Thursday, June 5, 2008
Ethiopian Food Night
Tuesday night we had Ethiopian Food Night at our home. We invited our two dearest friends (who also happen to be the most adventurous about food) and cooked some Ethiopian Food. Our daughter and I did some internet searching for some Ethiopian recipes and found a great site for our use. I wasn't sure exactly what injera recipe to use (there were several different kinds) but I found one that used the teff flour I bought at a local store.
I decided to try Siga Wat and Doro Wat along with the injera. We were looking forward to having injera since we had all experienced the sour flat bread earlier this winter at an Ethiopian Restaurant in Indianapolis. I remember the cook telling me that he made the injera dough early in the day so that it would be good and sour. I tried to use his advice and made my dough early in the day. Unfortunately, this recipe didn't turn out like we remembered. The Siga Wat is a beef dish that kind of has a "BBQ" taste to it, the recipe called for a spice mixture called chow. The Doro Wat is a chicken dish that has Berbere Sauce in it. Chow and Berbere are a mixture of several (lots actually) different spices. These are pretty spicey mixes, though I probably could have added a bit more red pepper to it. It just didn't have the punch I would have liked. It was a lot of fun preparing these dishes. We all decided that we prefer the Doro Wat over the Siga Wat. The spice used in the Doro Wat is just a little better. Now...spices...I have to elaborate on this. If I would have had to buy all these spices at the local grocery I would have had to take out a small loan. I kid you not, there are probably 15 different spices that I used to make the chow and Berbere. Anyway, we have this little gem of a country store hidden away in rural Carroll County called The Country Cupboard, it is ran by an Old Order German Baptist Family. This means you walk into a room lit only by the windows, no fancy advertising and fluff of the typical retail store. It is just shelves and shelves of bulk foods such as nuts, flours of all types (this is where I found the teff flour for the injera), homemade goodies, homegrown sorghum and honey and a huge variety of spices. All these spices are in little containers (see in the picture) and are dirt cheap! I get spices such as allspice, ginger, nutmeg and such for as little as $.79 a container! It is a wonderful thing. I was even surprised to find fenugreek (a spice used in the Berbere) there. I was really excited!
The whole evening was a great experience for the entire family. We were only disappointed in the injera. It did not have that sourdough taste at all. I would love to get ahold of a good recipe for injera that does have that distinctive flavor...anyone have one? Please send it our way! We wrapped up the evening a bit American though.....Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Lemon Crunch Pie. We did bring out the forks for that. Our family is ready to try some different Ethiopian recipes made in our own kitchen, but most of all we look forward to trying some authentic Ethiopian food in the heart of Addis Abba with our daughter by our side.