Here's our menu for Sunday's Ethiopian feast:
alecha (braised carrots, potatoes, and cabbage)
gomen wat (stew of mixed greens; I used mustard greens, collard greens, and spinach)
shiro wat (stew of chick peas)
yemiser wat (lentil stew)
simple green salad (iceberg, tomato, lemon juice, salt; to offset the spicier, warmer dishes)
I made the injera batter a few days ago (it ferments like a sourdough). I made four of the stews tonight. It took about 90 minutes or so. Tomorrow I'll make the salad, alecha, and pan-fry the injera (it's like a giant pancake). YUM!
If you're interested... here are the recipes! Any one of them would make a really frugal, delicious meal with a side of injera. :)
2 T. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1-1/2 cups water
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in coins
4 potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 T. grated ginger
1/2 t. turmeric
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 T. butter
1/2 c. water
1/4 of a medium green cabbage (about 2 cups, cut into long thin slivers)
salt and black pepper to taste
Saute onions in oil until softened, then add 1-1/2 cups water, garlic, carrots, potatoes, freshly grated ginger, salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook until vegetables start to soften, adding liquid if needed. Add butter, cabbage, and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender.
1½ lbs. greens (I used mustard greens, collard greens, and spinach)
¼ cup butter or oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cardamom
Boil greens until tender. Drain and squeeze out excess water, then chop. Saute onion, garlic, ginger and hot peppers in oil or butter for about 5 minutes. Add greens, broth, salt, pepper and cardamom. Simmer for 15 minutes.
I just heated up a gallon of milk to near-boiling, then added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. You can also use lemon juice. I let it sit while the curds separate, then scoop it out. After it cools a little I squeeze the excess liquid out, then mash up the cheese with a little salt.
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c. butter
3 T. tomato paste
2/3 c, water
2 c. pureed chick peas (I soaked them overnight then pureed them; it's more traditional to use a chick pea flour, but that we don't have here, and no grinder yet... pureed chick peas worked GREAT!)
minced ginger and garlic
salt, to taste
Cook the onions in the butter. When softened, add the tomato paste and mix well. Wait a few minutes, add 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Add the chickpea puree slowly and stir as you add it. Add more water if it gets to thick and is sticking to the pan. Add ginger, garlic, and salt to taste.
1 c. dried brown lentils
1 c. chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. butter
1 t. berbere
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. paprika
2 c. diced tomatoes
½ c. tomato paste
1 c. water
salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse and cook the lentils. Saute the onions and garlic in the butter until softened. Add the berbere, cumin, and paprika and saute while stirring. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for five minutes. Add 1 cup of water and continue simmering. When the lentils are cooked, drain them and mix them into the sauté. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cardamom
1/8 t. allspice
1/4 t. ground coriander
1 T. salt
1/4 t. ground fenugreek
1/2 c. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. grated nutmeg
1/4 c. paprika
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
The recipes above don't use much, so if you're only doing the above recipes you really could substitute some cayenne pepper and paprika. It's a really great spice mixture, though!
And now, the BEST PART...
Use LARGE bowls. The batter can get very gassy and bubbly and expand quite a bit.
Large bowl #1:
5 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
1 T. yeast
enough water to make it the consistency of pancake batter
Large bowl #2:
5 cups teff flour + enough water to make a thick dough
pour enough water over the dough to completely cover it
Let both bowls sit for 48 hours.
After 48 hours, combine both bowls. Boil 2 cups of water, and whisk in 1 cup of the teff/flour mixture. Bring to a boil. After a few minutes it will get quite thick and hard to stir. Whisk it back into the big bowl of the teff/flour mixture. Let the batter sit on the counter for a couple of hours, then it's ready! If you're not ready to make the injera yet, just stick it in the refrigerator.
Heat up your griddle (if you have one) or your largest frying pan (that's me!) and heat it until it's pretty hot. Add oil or shortening before each pancake every time. Make a very, very large single pancake (or 2 on the griddle). Cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook for 3 minutes or until the edges start to curl up. Carefully lift it out (two spatulas?) and set it out to cool. Start the next injera. When the first one has cooled, roll it up and put it on a platter.
To serve, you can either roll an injera out on your plate, and place scoops of the various dishes onto it, or you can put out a large communal platter with various stews on it. To eat, tear off a piece of injera and use it to scoop up a morsel of stew. YUM. I am really drooling for this one, but I was really good and only took little sips to make sure it was seasoned correctly.