethiopian dishes, which I learnt about in Ethiopia during a couple of visits. It is a very rich dish for a special occasion, typically eaten with injera (Ethiopia’s staple flat ‘bread’) and ayib be gomen (cottage cheese with spinach).
Minchet abish is to the left in the photo. It looks deceptively simple – minced beef – but is exquisitely flavoured with fenugreek (abish) and a range of other hot and warm spices.
Injera, berbere, nit’ir qibe (spiced butter) and shiro powder are available in London’s Ethiopian shops and restaurants.
This is Ethiopia’s most famous and prestigious dish, translating literally as ‘chicken stew’. Chickens are very expensive to buy in Ethiopia and therefore a luxury food for a special occasion. One chicken can go a long way, especially when combined with 4kg of onions! The key to the success of this dish is the slow cooking of the onions – around four hours.
Doro wat should be served with injera, Ethiopia’s staple flat ‘bread’, which can be bought in London from Ethiopian shops and restaurants, either home-made or imported from Ethiopia where it is made with the indigenous tef flour (gluten free and high in iron). Berbere powder and nit’ir qibe (spiced butter) can also be found.
This recipe is only slightly adapted from the one kindly taught to me by Egigayeu Abebe in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia, 2011). Egigayeu is my friend Nebiat’s mother, a formidable cook and patient teacher.