November 24, 2013

Not all Ethiopian food is spicy


I'm still testing recipes for Kittee Berns' Ethiopian cookbook, and here is a selection of recent recipes I've cooked. The potato and beet allecha wot was pretty mild. Beets may not be on everyone's 'favorites' list, but they do add a festive, rosy glow to whatever dish they're in. I'm not a huge beet fan, but I don't hate them. I wasn't thrilled with the allecha the first night, but the second night it was so delicious. And I ate the remainder for breakfast on the third day, so you know it was growing on me. Beets first thing in the morning —  Ethiopian food definitely gets better as it ages.


Another mild recipe (assuming the jalapenos you use are mild!), white beans in garlic and ginger sauce is a creamy, saucy dish to warm up a chilly evening.


A cold butternut squash salad will add a vibrant splash of color to an Ethiopian spread, as well as a bright flavor.


My favorites are the spicy dishes, and the spicy red lentils with mushrooms was great. With a few less spicy salads or vegetable dishes to balance the heat, you'll have a nice selection of spicy and mild.


One more spicy wot of deliciousness was kind of a do-it-yourselfer. The recipe provided the basic sauce, and I chose my own add-ins. I picked carrots, potatoes, peas and marinated soy curls. Just looking at it is making me hungry.


Tofu, of course, isn't Ethiopian, but Kittee is including a selection of fusion recipes in her cookbook. One of the recipes is awaze tofu. And, yes, it tastes as good as it looks. I guess you're all just waiting for the book to hit the stores before you grab a copy for yourself. It will be good!

26 comments:

  1. I love beets! They don't exactly sound like Ethiopian food, though. I always picture them hoarded in New England root cellars.
    The jalapeno with white beans dish looks super tasty. Cold butternut squash sounds different but good. I do like spicy food but it is nice to balance the heat out.
    Are there any separate sauces in the book so far?

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    1. Beets are grown in Ethiopia but I'm not sure it they are part of the staple diet. There are some sauces and spice mixtures in the book. Awaze is a sauce that was used to flavor the tofu. Actually, I now put it on everything, Ethiopian cuisine or not.

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  2. Another batch of tasty looking dishes! The "taste better the next day" is the best part of leftovers. :-)

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    1. It makes leftovers something to look forward to!

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  3. This all looks so flippin' good! I'm definitely looking forward to the big arrival of Kittee's book!

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    1. I've eaten more Ethiopian food in the last few weeks than in the last few years — and looking forward to more!

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  4. I have never had Ethiopian food! I've always wanted to try it and all of these dishes look amazing. I really want to try the white beans in garlic sauce!

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    1. The one thing to watch for in Ethiopian restaurants is whether they cook with clarified butter or oil. With that in mind, you should find choose an Ethiopian restaurant and go eat! Or, scour the Internet for recipes! Lots of Ethiopian restaurants will sell you just the injera bread if you want to make your own dishes.

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  5. Every single one of those looks delicious! I love Ethiopian food so much, though I've never tried cooking it myself. Your recipe testing posts are definitely getting me excited for this cookbook to come out!

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    1. Cooking it is definitely more work than going to a restaurant, but it's worth it, I think.

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  6. Well, after eating it for 3 weeks straight I've hit the Ethiopian food wall. But, still that tofu gets me every time. I'm already planning an Ethiopian dinner party in the new year!

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    1. I know what you mean. After I rest a couple of days, though, I feel ready to cook again. About the party — you could cook everything the day before and it would taste even better. That's what I want to do — a heat and eat party!

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  7. Oh yum, Andrea. That red lentil and mushroom dish sounds fantastic! Those are two of my favorite foods :-)

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Courtney

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    1. I think you would like the dishes I've made so far. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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  8. One of the Ethiopian restaurants that used to be here in town also served an out-of-this-world tofu dish. I cannot find any fault with any Ethiopian dish I've ever tried, and they've all been vegan. Lucky girl with that book!

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    1. I think it's cool that an Ethiopian restaurant served a tofu dish! There is a tofu-like food made with chickpea flour that I wouldn't be surprised to find, but actual tofu is another story. A spicy food lover like you would find a lot to like in Ethiopian cuisine.

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  9. It all looks beautiful; nice job testing! Kittee's recipes are just amazing.

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    1. Testing has been a lot of fun so far — and lots of chopping. I think my fingers will always smell of onions and garlic now.

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  10. It does all look so good - the colours alone are making me hungry. I am a sucker for new things to do with lentils and tofu, so both of those are going straight to the top of my must make list!

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    1. I'm a big fan of lentils and tofu, too — especially when they are spicy!

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  11. Those spicy lentils looks so good! I can't wait to cook from Kittee's book.

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    1. They were good, but I think I like the spicy veggies best. Or maybe the lentils . . . Or the potatoes . . .

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  12. I want a bowl of spicy red lentils with mushrooms right now! Well, I suppose I shouldn't because it's almost time to start cooking Thanksgiving dinner :)

    You just reminded me to buy some beets. I haven't had any in so long! It might be time for those yummy beet burgers from The PPK to make yet another appearance.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. I guess after eating a Thanksgiving feast the red lentils will have to wait. Or did you make them for Thanksgiving?

      Next time I want beets I may head to Trader Joe's and buy a package of the already cooked ones in their deli. Lame, I know, but so convenient!

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  13. I would devour anything Ethiopian - whether it’s not spicy or spicy! All of the Ethiopian dishes look very colorful and vibrant, yet tasty - the greens, the reds, the yellows, the oranges. I love beets, especially golden beets!

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    1. Golden beets are my favorite variety of beet — though beets are not one of my favorite veggies. I do love the color, though!

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