When in St. Louis, Eat Ethiopian Food? Part 2

One of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants is Shagga in Hyattsville, MD. But, now that I know how easy it is to create these dishes myself, I think I might be able to satisfy the craving for these wonderful spices and flavors at home. Here is the run-down on what we prepared and the details about how to do it yourself.


Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots with Turmeric (from Food and Wine Magazine)

What You Need

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • Salt
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 5 pounds green cabbage, cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

What You Do

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are fragrant and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots to the casserole along with 1/2 cup of water and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the carrots are just starting to soften, 7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cabbage in large handfuls, letting each batch wilt slightly before adding more.
  6. When all of the cabbage has been added, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and serve.

Spiced Red Lentils (from Food and Wine Magazine)

What You Need

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons berbere, plus more for sprinkling (See previous post)
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups red lentils (1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (we had it leftover-and I thought it might add some nice flavor)

What You Do

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, berbere, nigella seeds, cardamom and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook until fragrant and deeply colored, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the red lentils with 8 cups of water to the casserole and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have cooked downand thickened, 25 minutes.
  6. Stir in butternut squash puree.
  7. Season the lentils with salt and pepper.
  8. Ladle the lentils into bowls, sprinkle with berbere and serve.

Timatim Salad (from the Berbere Diaries)

What You Need

  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. berbere (see previous post)
  • 3-4 large tomatoes
  • 1/2- 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped and if desired, de-seeded for less heat
  • 2 pieces Injera, torn into bite-size pieces

What You Do

  1. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chopped vegetables and Injera
  2. Serve chilled.

And for next time, I will try my own Injera. I am so happy to now know the secret of this amazing bread- cooked like a pancake! Teff flour is an ancient grain that is gluten-free and provides calcium, iron and protein. So, now I don’t have to feel so guilty when I fill up on it during the meal.

Injera (from Food and Wine Magazine)

What You Need

  • 4 cups teff flour (about 5 ounces)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

What You Do

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the teff flour with the water until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight; the batter will be slightly foamy.
  3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat.
  4. Whisk the salt into the batter.
  5. Ladle 3/4 cup of the batter into the skillet; swirl to coat the bottom with batter.
  6. Cook over moderately high heat until the injera just starts to bubble, about 30 seconds.
  7. Cover the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds longer, until the injera is cooked through and the surface is slightly glossy.
  8. Invert the skillet onto a work surface, letting the injera fall from the pan.
  9. Repeat with the remaining batter.

This meal will feed an army! We had so much leftover. If you are just feeding four, I suggest cutting all the recipes in half (excluding the Injera!). Or, if you are like me – enjoy the leftovers for lunch and dinner for days.

When in St. Louis, Eat Ethiopian Food? Part 1

My sister and I love Ethiopian food. So, when my sister moved to St. Louis, we worried she’d have to go without the delightful dishes until her visits with me in D.C. This weekend, as Frankenstorm Sandy neared the East Coast, I left to visit my sister in her new city, hang with her new politically active puppy, Aidan (shown below), and check out the food-scene in St. Louis.

Before boarding my flight, I picked up a copy of this month’s Food and Wine Magazine. While the front featured the expected Thanksgiving ideas, I found the most amazing surprise: A Lesson in Ethiopian Flavors. The feature included not only some of our favorite vegetarian dishes, but also the characteristic Ethiopian Injera Bread. Amazing!

We were able to successfully make a number of great dishes including sauteed cabbage and carrots, spiced red lentils, and timatim salad. We also prepared some sweet collard greens with balsamic, maple syrup, and dates (not Ethiopian flavors, but very yummy). Unfortunately, when we went to the market, we picked up teff grain instead of teff flour and could not prepare the Injera. So, instead, we resolved to try Injera another day and purchased it from my sister’s nearby Ethiopian restaurants (yes, they are there in St. Louis!).

The first step was to buy the ingredients and prepare berbere, a spice commonly used in Ethiopian dishes. While we didn’t find the spice mixture in the store, we found some great recipes and instructions online.

Berbere (from kadirecipes.com)

What You Need

  • 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • 6 dried chilies (I only used 3, because I can’t handle the heat)
  • ½ cup paprika
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (I used fresh)
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 and ½  tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

What You Do

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Mix!!
  3. Store in a jar in the fridge, the recipe makes approximately one cup.

Stay tuned for more recipes from the wonderful evening, as I continue my extended trip here in St. Louis. All flights have been canceled back to BWI, so I will be here through Thursday at the earliest.

Stay safe, dry and warm to all those effected by Sandy.