Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ethiopian Dinner with friends

First off I have to say that Dr Food and I had an amazing lunch at my new favorite restaurant. It is the most inventive and tastiest food that I have had since I have left California.


We went in expecting Bah Mi which is my newest addiction. Lucky for us (or we wouldn't have tried all the other incredible stuff) they only serve Dim Sum on weekends. What we had:

Grilled corn on the cob with Siracha butter
Wok roasted lemongrass mussels
Tea smoked pork spare ribs
Garlicky and spicy chicken wings

We also tried 2 of the stuffed Bao. We had crispy pork belly and crispy duck...yummm.


You have to check this place out if you are in Boston

Myers + Chang
1145 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 542-5200

So it was onto the Ethiopian dinner. I had made the berbere and the ghee on Friday. Both of these are labor intensive. Berbere is a spice mixture (in this case paste) that is used in most dishes. Ghee is a flavored butter with all the butterfat removed.


recipe by Jeff Smith in "The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors"

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.

Whatever your feelings about the guy are I think that despite everything he has well written recipes. I think that he did his homework and from my research on Ethiopian recipes I found that what he had was pretty authentic.


Niter kebbeh (spiced butter oil)

2 pounds Butter, unsalted; cut into small pieces
1 Onion, small; chopped coars ely
3 tablespoon Garlic cloves; chopped fine
4 teaspoon Ginger root; chopped fine
1½ teaspoon Turmeric
1 Cardamon pod
1 Cinnamon stick; 1″
1 Cloves, whole
⅛ teaspoon Nutmeg, ground

In a heavy 5 quart saucepan, heat the butter over moderate heat, turning it about with a spoon to melt it slowly and completely without letting it brown. Then increase the heat and bring the butter to a boil. When the surface is completely covered with white foam, stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cardamon, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible point and simmer uncovered and undisturbed for 45 minutes, or until the milk solids on the bottom of the pan are a golden brown and the butter on top is transparent.

Slowly pour the clear liquid niter kebbeh into a bowl, straining it through a fine sieve lined with a linen towel or four layers of dampened cheesecloth. Discard the seasonings. If there are any solids left in the kebbeh, strain it again to prevent it from becoming rancid later.

Pour the kebbeh into a jar, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature until ready to use. Kebbeh will solidify when chilled. It can safely be kept, even at room temperature.

So we made lots of stuff. Of course we had to make Shiro. This is made with chickpea powder.

Made Collard greens


We also made

Ethiopian Lentils
The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors-Jeff Smith

2 cups Dried lentils -- washed
6 cups Water
3/4 cup Anaheim green peppers -- seeded & chopped
2 cups Red onions -- chopped
1/4 cup Ghee
1 tablespoon Grated fresh ginger
2 each Garlic cloves -- crushed
1 tablespoon Berbere sauce
Pepper -- to taste
Boil the lentils in water for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid.

In a 4 qt pot, saute the peppers & onions in the ghee until the onions are tender. Add the lentils, 4 c of the reserved liquid & the remaining ingredients & bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, over low heat 35-40 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

6 servings.

Doro Wat Chicken (Ethiopian)

The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors-Jeff Smith

3 Lbs Frying Chicken Cut Into 8 Pieces
Juice Of One Lime
5 Cups Thinly Sliced Red Onions
1/2 Cup Spiced Butter
1/2 Cup Berbere Sauce
1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine
2 Cloves Garlic -- Crushed
2 Tsp Cayenne
1/2 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
1/2 Cup Water
Salt To Taste
4 Hard Boiled Eggs -- Peeled
1/2 Tsp freshly ground

Marinate the chicken pieces in the lime juice for hour. In a heavy saucepan saute the onions in 2 tbsp of the spiced butter. Cover the pot and cook the onions over low heat until they are very tender but not browned. Add the remaining butter to the pot along with the Berbere sauce, wine, garlic, cayenne and ginger. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix well. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken pieces. Cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is tender, adding more water as necessary to keep the sauce from drying out. When the chicken is tender, add salt to taste. Add the eggs and heat through. Top with the black pepper prior to serving.

We also made Lamb and Cardamom (Tibs)

Recipe By : The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors, Jeff Smith

3 Cups Thinly Sliced Onions
1/2 Cup Spiced Butter
2 Lbs Lean Lamb -- Cut In 3/4″ Cubes
1/4 Cup Berbere Sauce
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.

I also made injera. I have mastered it but found out that I suck at making them on the Heritage grill that I bought . So I resorted to my pan that I always use. I will practice with the grill when I am not having friends to dinner.


We also made Shiro


Spicy Vegetarian Spread (infirfir shiro)
From "Flatbreads & Flavors" Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

1/4 C vegetable Oil
1 C chopped red onions (2 small)
2 tbs Berbere
3 C water
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Seeds from 2 green cardamom pods (ground)
Aopproximately 1 C chickpea flour
1 tsp salt

Heat a heavy saucepan over high heat. Add the oil. When it is hot add the onions and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden.

Blend the spice paste with 1 C water, and add to the onions. Bring to a boil. Add the garlic, ginger, cardamom, and remaining 2 cups water, and bring back to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium, then sift the chickpea flouyr gradually into the boiling mixture, stirring constantly to prevent lumbs. The mixture will become increasingly thick and should finally have a thick, paste-like texture; if it starts to thicken quickly, add less than 1 full cup of chickpea flour, or add a little extra water. Stir in the salt and continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot or roo temperature.

Lots of pots on the fire...



So Kim went home for a second and surprised me with a traditional Ethiopian table cloth and napkins. I love love love them!
and then dinner was ready to serve!


and the reason it was all worth it was because when Habtamu came into the house he kept saying "Smells Good!" When Kim asked him what it smelled like he said "Home". That was all I needed to hear. The other reason was Debritu's smile. I love these kids more than anything.



Wait wait wait


Kim also made the traditional coffee which she roasted the beans herself and Popcorn!


  1. Wow everything looks delicious! I've never had Ethiopian food. The berbere looks very tasty.

  2. This looks terrific... I have kitchen envy. Your kitchen looks terrific

  3. Okay...those two little kids waiting to eat are super cute...I should be sitting there waiting too...except I am a grown woman and I would be drooling...

  4. The one time I had Ethiopian food the food and service were a very big let down but now I see I just will have to make it myself, because I imagine it to be wonderful from what I see here!

    Also, I would love to join your blogger pot luck, that would be awesome!

    I am going to attempt making the starter for the injera too!

  5. The one time I had Ethiopian food the food and service were a very big let down but now I see I just will have to make it myself, because I imagine it to be wonderful from what I see here!

    Also, I would love to join your blogger pot luck, that would be awesome!

    I am going to attempt making the starter for the injera too!