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Ethiopian Sharing Platter

These dishes are all designed to be eaten together as one meal, with a small spoonful of each one piled onto the freshly made injera pancakes. You will need to plan ahead, as the starter mix for the injera will take five days to ferment before you can use it to make the batter.

Injera

Injera are Ethiopian fermented pancakes that are made using teff flour. Teff comes in white and reddish varieties, but the lighter the colour of the teff the more expensive it is to buy. Teff is often mixed with sorghum, a far cheaper grain. It can be a challenge to make an authentic injera as teff flour is not easy to find, so you’ll need to buy it online. You will need a good nonstick pan (approx 22cm diameter) with a tight fitting lid. You will not use all the starter to make a batch of injera, so you can freeze and then unfreeze the starter for when you next want to make another batch of injera - before using just feed with more teff flour and leave to become bubbly again.

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free, Yeast-free

Makes 8 x 20cm injera

Prep time: 5 days

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Starter

  • 175g teff flour
  • 420ml warm water

Injera

  • 250g teff flour
  • 400ml warm water
  • 8 tbsp starter
  • 1/8tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method for starter
Day 1
Mix 75g of the teff flour with 190ml warm water and leave covered for 2 days
Day 3
Stir the mix and whisk in 50g teff flour and 115ml warm water and leave for 1 day
Day 4
Stir in the last 50g of teff flour and 115ml warm water and leave for 1 day.
Day 5
On day 5 the starter will be ready to use.

Method for injera

  1. To make the injera mix 250g of teff flour with 400ml warm water and 8 tablespoons of starter and leave covered in a warm place for a further few hours.
  2. When you are ready to cook them, stir in the bicarbonate of soda. If the batter mixture seems quite thick, add enough water to mix to the consistency of thin pancake batter.
  3. Heat a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat, and brush with a little sunflower oil using a heatproof (silicone) pastry brush or wad of kitchen towel.
  4. Pour a small ladle (approximately 75ml) of batter around the outer part of the hot pan. Tilt and swirl the pan so that the batter spreads to cover the surface evenly right to the centre of the pan. This method ensures that there is enough coverage right from the edges to the centre of the pan, which will make it easier to remove the injera from the pan once it has completely cooked. If the edges are too thin and fragile, they can stick and be difficult to loosen from the pan even if it is very nonstick. You may need to add a little more batter if it doesn’t quite cover evenly. 
  5. Cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat a little to avoid the base of the injera browning too much, and cook for 1 minute or until it looks dry on top with a smattering of burst bubbles over its surface.
  6. Remove the lid and cook the injera for a minute or two longer, gently loosening the edges by running a spatula around the pan. The injera is ready when it is dry on the surface with lots of burst bubbles, and the base should be lightly browned and the spatula slides under it. There is no need to flip it over.
  7. Very carefully slide the injera from the frying pan onto a plate and cover with a clean tea towel.
  8. Remember to heat the pan so that it is very hot again before brushing with oil and repeating the process until all of the batter is used.

Berbere Hot Spice Mix

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1-2 mintues

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp whole allspice
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp paprika

Method 

  1. Dry fry the seeds, cloves, peppercorns and allspice until fragrant, cool and then grind in a spice grinder along with the chilli flakes. 
  2. Mix in the other ingredients. 
  3. Store unused Berbere spice mix in a sealed container.

Niter Kebbeh Seasoned Cooking Oil

Niter Kebbeh is traditionally spiced clarified butter and this is our vegan version made with oil - it is much lighter but just as flavoursome. It also makes a great base for Indian curries. 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250ml sunflower, untoasted sesame oil or rapeseed oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and diced
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 cardamom seeds, crushed
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp ground fenugreek

Method 

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add all of the ingredients and simmer very gently for 30 minutes. 
  2. Strain the oil and discard the spices. 
  3. Store any unused Niter Kebbeh in a sealed container in the fridge - it will keep for a couple of months. 

Ye’Misir Wot

Spicy red lentils

Serves 4

Prep time:15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200g red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 litre water
  • 3 tbsp Niter Kebbeh seasoned oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 5cm piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp Berbere Spice mix
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place the lentils and water in a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Remove and discard any froth that rises to the surface as they cook. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes till soft and tender. Set aside without draining the cooking water.
  2. Heat the Niter Kebbeh seasoned oil in a separate saucepan over a medium to low heat and add the onions and soften for about 10 minutes till beginning to brown.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute.
  4. Add the Berbere Spice mix, paprika and tomato purée and cook for another minute before adding the cooked lentils with the cooking water and the salt.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes, adding more water if the lentils are very thick, or if too thin, keep cooking to thicken. Taste and season to taste.

Kik Alicha

A mild thick creamy yellow pea dish.

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200g yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 1 litre water
  • 3 tbsp Niter Kebbeh seasoned oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place the yellow peas and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, removing any frothy scum that rises to the surface. Lower the heat and place a lid partially covering the pan and cook for about an hour until the peas are tender. Take care not to let the peas dry out, so top up the cooking water if necessary. Set the pan of cooked peas aside in their cooking water without draining.
  2. In another pan, soften the onion in the Niter Kebbeh over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft and just beginning to colour.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute until it smells aromatic. Add the chilli and turmeric and cook for a few seconds more, taking care not to burn the spices.
  4. Pour the yellow peas and the cooking liquid into the onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the peas are thick and creamy. Taste and season with a little salt.

Wat

Spicy vegetable stew

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp Niter Kebbeh seasoned oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp Berbere spice mix
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ squash, peeled and cubed
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Vegetable stock to cover
  • 100g green beans, topped and tailed and cut into thirds.
  • 150g spinach, washed and de-stalked
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Fry the onion in the Niter Kebbeh seasoned oil for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, Berbere spice mix and paprika and gently fry for a couple of minutes. 
  2. Ass the carrots, potato, sweet potato and squash. Fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop the vegetables from burning. 
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. Blanch the green beans separately then add along with the spinach and simmer for a further 5 minutes. 
  5. Season to taste.

Ye’abesha Gomen

Ethiopian stir-fried greens

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp Niter Kebbeh seasoned oil
  • 1 banana shallot or small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 300g spring greens, kale, cavolo nero, finely chopped
  • 100ml water
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the Niter Kebbeh seasoned oil and shallot or onion. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until soft and golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or until it smells aromatic.
  2. Add the greens and water and increase the heat so the water simmers and the greens wilt quickly. Stir well to combine the onion mixture into the greens and allow most of the water to evaporate.
  3. Cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat to its lowest setting and cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the greens are very tender and moist. Taste and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Timatim Salata

Tomato Salad

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cucumber, diced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, seeded and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and serve at once.

Awaze

Hot Chilli Pepper Sauce 

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 3 tbsp Berbere spice mix
  • 3 tbsp water 
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp untoasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • Salt

Method

  1. Place the garlic into a pestle and mortar with a large pinch of salt and pound into a paste. Add the ginger and pound it in until smooth. (Alternatively, grate both the garlic and ginger finely into a bowl)
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  3. Store for up to a week in the fridge. 



Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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