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Ethiopian food consists largely of spicy vegetable and meat dishes. These vegetables or meat are usually made in the form of wot, which is a very thick stew. These stews are served with injera which is a large sourdough flatbread. Injera is made out of fermented teff flour. Unlike in most Western cultures, Ethiopians eat with their right hands and do not use any utensils.
Also of note is the fact that Ethiopian dishes do not usually contain any pork. For religious reasons, most Ethiopians are prohibited from eating pork at all. There are a few essential ingredients that make Ethiopian food so tasty.
The first essential ingredient is Berbere, this powder is made of a wonderful combination of chile pepper and other spices. The second essential ingredient is called niter kibbeh. Niter kibbeh is type of clarified butter made with ginger, garlic and several other spices.
An Ethiopian stew or, or wot starts with a healthy portion of chopped red onions. These red onions are then sautéed in a pot until they are soft. At this point, the cook adds some Niter kibbeh and Berbere. The stew is allowed to simmer just before the beef, chicken, or vegetables are added. When the stew is ready, it is served with injera on a straw table called a mesob.
A mesob is a straw tabletop on which food is traditionally served in Ethiopian cultures. The mesob has a lid that is kept on it until meal time. Just before the meal, a basin of water and soap is brought to the mesob. This is so everyone can wash their hands, and then, finally the meal is served! After the meal, the soap and water is brought out again so the guests can wash up.
Altogether, Ethiopian food provides a rich experience, from the preparation to the partaking of the meal. It is a great thing to experience, and you might just enjoy Ethiopian food so much that you treat yourself to it often. You can find great Ethiopian cuisine at local food shops in your city.
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