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Monday, June 24, 2013

A Touch of Ethiopia: Demystifying Ethiopian Cuisine

A small section carved out in the U Street corridor of Washington D.C. is known as "Little Ethiopia," rich in Ethiopian cultural heritage and history, and boasting the highest population of Ethiopian immigrants in the United States. Restaurants like Dukem and Queen of Sheba have brought Ethopian cuisine to the nation’s capital along with rich stews and exotic spices that are fascinating and attractive to even the most advanced cooks.

video
(Click above to view video from the class)

Bazaar Spices continued our everyday world cuisine cooking classes and demonstrations that have covered Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine, Chef Mikey Torres showed a crowd of 15 audience members, how delicious and easy Ethiopian cuisine can actually be! During this Everyday Ethiopian class, Chef Torres discussed some of the many ingredients and spices such as Berbere, cardamom, garlic, and black pepper used in Wot; a bold red spicy stew usually made with Chicken (Duro Wot) or Lamb (Yebeg Wot).

The class also learned about Injera, a spongy and tangy “sourdough” bread that is made from Teff flour and is served with every Ethiopian meal. Chef Torres demonstrated some time honored cooking techniques used in Ethiopian cooking, as well as modernized quick techniques perfect for busy and hungry Washingtonians! Some of the quick techniques included pre-making some parts of the dish and using spice blends such as Berbere and Mitmita.

The demonstration concluded with a tasting of the traditional lamb stew, Yebeg Wot. Chef Torres did a great job helping to demystify Ethiopian cuisine, making it more accessible to folks. We were left excited and confident that we could bring a little touch of Ethiopia to our dinner table. If not, there's always a good Ethiopian restaurant not far away!

Doro Wot (Spicy Chicken Stew)

Note: Lamb can be substituted for Chicken in this recipe

Ingredients

 •   4 tbsp. nit'r qibe (Ethiopian Spiced Butter)

 •   2 large yellow onions, roughly chopped

 •   1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic

 •   1 tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

 •   1 1⁄2 tbsp. berbere (Ethiopian Spice Mix)

 •  1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom powder

 •   4 chicken legs (about 2 1⁄4 lbs.) skinned and divided into drumsticks and thighs

 •   Kosher salt, to taste

 •   4 whole hard-boiled eggs

Directions

1. Heat butter in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened, 6–8 minutes. Add berbere, cardamom powder, and 2 cups water; stir well. Season the chicken all over with salt; nestle the pieces in the skillet. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

2. Uncover skillet and raise heat to medium-high; simmer to reduce the liquid until it has a thick, gravy-like consistency, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; stir to warm through. Taste and season with more berbere and salt, if necessary. Serve hot with the injera.

(Reference: Recipe modified from Saveur Magazine)

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