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: