Ethiopia

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Unusual Fact: Ethiopia is the oldest country in the world, the earliest humans have been found here.

Image from Radiance by Andy Robbins
Image from Radiance by Andy Robbins

Do you want to know what is possibly my most favourite thing is? Food surprises. I’m not talking about when you chuck together what ever’s left in the cupboard and hope for the best. I’m talking about when you find gems of food and they spring upon you like tigger does to pooh bear. I discovered eight ice creams in our freezer the other day. EIGHT, plus another tub as well! When does this ever happen?!?!? And the other day, I was walking around with my cousin and we discovered that this awesome deli sells even awesomer (is that a word?) funky chocolate. We’re talkin’ coconut and caramel flavour. YUM!

And then same cousin (there must be something about that girl) helps me find these Ethiopian food gems. Honestly, I feel as though I’m winning one master chef challenge after another.

Image by Timothy Allen
Image by Timothy Allen

We had an Ethiopian vegetarian feast. No joke, it was an actual feast. I doubled the recipe because there was 8 of us. But that made way to much. We has three saucepans overflowing with vegetables!

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I didn’t realise when I chose the recipe that it was just cooked vegetables without a sauce, I though it was a stew. To make it more main meal worthy I added some water and smashed up the vegetables a little to bring them together. I also added a couple of teaspoons of berbere to add some flavour. This was the spice mix we used from Eritrea. I really recommend this because the recipe doesn’t have any flavour on it’s own.

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We also made a delicious bread and spiced butter to go on the side. These were amazing and tasted just like garlic bread. The bread is called Himbasha and is spiced with cardamom but it’s just a gentle hum in the background, not overpowering at all.

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As you can tell, this is a yeast bread, my pan was not quite big enough for the amount of dough. I made a single batch of the bread, a little more would have been good for the eight of us. We used a pizza cutter to give the bead it’s shape. Don’t be afraid to cut all the way to the bottom because as it cooks it will join back together again.

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We served a spiced butter with our bread which was the perfect addition. It made it taste just like garlic bread. The butter also had lots of other funky spices like turmeric cinnamon and nutmeg. If you have a fussy brother and or younger cousin staying, I can guarantee they’ll eat this african delight!

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Vegetables with Garlic and Ginger (Yataklete Kilkil)

Mum 7

Dad 8

Angus 5

Me 7

Himbahsa

Mum 7

Dad 8

Angus 5

Me 8

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Vegetables with Garlic and Ginger (Yataklete Kilkil) recipe from Healthy Life

Ingredients:
6 small red potatoes, scrubbed
3 lg. carrots, scrubbed, cut into pieces
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, cut into 2″ lengths
1/4 cup oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 lg. green pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
6 green onions, cut into 2 inch lengths

NOTE: I added 2tsp of berbere to the vegetables to increase the flavour
Cooking Instructions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the potatoes. After 5-6 minutes, add the carrots and green beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Drain in a colander. Set aside. In a stewpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, green pepper, and jalapeños. sauté for about 5 minutes. Do not let brown. Then stir in the garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Stir for one minute. Add the reserved vegetables and toss gently until coated. Sprinkle on the green onions. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Vegetables should be tender-crisp.

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Ethiopian flatbread (himbasha) recipe from SBS

x 7 g sachet dried yeast
55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
600 g (4 cups) plain flour
2 tsp black sesame seeds
2 tsp ground cardamom
80 ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil, plus extra, to grease and brush
melted butter, to serve

Dissolve yeast in 250 ml lukewarm water. Stir in sugar and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles.

Combine flour, 1 tsp salt, sesame seeds and cardamom in a large bowl. Add oil and yeast mixture and mix to form a dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll out to form 2 x 30 cm rounds. Place into 2 x 30 cm greased skillet pans. Using a sharp knife, score 3 concentric circles in each round, working from the middle out, then make 4 shallow cuts intersecting through the centre to form a wheel pattern.

Brush with oil and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Brush with butter and serve with hummus, if desired.

Niter Kebbeh or Kibe (Spiced Butter) recipe from Food by Country

4 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
1½ teaspoons tumeric
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick, 1-inch long
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
3 whole cloves
2 pounds salted butter
1 small yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Ingredients

  • Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat.
  • Bring the butter up to a light boil.
  • When the surface is covered with a white foam, stir in the remaining ingredients, including the onion and garlic.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes. Do not stir again. Milk solids will form in the bottom of the pan and they should cook until they are golden brown. The butter will be clear.
  • Strain the mixture through several layers of cheesecloth placed in a strainer.
  • Discard the milk solids left in the cheesecloth.
  • Serve on toast, crackers, or use in cooking.
  • Store the spiced butter in a jar, covered, in the refrigerator (where it can keep up to 3 months).

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