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Ethiopian food is a wonderful mix of generous vegetable based dishes and spicy meat stews which are usually eaten communually and by hand.
Do you know some typical Ethiopian dishes? Here's a non-exhaustive list to give you a taste of this hearty east African cuisine.
The Basic Elements of Ethiopian Cuisine
If there is one thing you need to know about Ethiopian cuisine, it's Injera. From morning to night, this thick and spongy cake, usually made from teff flour, is the basis of most dishes. The dough is fermented for 1 to 3 days, which gives it a very characteristic bittersweet taste. Injera are served entirely flat on the plate with various small portions of sauces and other dishes heaped on top. By scooping up the injera with the delicious toppings by hand all is eaten together and the Injera serves as a dish, cutlery and bread!
Berbere is an essential building block of food in Ethiopia. In reality, Berbere is not a dish atall, but an accompaniment made up of spices. It's a combination of garlic, peppers, coriander, cinnamon, cumin and ginger.
3. Niter kibbeh
Finally, we often find niter kibbeh on the table, a kind of butter cooked in garlic, onions, spices and ginger, before being clarified.
2. Typical Dishes of Ethiopian Cuisine
Meat wat can be prepared with goat, chicken (the most common), beef or mutton. Vegetable wat is usually made from mashed beans, lentils, beans, spinach or carrots.
Kefto is the tartar of Ethiopian cuisine, made of raw meat crushed and seasoned with Berbere.
3. Yetsom Beyaynetu
This is an assortment of vegetables served on Injera.
4. Siga tibs
Siga tibs is a grilled meat (beef, goat or sheep) dish served in kibbe niter.
The Maheberawi is a mixed plate of meats such as wat, siga tibs or kefto, placed ontop of the Injera.