Eat Ethio x Cross Cultures
posted by Stephanie in Indulgences
My very first encounter with Ethiopian culture was through a French-American indie film with Bill Murray called “Broken Flowers”. Murray’s character receives an anonymous letter that he has a son which pushes him to drive cross country in search of his last four lovers. All throughout the existential drives on long deserted american highways, the haunting strains of Ethiopian jazz accompanies him on his journey. A hint of adventure, a hint of exoticism and always entrancing. I was hooked and immediately looked up Ethiopian jazz artist Mulatu Astatke to discover more music. Apart from that my next encounter was last year, while being very pregnant and wanderlusting from my bed, I was obsessed with this British TV series called Around the World in 80 Treasures (read my post here) and one of the countries that had fascinated me the most with its unique history and vibrant ancient culture was Ethiopia. It was from this series that I learned about the Kingdom of Aksum and the Abbysinian Empire, that they still had relics of the Ark of the Covenant and that this country had a cuisine that was just as exciting and complex as its people and history. Sadly, I never really had an opportunity to try the food despite me constantly Instagram stalking celebrity chef of Ethiopian origins, Marcus Samuelsson.
Last week during a delightful event hosted by my dear friend Cheryl Tiu‘s ingenious events platform Cross Cultures by CherylTiu.com, I was finally able to use my hands and dig into some delicious dishes prepared by the beautiful Helina Tesega of EatEthio.com. To learn more about the event and this beautiful endeavor of bridging cultures through food please read my article in The Philippine Star here. However I am very pleased to say that Helina so kindly shared two beautiful recipes – Kik Wot or Lentil Stew and the famous Doro Wot or Spiced Chicken Stew. Dig in and enjoy!
Love and Light and Lots of Spice! Stephanie
*photos of Ethiopia by Cheryl Tiu
ክክ፡ወጥ (Kik Wot)
*photo from Foodie Magazine Hong Kong by Today Tomorrow Photography
Yellow Split Peas Wot
(Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
1 cup of yellow spilt peas
4 cups of water
2 medium sized finely chopped onions
(White onion or preferably 2 cups of shallots)
½ cup of canola/vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic
½ jalapeno pepper for garnish (Seeds removed & halved length ways)
Rinse the split peas in cold water and drain. Boil spilt peas and water in a sauce pan (boiling at all times) for 20 minutes. Split peas should be cooked but not mushy! Remove from heat and let it cool down for a while. Remove any skin from the water. In a saucepan cook the onions by adding oil for 20 mins simmering & stirring occasionally, if needed add a splash of hot water to prevent burning. Add the garlic and turmeric, cook for a further 15mins. Add the split peas and simmer stirring occasionally (not too often so not to become mushy) for another 15mins. If you’d like to serve it as a soup you can add hot water while it simmers.
Garnish with Jalapeno pepper & salt to taste.
Traditionally served with Ethiopian flat bread ‘Injera’.
Serving suggestion: eat with any type of bread or simply enjoy as a warming soup.
ዶሮ ወጥ (Doro Wot)
*photo from EatEthio.com
(Serves 4 as a main)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 4hrs
4 good quality drum stick chicken (skinned)
½ cup of canola/vegetable oil
6 medium sized finely chopped onions (red)
3 medium sized tomatoes
4 tbsp of berbere* spice
1 tbsp of kibe*
2 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic
½ teaspoon of freshly minced ginger
2 soft boiled eggs, halved
4 tbsp ricotta/cottage cheese
Boil tomatoes and water in a sauce pan (boiling at all times) for 10 minutes until the skin comes off. Remove from heat and let it cool. Peel and finely chop the tomatoes. Clean and marinate the chicken with lemon and salt. In a saucepan cook the onions on medium heat for 60 mins (by adding a splash of hot water when needed to prevent from burning), add the oil, tomato, ginger and garlic cook for 30 minutes simmering & stirring occasionally. Add the berbere and cook for a further 80mins. Remove any water from the chicken by squeezing it then make a few cuts in each chicken piece, to allow the sauce to penetrate the chicken flesh. Add the chicken simmer stirring occasionally by adding a splash of hot water to prevent from burning for 60minutes on low heat until the chicken cooked thoroughly. Salt to taste. Traditionally served with Ethiopian flat bread ‘Injera’, hard-boiled eggs and Ethiopian cheese called ‘ayib’.
Serving suggestion: eat with any type of bread or serve it with rice by adding the half sliced soft boiled egg, cottage cheese or ricotta to cool of the spice.
Berbere*- is an Ethiopian staple spice blend that’s used in most Ethiopian dishes. A blend of chilli, onion, cumin, salt, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, Ethiopian (black) cardamom, sacred basil, rue, cinnamon and more depending on each household’s blend.
Kibe*- is a clarified, herbed Ethiopian butter.
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.