You know how sometimes there are certain types of foods that you like, but they seem sorta mysterious? Kinda like they were just created by magic at the restaurant you usually order them from. Ethiopian food is a bit like that to me. Obviously, I know it's not only the kitchen elves that make the food taste the way it does, but I do think they help.
I've never tried to make Ethiopian food before. I actually only had it for the first time after I moved to Vancouver last February. Now I am totally in love with sharing a tray of yummies with a plate of warm injera with friends. There is something so nice about eating this way. I feel like it's centering somehow. Here you are, sitting in a restaurant, or at home with this great spread, eating with your fingers and talking with your friends. Scooping the food up with that delicious bread makes you eat a little bit slower and seems to allow for more of a connection with the people you're eating with as well since you're all sharing the food on the tray.
I'm anxiously awaiting Kittee's Papa Tofu zine because she's promised some Ethiopian recipes inside. I'm on a search for teff flour so I can make some injera and have my own little African feast at home. Until then, I decided to try out Isa's Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew.
I have to admit that I couldn't find ground fenugreek and I didn't feel like trying to turn it into a powder, so I just threw it in there whole. That seemed to work just fine, so go for it if you're feeling lazy like me. This was absolutely delicious, though. I gave Roman some of the leftovers and he told me that he likes it so much he might try and make it himself some time. You have no idea how major that is. It was a hearty stew, full of flavor, but not too heavy. I love how the flavor of the veggies work together so nicely augemented by the spices. mmmmmm! Definitely try this one if you haven't already.
Ethiopian Spicy Tomato Lentil Stew
1 cup brown lentils
1 large yellow onion, diced small
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, miced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup peanut oil (vegetable oil will do)
10 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock or 1 cup water + 2 veg boullion cubes
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tsp ground cumin
2 teaspoons hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cardomom
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
Boil the lentils for about 45 minutes or until tender.
In a large pot, over med heat saute the onions and carrots for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and spice blend. Saute 5 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, cook 5 more minutes. Add tomato paste and mix, then add the water. Simmer Until bubbling. Add the cooked lentils and green peas, simmer 15 more minutes.
This makes around 4 large servings or 6 small ones.
Coming soon: goodies from Seattle, more ppk recipes and Veganomicon!