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Ethiopian Food Glossary
Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:25 amForum Host
Some members have asked about Ethiopian food. I will post a few recipes found elsewhere, but here is a short glossary in the meantime.
I am indebted to South African Woolworths'* TASTE magazine of Sept.2010, in an article by Abigail Donnelly for this information.
(*Woolworths is a South African chain with the most amazing food markets, and is in no way connected to the US and UK shops with the same name).
NOTE: The Amharic language uses a distinct lettering system and thus the spelling of food terms vary considerably when words are written in English.
ALECHA WAT -- A mild Ethiopian stew that does not contain the berbere spice blend.
AYEB - Ethiopian buttermilk soft cheese, similar to cottage cheese.
BERBERE - Ethiopian spice blend containing chilli, fenugreek, paprika and ginger among others. (*I'll post a recipe).
COFFEE CEREMONY - A significant social event. Coffee beans are roasted, ground, and served from a jebena clay coffee pot accompanied by the burning of frankincense. The order of serving denotes the status of those drinking coffee, with the most important people being served first.
INJERA - The well-known Ethiopian flatbread made of fermented tef flour. (*Elsewhere subbed with white and rice flour)
KITFKO - Ethiopian-style steak tartare in which rare or raw ground beef is marinated in mitmita chilli powder and niter kibbeh.
MITMITA - Extremely hot birds'-eye chilli blended with cardamom and black cumin. Used mainly as a marinade for raw kitfo.
NITER KIBBEH - Spice-infused clarified butter (like ghee) used as the frying medium for most Ethiopian dishes.
TEF - Indigenous Ethiopian millet type grain,used in the production of injera bread.
TALLAH - Tef, maize (corn) or barley beer flavoured with gesho indigenous hops.
WAT - An Ethiopian stew flavoured with berbere. The prefix states what kind of stew it is: doro wat is chicken stew, key wat is beef stew and misir wat is lentil stew.
GREAT ETHIOPIAN EATING PLACES:
** GHENET BROOKLYN, 348 Douglass Street, Brooklyn, New York. Tel 718 230 4475 (www.ghenet.com)
** AQUAVIT RESTAURANT, 424 Madison Avenue, New York. Tel. 212 307 7311 (www.aquavit.org)
** ADDIS IN CAPE, 41 Church Street, Cape Town. Tel 021 424 5722 (www.addisincape.co.za)
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