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A Culinary Tour Around the World: Ethiopia Round-Up

February 23, 2009 by Joan Nova in Culinary Tour Around the World | 18 Comments

Ethiopia represents the midway point on the tour. Six countries before it, six to go. Like any vacation, the beginning seemed to be going slowly but now that we’re faced with the back end,  I fear we’ll be returning to the USA before we know it. And, like any vacation, I’m already starting to wish it wouldn’t end. I hope you’ll continue to keep me company along the way — either by contributing or commenting.

We food bloggers are not timid! When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Thanks to the brave bloggers who decided to ‘meet’ me in Ethiopia. (There were many more of you than I expected!) I know the cuisine presented a real challenge and I appreciate the effort. I hope readers enjoy what my foodie friends brought to the party. Please visit their individual blogs for recipes, stories, more photos — and just to get all-round inspired!

We Are Never Full, the witty team of Amy and Jonny from Brooklyn, NY, got ambitious and prepared injera, berbere, yekik alicha, gomen, zigni we’t (an authentic looking Ethiopian palette of crepe/bread with spice paste, split peas, collard greens, spiced beef stew).

js and ts, the sister team at The Eating Club Vancovermade a delicious-looking baked eggplant with dried fruit and rice stuffing. Amusingly, the recipe called for 2 eggplants or 1 duck!?!

Cristina of La Cucina Di Cristina from Italy made an Ethiopian honey bread and, as usual, provides the recipe in English, Italian and Romanian for you multi-linguists out there.

Another style of spiced honey bread (Yemarina Yewotet Dabo) comes to us from Ivy of Kopiaste in Athens, Greece. She served hers with home-made quince jam.

Cake of Laws of the Kitchen in Australia joined us again. She took on the Doro Wat (spicy chicken stew) as did I…and had the same reaction. She loved it!

Cindy of Cindystar in Lake Garda, Italy rushed back from skiing to whip up this injera for us. Her version is served with chopped chicken and bitter peppers. Cindy tells us that Venice is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Ethiopic Ancient Art entitled the Holy Beauty of Christian Ethiopia from March 13-May 10.

Val of More than Burnt Toast in British Columbia spun another fascinating tale about “travel” in Ethiopia and prepared these tasty-looking chick pea fritters which get coated with Berbere, the spice paste.

Rachel, The Crispy Cook in Schuylerville, NY, had an unsuccessful experience with making injera but happily made 2 interesting stews: a doro wat with tofu and Atar Alecha (a spicy green pea porridge) served over rice.

Chef Holly of El Hajii joins us again from Honolulu. She made 2 side dishes — a spicy salad with a chick peas/green peas & carrots and a beet/potato salad.

Brii from Brii’s Blog in English in Lake Garda, Italy was also ambitious. She made injera, berbere and doro wat which provided 3 interesting photos for me to make this mosaic.

And, in case you needed something to put out the fire from all the berbere, Joie de Vivre in Washington State made Birz, a healthy alternative to alcohol which is popular in Muslim households. It is made from honey and water left to sit on the counter for 2 days.

Observation: The common thread in all these dishes is they are not from the Rachel Ray playbook of ‘under 30 minutes’. Each dish took hours to prepare, if not days! The uncommon thread is…it’s all in the interpretation (or presentation). There are several versions of doro wat, injera, berbere and spiced honey bread and, yet, each looks slightly different. Cooking is like art…and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and taster?)

Next stop: Russia on or before March 2. Round-up March 4.
NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. 5 Star Foodie says:

    All beautiful dishes! See you in Russia soon!

  2. Elra says:

    Delicious round ups!
    Ethiopian food is one of my favorite ethnic food. Love all of those spices they are using for their dishes. Love the unique injera.

  3. elly says:

    Another fantastic roundup, Joan!

  4. Lori Lynn says:

    Ooh, I love all the virtual exotic aromas emanating from my computer screen. Your tour is such a great idea, really enjoying it Joan.

  5. brii says:

    what a great round up..
    thank’s joan

  6. Ivy says:

    What a lovely roundup Joan. I want to try and make all the recipes and shall be looking forward to trying new recipes during your other tours.

  7. we are never full says:

    wow….i am impressed!! it was great to feel really challenged and to have fun doing it! thanks, joan.

  8. Joie de vivre says:

    What a round-up! The green pea porridge looks so interesting! My drink actually did take under 30 minutes, but I did have to have the forethought of letting it sit on the counter for 2 days. :)

  9. Karen says:

    Wow, I am impressed! What a collection of beautiful and unusual dishes. People are really challenging themselves on Joan’s culinary tour, I can see that! Off to visit each blog…

  10. Cakelaw says:

    This is great Joan – so many interesting foods to try.

  11. Gloria Chadwick says:

    I’m really enjoying your culinary tour. Lots of great food along the way. There’s an award for you on my blog. :)

  12. Rachel says:

    This was lots of fun, despite my injera experiment gone awry. I hear you can buy packaged injera at ethnic markets though….

    Looking forward to our next stop in Russia.

  13. Bellini Valli says:

    Beautiful roundup from some very ambitious cooks. It was a pleasure to meet you all in Ethiopia. Another fun time Joan:D

  14. Cindystar says:

    What a GREAT round up, Joan!
    Amazing how so many different presentations for the same dish, I really like all!
    See you next week in Russia….daaaa!!!

  15. Robin Sue says:

    Joan I thought for sure this would be a very challenging country but everyone did a fantastic job! Some of the dishes look so tasty. I had no idea about Ethiopian cuisine. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with for Russia. All I could think of was Vodka! Ha!

  16. Núria says:

    A great Round-up Joan! Ethiopian food looks so inspiring :D.
    Let’s see if I find a Vodka bottle and can join you in Russia ;D

  17. Lori says:

    This is such a cool project. Sorry for the late discovery, I just learned about it on 5 Star Foodie. I can’t wait to go back and catch up on your previous coverage and bookmark my favorites.

  18. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver says:

    Thanks for the round-up! (This we say after 4 weeks or so!)

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