Monday, February 23, 2009

Culinary Tour Around the World: Ethiopia

Joan at Foodalogue continues her great blog event to promote awareness of world hunger and the work of BloggerAid with her virtual culinary trip around the world. Our last stop was Ethiopia, an ancient culture with a spicy and complex culinary tradition. I was determined to research Ethiopian food and make a meal for my family to introduce us all to this country and culture and it proved an interesting and tasty experiment.



I found a great website with lots of Ethiopian recipes tailored for American home cooks and decided to make injera (a spongy, fermented bread made from the tiny native grain, teff) and two kinds of vegetarian stews to place on top: Doro Wat (spicy tomato sauce with tofu cubes, traditionally made with chicken or beef) and Atar Allecha (a spicy green pea porridge).

I attempted to make injera, which serves as a sort of edible platter for moister stews and foods. I got some teff from the health food store and soaked it in water for three days to try to get it fermenting, but somehow it never got to the sour-smelling, pancake stage and just ended up smelling very swampy and suspect, so I was forced to abandon that part of my project. (In hindsight, I suspect that teff and teff flour are two different items).

The Tofu Dorwat and Atar Allecha were mercifully easier to reproduce and my husband and I especially liked the latter, an intriguingly-flavored peas porridge hot. Instead of injera for our base, we had plain steamed rice, and enjoyed it very much.



Joan will be posting a roundup of other Ethiopian recipes in a few days, so do look for that. I also wanted to let people know that the BloggerAid group, now comprised of over 140 bloggers from around the world, is preparing a fundraiser cookbook for the UN World Food Programme's School Meals initiative. School Meals provides meals to hungry children all around the globe and the extended deadline to submit an original recipe is now March 31st. Please consider joining us. For a sneak peak at some of the dishes that will be included, check out this sexy badge below:

5 comments:

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i cant quite work out what the ingredients are in the plate, but it does look very colourful

Joan Nova said...

Too bad about the injera but your porridges look tasty. Thanks for continuing the tour with me!

brii said...

rachel!!!
I think we are all trying the injera project! :)))
I did them with plain flour.
impossible to find the teff in Italy.
If you whis try my recipe.
I'm happy doing this tour with you!
baciusss

Jill said...

I did injera for a culinary competition (my entree was a chicken dorawat)- instead of fermenting, I used a little yogurt in the mix. You could try other fermented products if you didn't want to do dairy. I also used a little cassava (tapioca) flour.

The judges loved the boldness of the dish.

Ethiopian food is wonderful!
chef silly

Jill said...

I did injera for a culinary competition (my entree was a chicken dorawat)- instead of fermenting, I used a little yogurt in the mix. You could try other fermented products if you didn't want to do dairy. I also used a little cassava (tapioca) flour.

The judges loved the boldness of the dish.

Ethiopian food is wonderful!
chef silly