Eritrea

Eritrea gave me a dilemma; It’s next but one in my UN members list to Ethiopia and as far as I can tell from reading around there is little if any difference between Eritrean and Ethiopian food, given that they were the same country until the ’90s. The traditional meal of both countries would be Injera (sourdough pancakes) served with several stews or vegetables. I settled on having one meal, with several dishes.

teff flour

I ordered some Teff flour online which is the grain traditionally used to make injera and set about letting it ferment in some water. The idea is natural yeasts which are in the flour and the air will start to ferment the mixture over several days, resulting in an acidic smelling batter. Sure enough, after 3 days there were plenty of bubbles forming in the surface of the batter…. read the Ethiopia post to see how it turned out!

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To go with the injera, I set about making a chicken stew called Doro Wat. The key ingredient to this is a blend of spices called Berberre which you can buy pre-mixed, or just mix yourself. The doro wat was really easy to make; I fried some pureed onions very very slowly in ghee (about 2 hours in total) while adding minced ginger and garlic. I then added a good quantity of berberre, chicken thigh, chicken stock and white wine before simmering further. Hard boiled eggs were added towards the end. This was DELICIOUS! I loved it – really spicy with a weird kind of fustiness (sounds horrible but I mean it in a good way).

 

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