9th: Something Different – Cook a cuisine you’ve never tried before. Or, one you don’t make often enough.
I think I am the only vegan left who has not tried Ethiopian food. It isn't anything against it, it's just the the opportunity has never arisen. I have planned to go a couple of times, but things have come up. So today's challenge was the perfect chance to try and make some myself! Sticking with my trusty Vegan Without Borders, I noticed that the main dishes from the African Menu were all Ethiopian, so it seemed like fate.
Injera: My first time making injera was also my first time eating injera, so I didn't really know what to expect. I fermented it for two days (the recipe recommends 1-3 days, with longer being better), and it had a sharp, yeasty smell. Mine didn't go very big, I know they are normally huge so you can put lots of things on them. Taste-wise, they had a faint beer taste. And mine turned out very dark, but that was just the colour that my teff flour was. They were good with the things scooped up in them, though didn't love it on their own. I need to eat some that I didn't make to know if I got the flavour right.
Rating: :| (it was fine, but I am just not sure if I got it right)
Spicy Lemon Chickpeas (Fasting Eggs): This was described as ;like an Ethiopian-spiced lemony hummus, only better'. The chickpeas are mashed and mixed with the seasoning. I used a chopped scallion in place of the red onion (raw onions are not my friend), and I left out the jalapeno. So, given that I just used a teeny sprinkle of chili powder, they weren't really spicy. But that is how I like it. This was lemony and tangy and yummy.
Chickpea and Kale Wat: This was a tasty stew, with onion, carrots, chickpeas and kale, plus yummy spices. I made mine very mild, of course. There is not a lot of liquid in the finished dish, so it makes it the right consistency for scooping up with injera without getting too sloppy. I made a half batch of this, which will make 2-3 serves depending on if you are serving it alone or with the rest of the menu
All piled onto a plate!
Caakiri Pudding with Pineapple: This is not an Ethiopian dessert, but it was with the rest of the menu so I may as well! This dessert ended up kind of like dessert soup, it was very liquid. I am not sure if that is how it was meant to be. First up, because I was cooking for my gluten-avoiding brother, I used some GF couscous. It turns out the GF couscous is corn-based. I found the recipe calls for way too much water for cooking the couscous (I had to drain mine after, even with the switch to GF couscous the basic couscous:water ratio on the packet was the same as if for wheat). Right after soaking, the corn couscous was still a bit crunchy when I added it to the rest of the ingredients (vanilla yoghurt, oat milk pineapple and spices). However, I had made it early in the day, so it softened up nicely while waiting for dessert. It was perhaps a little firmer in texture than regular couscous, but it was still nice. I loved the almonds and mint as garnishes, the mint I think is essential to finish the dish. (Side note, I am totally wondering if I can use the corn couscous as grits for my US recipes, as it is coarser than polenta and I can't find grits here).
I had a fun time putting the menu together. It was pretty simple and turned out to be a lovely spread. I just need to eat some actual injera and then practice some more!
Have you had Ethiopian food much?
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
We are circling back around to the start of my kitty all star line up. Back to sweet Mo, my first cat. It is a tough life being the cat of very young person, but thankfully Mo was always very tolerant of my youthful and enthusiastic hugs!