A few weeks ago I went out for Ethiopian with my family. I didn’t really think I liked Ethiopian food, but it turns out I do, a lot (I was even able to get behind injera, which I used to hate passionately—but it was kind of good. And now I really like it). For me it’s basically an awesome, non-Indian way to make vegetarian food. Oh, and I ended up with a lot of leftover injera that went into my freezer.
I couldn’t find any good-looking Ethiopian recipes online—or nothing that seemed reputable or something, I don’t really remember my thought process—so I ended up buying The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors, on the recommendation of
OH MY GOD I HAVE TO THROW THIS BOOK AWAY. THIS MAN IS A SEXUAL PREDATOR. OMG. EW. I really wish I had not Googled him. Well, that has clouded this entire post.
Ummmmmmmm, anyway, the Ethiopian section of this book was recommended somewhere on Serious Eats and/or Chowhound, so I bought it for super-cheap and decided to make the lentils, aka mesir wat, and collard greens, aka gomen wat. (I think “wat” is stew.) This involved also making spiced butter (niter kibbeh) and berbere sauce (berbere sauce).
The butter came first because it had to sit for forty-five minutes. This was after a long, sunny day of picnicking but not really eating much, so I was not looking forward to this. I made a very beautiful mise en place, minus the cardamom, because I can never find cardamom in supermarkets (except Fairway but that doesn’t count) and always think I have it because I confuse it with coriander but it is not even remotely close.
Clockwise-ish: garlic, onion, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric—wow, that color is NOT accurate at all—cloves, cinnamon