Friday, 11 November 2016

Eritrea and Ethiopian Inspired Recipes for Vegan Month

Vegan Mofo prompt today is Your Favourite cuisine,.  Truth is I quite like most cuisine so it was really hard to choose one, but whilst I was catching up with some of my blog reads: Rock My Vegan Socks, I was reminded me of how much Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine is fast becoming my favourite cuisine.

Early on this year, I shared some vegetarian and vegan Eritrea for Refugee Week. I also wrote about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.  Please see that blog post here if you wish to read it further.  Today, I share some both Eritrean and Ethiopian recipes for World Vegan Month of November.

Well before starting this blog, I only had Ethiopian - Eritrean cuisine twice in my life.  The first time ever was in 2000, when I went to see my best friend Leah in the US.  She picked me up from the airport in San Francisco and took me to an Ethiopian restaurant in the big smog fog city for a meal.  It was one of the best meals I had ever had.  The second time was when I lived in Scotland and I cooked the entire Ethiopian-Eritrean menu that was featured in Celia BrookWorld Vegetarian Classics cookbook (2005).  I was inspired to make everything from scratch, the Berbere Ethiopian Hot Spice Blend, the Nitteh Kibbeh - Spiced Clarified Butter and the Injera - Sourdough Flatbread,  following the whole fermenting process that took a days.  On the menu was Ye'atakilt W'et - Spicy Mixed Vegetable stew, Yedifin Miser Alicha We't - Mild Lentil Stew with Basil and Yeshiro We't - Stew of Spiced Powdered Chickpeas. 
In the same cookbook that I stumbled upon Eritrean Zigni Spaghetti - Noodles with Hot Sauce.  I wasn't quite sure about it assuming it was more of a recent fusion recipe, but a few years later when I was volunteering for Venture Scotland on a camping trip to Glen Etive, Scotland I asked some of the participants who happened to be from Ethiopia and Eritrea about Zigni Spaghetti , they confirmed to me that this pasta dish indeed real. 

Spaghetti Zigni hails back to the 1930s when the Italians tried and failed to colonise Ethiopia, however they did  leave behind culinary influences.  Zigni Spaghetti was one of those influences. 
Zigni is essentially pasta coated in a deep rich tomato sauce enhanced with the highly spiced Berbere blend.   Berbere in Amharic means hot.  Berbere is a Hot Chilli Spice Blend that is essential to many Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes .  Its become one of my favourite spice blends. 
I followed a recipe for Spicy Lentil Misir W'et (Stew) that came from Ethiopian cook, Alemtshaye Yigezu.  For the recipe, follow this link. The only thing I did in addition was add both sweet potatoes and chickpeas to the dish, nothing more. 
 D'ba Zigni 
Ethiopian Supper of Tibs 'Soya Beef' with Berbere and Cherry Tomatoes and Caramelised White Cabbage, Carrot and Potatoes. adapted from Mazi Maz in The Guardian. I did veganize all of these recipes. 

Recently I was excited to find a little Ethiopian eatery called Neferetti in the town where I work, but noone at work is brave enough to come with me to eat there, and I am a bit hesitant about going on my own.
Finally, my fusion take on a Courgette Soup incorporating Berbere Spice Blend.
As well as some Injera Crackers made from leftover Injera - Sourdough flatbread.  

Do you like Eritrea or Ethiopian cuisine?  I am bookmarking Rock My Vegan Socks variation of Ingudai Tibs, a mushroom recipe, but do you have any other Ethiopian or Eritrean recipes to share with me, please do - this greedy girls needs to diversify her meals.

12 comments:

  1. I've only eaten Ethiopian food once and that was unexpectedly in Fludir, Iceland, in a tiny restaurant called Minilik run by an Ethiopian woman who had married an Icelandic man. I loved the food so much we ate there two nights running!

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    1. Ah this place that I have found locally is also run by an Ethiopian woman, looking forward to checking it out. So good to know that you enjoyed it too. I am loving Berbere

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  2. Hi, love your blog. I don't mean to sound nit-picky but...I am from the San Francisco Bay Area and now live near Los Angeles. San Fran is known as the FOG city and LA the SMOG city. Trust me, it really is so gross down here. I miss the cleaner air of the Bay Area. Incidentally, both cities are known for their Ethiopian communities, especially LA. Have a great day!

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    1. Thank you Mrs Strong, No problem at all, honest. I have updated it, completely understand the fog and smog reputation.

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  3. Have you seen Teff Love? It's amazing. A lot of the recipes are, um, variations on themes, but it's still worth it. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TFVGCRU/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

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    1. Thanks Vyvyan. Yes I have heard of it, I have been thinking of it for a while, but was holding out for a more authentic one that I could then adapt, Teff Love may end up winging its way to my home one day though still.

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  4. I love Ethiopian food, but I've never tried Eritrean, so this post has really inspired me! The spicy lentil stew pictured here looks so good.

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    1. Thank you. wow - very similar food really.

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  5. I love Ethiopian food, though my experiences with it are small - I mainly go to the same two places in London and love them both. I'm always a bit shy making it at home- I can never quite the spicing right. I need more practice clearly!

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    1. I make it at home as not many places where i live, or any really. I=only think i am nervous to make it the injera, though i have once in my life and it was so time consuming. You need more practice indeed and confidence in yourself, you know what it tastes like - trust yourself

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  6. Oh wow! Look at all of those amazing dishes =) I'm glad I reminded you of your enjoyment of Ethiopian food!
    The stew looks especially good - but it all looks really good.
    I don't suppose you remember the name of the place in San Francisco you went? It's less than an hour from where I live, I would love to check it out.

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    1. Thank you Kimmy. Indeed you did and I want some now and i've not yet had my breakfast.
      It was many years ago and i have to admit i was a bit jet lagged as well as excited to see my friend that i don't remember the name, sorry. I can ask her and see if she remembers.

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