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Ethiopian Recipes

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Introduction

Ethiopian food is based on a staple grain called TEFF which only grows in Ethiopia. Teff is made into a dough which is allowed to ferment before it is cooked into a flat pancake-like thin broad-bread called "Injera". This is then eaten with various kinds of stew called "Wot". Wots can be made of meat, vegetables, peas, lentils, etc., and can be very highly spiced. "Doro Wot", a stew of chicken marinated with chili, spices, butter and hardboiled eggs, which is eaten with Injera is the most popular one.

The stews "Wots" cannot be eaten alone so Injera becomes compulsory .

If you want to make an authentic Ethiopian food, there are a few basic ingredients that you must have.  Most of these ingredients can be bought at the Maisondel'Ethiopie ethiopian grocery store where you can find already made items like "Berbere" or "Injera".

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony : A feast for your senses

In Ethiopia, coffee is a sensual affair and holds a sacred place.  An invitation to attend a coffee ceremony is considered as a mark of friendship or respect and is an excellent example of Ethiopian hospitality. 

Ethiopia, the origin of coffee

The word "coffee" comes from "Kaffa", a region in the South-West Ethiopia where the flower was first discovered blossoming. This makes Ethiopia the birthplace of coffee.

Coffee represents about 60 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

Back to the 3rd century, says the legend,  the goat herder from Kaffa, discovered his goats unusally excited after having eaten the red berries of those wild coffee plants. He tried the stimulating effect of those red berries himself and shared his discovery with the monks, who soon found that consuming the coffee berries helped them stay awake during long hours of prayer. 

The Ceremony

The green coffee beans are first washed and then roasted in a pan over a charcoal stove. The beans are then pounded with a pestle and mortar, and the ground coffee is brewed with water in a black clay pot, known as Djebena, until it starts to bubble. The rich aroma of coffee mingling with the heady smell of incense that is always burned during the ceremony gives additional beauty to the coffee ceremony.

The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is usually conducted by one young woman, dressed in the traditional Ethiopian costume of a white dress with coloured woven borders (a typical ethiopian traditional costume).

As a  tradition, coffee is boiled three times.  These three phases are called Abol(first),  Tona (second) and Bereka (final).  and in the process a person (guest) has to drink a minimum of three small cups, at least one in each phase.

A tiny amounts of frankincense are burned in a small charcoal brazier

Freshly cut grass is spreaded on the floor to magnify the scene for the coffee ceremony.

Usually pop-corn or cooked barley are offered by way of accompaniment.  This is designated as "Bouna Qours" in Ethiopia.