When you are getting ready for your trip, you probably consider the question of what to eat in Ethiopia. This country has world-renowned traditional gastronomy, moreover, you could say that Ethiopian food is in fashion.
When we’re talking about Ethiopian gastronomy, inevitably we have to mention its star dish: injera. This traditional food consists of various starters and dishes of vegetable and meat, which are served in injera (a long, thin bread)
Of all the typical Ethiopian dishes, injera is the best known, this flatbread is similar to a crepe. It is prepared with teff, a cereal which is grown in the country, once the dough is made it is left to ferment for three days and then it is transferred to an earthenware dish which has been previously heated. Meat or vegetable stew seasoned with spices are placed on top of this crepe. This traditional dish from Ethiopian cooking is eaten with the hands.
It should be noted that in traditional Ethiopian cooking, pork is not used. Both the Muslim population and the Orthodox church do not allow the eating of pork, so you should bear that in mind when it comes to eating in Ethiopia.
This dish from Ethiopian gastronomy is a substitute for the previous injera, although it is only made in a few places. For the stew which accompanies the dabo, vegetables and pulses are used, which are cooked on a base of flavoured butter known as niter kebbeh.
As with injera, it is a dish eaten with the hands, so it is custom to place a bowl of water and soap on the table.
This typical Ethiopian dish is a minced beef stew with spices, served with a boiled egg and spicy sauce. The meat is used to make this speciality is beef, chicken, lamb, goat and sometimes fish. The chosen meat is cooked with pulses and vegetables along with chopped onion, hot paprika, chilli and clove.
Wat is also served in the traditional injera and therefore should also be eaten with the hands.
This Ethiopian speciality is a dish based on chopped raw meat which is heated in a frying pan with a little bit of butter and rosemary. Before frying the meat, it is left to marinade in chilli and other spices, and is accompanied by injera, vegetables and soft cheese.
This dish is different from the previous ones in that it is served in a clay pot, cutlery isn't usually used with this either, but it is a unique and special dish that you simply must try in Ethiopia.
It is a dish of sautéed vegetables with meat which is served with salad on a plate, on this occasion injera isn’t used. The main meat of this dish is beef, and its preparation is simple and quick. To sauté, their traditional flavoured butter is used instead of oil.
Not everything involves meat in Ethiopia, during the time of Ramadan and Lent, Ethiopians don’t eat meat. This is the time when Shiro is made, a vegetarian dish which consists of a chickpea or lentil stew. Onion, garlic and ground ginger are added to the stew.
There is a version which is spreadable, which is like hummus but with a spicier flavour.
The Ethiopian villages located close to Lake Tana make this typical dish of Ethiopian gastronomy made of fried fish and rice. It is served with a sweet-and-sour sauce made of tomato and ground chilli and sometimes is accompanied with vegetables.
The fish, as well as being delicious, is usually grilled, although there are also fish soups. The soups have the uniqueness of being extremely spicy, so be careful if you want to try it.
To end a good Ethiopian meal, what is better than a dessert accompanied by a good and tasty drink. Next, we’ll tell you about honey bread and the most traditional drinks of this country.
Yemarina Yewotet Dabo
Another speciality to eat in Ethiopia is this typical Ethiopian dish. It is a honey bread which looks like a mix between cake and bread. The name is so long because yemarina means honey; yewotet is milk and dabo is bread, so if we wanted to literally translate it, it would be: honey milk bread.
It is the drink par excellence of Ethiopia, this sweet flavoured alcoholic drink is made from a mixture of water and honey. The result of the mixture is flavoured with powdered leaves of gesho (flavouring from the hawthorn family).
Tej is served in a vase-shaped vessel which is called berele and which helps in its distillation, It would be good to try artisan tej instead of going to try it in a tej bets (tej house).
As well as the traditional tej, Ethiopians have another star drink made from teff and sorghum. It is also an alcoholic drink which is sold in many bars in the country.
To complete the information about what to eat in Ethiopia, we can tell you that the best thing to drink is a good Ethiopian coffee, known as one of the most valued in the world. With this you can end your journey with a palate which is satisfied and full of flavours.