In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ethiopian dinner

The final meal of African week featured Ethiopia: what a rich cuisine!
I wish we could take our children to an Ethiopian restaurant, but alas,
there are none in Alaska!
Instead, I made a pathetic attempt at cooking us an Ethiopian meal --
I admit that I cheated and did not actually make my own spiced butter and
Berbere sauce! But still, son judged it the best meal of Africa week. Meanwhile,
hubby felt it could have been spicier (do I hear an echo somewhere?)...
All recipes are from

Ethiopian Lamb with Cardamon

3 Cups Thinly Sliced Onions
1/2 Cup Spiced Butter -- * See Note
2 Lbs Lean Lamb -- Cut In 3/4″ Cubes
1/4 Cup Berbere Sauce -- * See Note
1/4 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Freshly Ground Cardamon Seeds
1 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
2 Cloves Garlic -- Crushed
1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine
1 Cup Water
Salt To Taste

Heat a large frying pan and saute the onion in 1 tbs of the butter,
covered, until very tender. Use low heat so that the onion and butter are
not browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Heat the pan again and
brown the lamb over high heat with another tbsp of the butter. Set meat
aside. Place the sauteed onions along with the remaining butter in a
heavy 6 quart saucepan. add the Berbere sauce, cumin, cardamon, ginger,
garlic, black pepper and wine. Bring to a simmer and add the lamb. Bring
to a simmer again and add the water. Cook, covered, until the lamb is
very tender, about 50 minutes, stirring several times. If the sauce is
not thick enough, cook uncovered for a few minutes to reduce and thicken.
Add salt to taste prior to serving.

Injera (Ethiopian Flat Bread)

1-3/4 c flour
1/2 c self-rising flour
1/4 c whole wheat Flour
1 pk dry yeast
2-1/2 c warm water
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt

Combine the flours and yeast in a ceramic or glass bowl.
Add the warm water and mix into a fairly thin, smooth batter.
Let the mixture sit for three full days at room temperature.
Stir the mixture once a day. It will bubble and rise.
When you are ready to make the injera, add the baking soda and
salt and let the batter sit for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a small, nonstick 9″ skillet.
When a drop of water bounces on the pan's surface, take about 1/3
cup of the batter and pour it in the skillet quickly, all at once.
Swirl the pan so that the entire bottom is evenly coated, then
return to heat.
The injera is cooked only on one side and the bottom should not
When the moisture has evaporated and lots of “eyes” appear on the
surface, remove the injera.
Let each injera cool and then stack them as you go along.
If the first injera is undercooked, try using less of the
mixture, perhaps 1/4 cup, and maybe cook it a bit longer.
Be sure not to overcook it. Injera should be soft and pliable so
that it can be rolled or folded, like a crepe.

Here's another version, without yeast, which uses Club Soda!
INJERA (flat bread)
4 c self rising flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 ts baking powder
2 c club soda
Serves 6-8

Spiced Collard Greens with Cheese
2 Cloves Garlic -- Chopped
1/4 Cup Spiced Butter -- * See Note
1/4 Tsp Freshly Ground Cardamon Seeds
Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper -- To Taste
1 Lb Dry Curd Cottage Cheese -- Or Farmer's Cheese
2 Lb Collard Greens, Stems Discarded -- Leaves Chopped
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Tsp Cayenne
1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Crushed Garlic
1/4 Cup Spiced Butter -- * See Note
3 Tbsp Coarsely Chopped Yellow Onion
salt to taste

Cheese: saute the garlic in the spiced butter for a few minutes. Add the
cardamon, salt and pepper. Remove from the burner and allow to cool.
Stir this mixture into the cheese.

Greens: cook the collard greens covered in a 4 quart saucepan along with
about 1/2 cup water. Add the cayenne, black pepper, garlic, spiced
butter and chopped onion. Cook covered until the greens collapse. All
the greens to cool a bit and salt to taste.

To serve: Drain the greens a bit and place on a platter or on Injera
bread (recipe included in this set). Spoon the cheese over the greens and
serve. Alternate: mix the greens and cheese together before placing on
the platter or bread. Either way is delicious.

Niter Kebbeh (Spiced Clarified Butter)

1 lb Unsalted butter
1/4 c Chopped onions
2 Cloves garlic, pressed
2 ts Fresh gingerroot, grated
1/2 ts Turmeric
4 Cardamom seeds, crushed
1 Cinnamon stick
2 Cloves
1/8 ts Nutmeg
1/4 ts Ground fenugreek seeds
1 tb Fresh basil
- or 1 teaspoon dried basil

In a small saucepan, gradually melt the butter and bring it to
bubbling. When the top is covered with foam, add the other
ingredients and reduce the heat to a simmer. Gently simmer,
uncovered, on low heat. After about 45 to 60 minutes, when the
surface becomes transparent and the milk solids are on the bottom,
pour the liquid through a cheesecloth into a heat resistant
container. Discard the spices and solids.

Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, Niter Kebbeh will
keep for up to 2 months.

Berbere Sauc
2 Tsp Cumin Seed
4 Whole Cloves
1/2 Tsp Cardamon Seeds
1/2 Tsp Black Peppercorns
1/4 Tsp Whole Allspice
1 Tsp Whole Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 Cup Dried Onion Flakes
3 Oz Red New Mexican Chiles -- Stemmed And Seeded
3 Small Dried Long Hot Red Chiles -- Seeded
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Ground Turmeric
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Salad Or Peanut Oil
1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine
Cayenne to taste

Yield: 1 1/4 cups

Mix together the cumin, cloves, cardamon, black peppercorns, allspice and
fenugreek seeds. Place in a small frying pan over medium heat. Stir
constantly until they release their fragrance, about 1-2 minutes. Do not
burn or discolor the seeds. Cool completely.

Combine the toasted spices and all the other ingredients except the oil
and wine in a spice grinder or electric coffee grinder in several batches
(I use the coffee grinder) and grind to fine consistency. Place the
spice blend in a bowl and add the oil and wine. Add cayenne to taste
(Jeff starts with 1 tsp and adds more as necessary). Stir until thick and
store in a covered plastic container in the refrigerator.

1 comment:

  1. I adore Ethiopian food and have attempted and failed to make it many times. Esp injera, which mocks me. I'm going to try the collard greens recipe, though. I love that stuff!