Friday, March 20, 2009

Ethiopian Food

Ethiopian Food

Catherine Martir
Section 5

Ethiopian Food:
Ethiopian food is typically spicy and served on injera.

Injera is a large piece of bread that lines the plate. Food is put over it and it is eaten without silverware.

Ethiopian Spices:
Berbere is made of red chili peppers and twenty other spices. It is the spice that gives stew it’s red color.

Mitmima is a red pepper, cardamom, and salt

Awaze is a red chili paste

Kareya is a green jalapeño

Sena-fitch is a type of mustard

A bread that is thin and large and is part of every Ethiopian meal

Tibs, Fitfit, and wots are served on a piece of injera

You use your hands to eat the dish. You tear off a piece of injera and scoop it up.

Injera is mostly made of teff cereal.

What is Teff?

It is the smallest grain in the world at about 1/32” in diameter. It is high in protein, fiber, iron and calcium. 150 grains of teff is equal one kernel of wheat

Ethiopian Foods:

Types of Meat:
Asa- Fish
Beg- Lamb
Doro- Chicken
Kitfo- Steak
Sega/Siga- Lamb or Beef
Sik Sik- Beef

Wot: an Ethiopian stew which has onion, garlic, bell peppers, chili, and cardamom in it. Wot can be flavored with berbere or turmeric. Tibs: sautéed chunks of meat with onion, garlic, and jalapeño.

Vegetarian C
In wot vegetarians can replace the meat with lentils. Other vegetarian choices are cottage cheese, eggplant, cabbage, collared greens, yellow split. peas, carrots, tomatoes and chick peas.


Tej (Honeywine/Mead) is a sweet wine which is sold only in special bars and is very strong.

Bunna is a coffee which is prepared during a ceremony.

Ethiopian Coffee:

During an Ethiopian coffee ceremony the beans are washed, roasted, grinded, boiled, and served.

The first cup of coffee is called an “abol.” The second serving is called a “huletegna” and the third serving is called a “bereka.”

The pot the coffee is made in is called a “jebena” and the small cup coffeeis serced in is called a “cini.”

Check out the following link to see a video of an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony:

Ethiopian Beer:

Known as Tella in Ethiopia

Meta Beer, Kidus Giorgis Bira, Harrar Sofi, (Non-alcoholic),Bedele Bira, Bati Bira, Dasheb Bira, Addis Bira

Ethiopian Religion:

Ethiopians are traditionally Orthodox Christians or Muslims

They do not eat pork due to religious beliefs.

Ethiopians also do not eat meat on Wednesdays, Fridays, and during Lent.

Interesting Facts:

People from Ethiopia only eat with their right hand and the food we eat at an Ethiopian restaurant in America would only be eaten by the wealthy or for special occasions. Ethiopian food has not been influenced by other cultures.


  1. This is interesting because I have never heard anything about Ethiopian foods. The dishes are interesting and I think I might like some of the dishes because I like hot foods. The "teff" is interesting. I didn't know that there was grain that small! You did a good job!

  2. The injera flat bread is almost as big as the table. The food is placed in the middle of it and you tear the bread and dip or scoop up the food in it. It is fun to take a group of people and eat together. The nearest Ethiopian restaurants that I know of are in Chapel Hill and Durham (if they are still there).

  3. It is interesting how in Ethopia they name the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd servings of coffee. I also think the food looks delicious, especially the vegetarian dish. However, I don't think I would like this food because it seems exteremly spicy!

  4. I chose to read your topic because I always wonder if food was the secret to a Ethiopains success when it comes to running.

  5. I have never read/heard anything about Ethiopian food and reading your report made me want to find the nearest Ethiopian restuarant and pig out! Even though you said this food culture had not been influenced by any other culture, it reminded me of mexican food in a way.

  6. I have never known anything about Ethiopian food either, but this sounds pretty delicious to me. I have never even came across an Ethiopian restaurant. I wonder why it hasn't become more popular? Pretty much anything spicy that has vegetarian aspects sounds appealing to me. I would enjoy spicy lentils served on injera. The coffee thing is interesting as well, I have never heard of giving different names to your 2nd cup of coffee. I wonder why this is?

  7. This was really interesting to read about and the pictures made the food look pretty appitizing. I was watching a show on the Travel Channel just yesterday and they were having a traditional coffee ceremony. It's a pretty big process!

  8. Enjoyed reading about the coffee because I saw a show a few weeks ago where the host tried the coffee in a traditional way.

  9. My topic was on South Africa which differs greatly from Ethiopian foods. South Africa has many influences from other cultures, where Ethiopia has none. I thought that was interesting.

  10. very interesting, the coffee is a little more methodical than the instant stuff we drink.