ethiopian food 1

** An Ethiopian Meal.

Ethiopia and Eritrea are neighboring countries located in the horn of Africa i.e. East Africa. Traditionally rich and diverse, both these countries are famous for their spicy and characteristically distinguished taste. If you are looking for a substitute to Indian food which is equally spicy and unique then, Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine is what you must try. Both these cuisines resembles each other strongly but owing to its colonial history, Eritrean cuisine features more Italian influence whereas, Ethiopians use a heavier hand with spices reflecting their loyalty towards the Ottomans.

ethiopian food 2

**Tej, Ethiopian wine.

The moment you will enter an Ethiopian or Eritrean hotel, you are bound to be blown away by the mesmerizing aroma of coffee hanging inside. At first glance over the table you will notice the absence of cutleries as Ethiopians and Eritreans eat with their hands. Walls of the hotels showcases the beautiful carvings, figurines, textiles, instruments, portraits in fact complete interior of the hotels depicts the rich tradition of Ethiopian and Eritrean people. In an Ethiopians or Eritrean family a meal cannot start until all the members of the family have not taken their positions and all the family members share food from a common plate. Ethiopians and Eritreans say that eating from the same plate increases loyalty, love, and nearness. Hotels have not forgotten this tradition and the meal comes in a large platter.

ethiopian food 3

** Injera the staple food of Ethiopians and Eritreans.

Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes are almost identical. The staple food in both these countries is Injera, a large sourdough flatbread with lots of holes and is made out of fermented teff flour. Injera is usually accompanied with Wots, a thick stew which is served atop injera. You are supposed to rip off a small piece of injera, place it over wot and scoop it up. Due to the rigorous fasting routine followed by Ethiopians and Eritrean, menu is full of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes mainly comprising of lamb, chicken, fish, beef, and desserts so you won’t face lack of choosing options. If you are up at an Ethiopian or Eritrean hotel for the first time and are not able to decide what to eat, it is always best to order a fixed platter. It comes with various wots placed over injera and even a sampler if enough to satisfy hunger of 2-3 adults. At the end of the meal, roasted Coffee beans are served. In Ethiopians and Eritreans cuisines, coffee has a dominant place and is taken with sugar without milk. For beverages you can have Ethiopian honey wine called Tej or can have Ethiopian beer called Tella. At Eritrean hotels you can have Sowa, Eritrean beer made from roasted corn, barley, and other grain.

ethiopian food 4

** Wot one of the main dish eaten along with injera.

Some of the most popular dishes of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines are as follow: -

Injera: – It is the foundation of every meal.

Wots or Wat: – A spicy curry or stew, it is the main companion of injera. There are several versions of wat available to choose ranging from vegetarian to non vegetarian. Two of the most popular wat are:

  1. Shiro Wat: – Made up of Chick peas with a heavy dose of berbere sauce and Ethiopian butter.
  2. Key Wat: – Cubes of tender beef and a mixture of Ethiopian spices.

Alechi: – vegetarian stews.

Kitfo: – It is a combination of raw beef and Ethiopian spices and butter.

Gomen: – A vegetarian dish made from collard greens and onions. Being slightly spicy, it is served with regular heavily spicy wots.

ethiopian food 5

** Roasted Ethiopian Coffee.

Some of the best Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants in London are: -

  1. Addis Ababa Restaurant: – 192 Seven Sisters Road Finsbury Park, London.
  2. Adulis Restaurant: – 112 St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, London.
  3. Lalibela Restaurant: – 137 Fortess Rd, Tufnell Pk, London.
  4. Red Sea Restaurant: – 382 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush London.
  5. Meskerem Restaurant: – 176a Wandsworth Rd, London.
  6. Guramayle Restaurant: – 152 Seven Sisters Rd, Finsbury Pk, London.
  7. Enat Café: – 35 Leytonstone Road, Stratford E15 1JA (Opposite Maryland Station), London.
  8. Zeret Kitchen: – 216-218 Camberwell Road, London.
  9. Zara’s Restaurant: – 163 Hornsey Road, Finsbury Park, London.