Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 57! Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)(AF) Vegetable Alicha-Vegetarian Stew and Injera - Up Next, Fiji (AU-Oceania)

Perfect day to cook on an open fire - note to self:
Build lean-to for winter cooking!

Failure definitely keeps me humble and motivated to better. And today, my "Injera Experiment" - making authentic Ethiopian bread from scratch - failed epically.

Despite following the directions to the the letter and  proofing the starter dough for 3 days, all I ended up with was a smelly mess. Not to be outdone by a botched recipe, I quickly found a substitute short cut, and we had a reasonable facsimile for lunch with our Alicha, a wonderful vegetarian stew enjoyed throughout Ethiopia.

Located on the east-central Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa. In fact, our oldest known human ancestors, dating back about 5.8 million years, were discovered in this ancient country.

About half the people living in the northern section of Ethiopia are Christian,  to the south, the other half are Muslim. Coffee is the main export and grains such as sorghum, millet, teff and wheat are grown. Known as the land of bread and honey, honey is produced by those whose ancient bee keeping techniques supply most house holds with honey used in nearly every meal.

EWWWWW....aside from the acrid smell, this batch of Injera stuck to the pan but never set
I found a "short cut" recipe and made a better batch...which.....

...Produced  lovely circles of Injera to accompany our Alicha

A riot of color - all of the vegetables came from my garden or our local farmer's market

Cooking up in a cast iron pot on an open fire - heavenly

Cabbage added last

Lunch! Vegetable Alicha and Injera - a perfect Saturday meal

Alicha - Ethiopian Vegetarian Stew
  • 1 Cup Bermuda onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut to 1" slices
  • 2-4 green peppers, cleaned and quartered
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger (fresh or ground)
  • 4 potatoes, thickly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a 4-quart sauce pan saute onion in oil until soft but not brown. Add carrots, green peppers, water, tomato sauce, salt and gener. Coot for 10 minutes covered. Add potatoes. Cover and cook for 10  minutes. Add cabbage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, but not mushy. 

(Short cut version)

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2-2-1/2 cups club soda

Combine dry ingredients. Add club soda and mix to consistency of pancake batter.
Lightly oil large frying pan, wiping out extra oil with a paper towel.
Pour about 1/3 cup into pan, and spread with spatula to large pancake size.
When bubbles appear on top, gently flip bread, but do not let it get too brown - it should be spongy.
Keep warm until ready to serve.

Final Assessment: This was a beautiful stew, made better because it was cooked on an open fire. The men in the house felt it needed meat, but I think it was perfect as is. The mock injera was delicious and perfect for dipping into the broth. A great meal, despite the failed attempt at the authentic injera recipe!

1 comment:

Young Werther said...

They look like perfect pancakes :)