Friday, August 10, 2012

Ethiopian Shabbat Dinner

photo from Healthy Green
The first time I had Ethiopian was memorable. Mir and I had only been dating for a few weeks and she was taking me on a culinary adventure. We walked into the restaurant some where in lower Manhattan and as we sat down I was immediately less than impressed. It was the middle of summer and the restaurant lacked patrons or air conditioning. I didn't know what the menu items were so I let Mir order and sipped on water while we waited for the food. It came out, a large plate of unidentifiable stewed vegetables, meat and beans. I realized that the server had forgotten to give us silverware and called her over. "Could we get some utensils, please" I said in my sweet-not-so-sweet voice. With the same pseudo sweetness and a slight sneer she replied, "You've clearly never had Ethiopian" and stalked off. Mirs turned a deeper shade of pink and whispered, "You eat with your hands!"

That day in the sticky hot restaurant where Mir and I were the only ones silly enough to eat spicy hot food on a warm summer day I fell in love with Ethiopian food. Tonight, I'm going to attempt to make it. I found this recipe for injera, the sour spongy bread that does double duty as both plate and utensil, and hoped that today would yield "grassy" smelling bubbling yeast. Instead I held gagged violently at the smell and purple-blue mold that was growing on my starter. I did a quick Google search and found this quick injera recipe that I'll be using tonight. I'm subbing out the glutenous flours for teff, which is the traditional flour used, and buckwheat.

I'll be making a tofu Doro Wat, Gomen, Misr Wat and Alecha Wat using recipes from Healthy Green KitchenNavy Blue Kitchen, and my own obsession with making curries. I hope to take another stab at authentic injera in the future. Pictures and recipes to follow.

Shabbat Shalom!