Day 11 of our culinary tour is Ethiopia for no other reason than my intrigue with their National dish: Doro Wat.
Doro Wat is a highly spiced chicken stew finished with hard boiled eggs. Incorporating sweet and savory spices, Ethiopian food is flavored with a distinctive spice blend Berbere. This fusion is the consequence of the spice trade routes of the past. I looked at a map to understand how this came about. It made perfect sense that to satisfy demand from the West for exotic and valuable spices grown in the East and India they were shipped across the Indian Ocean. They continued their journey up through the Red Sea, shortcutting the alternative route around the southern tip of the African sub continent, pausing in the then Ethiopian port of Anulis.
Hot peppers, fenugreek and cardamon are a few of the spices which make up this complex and potent blend. As a curry lover I’m always on the look out for interesting new combinations of spices and Berbere hits the mark. The rich and heady flavors of the Doro Wat featuring the surprise hard boiled egg element were extremely interesting and complex to me.
Ethiopian cuisine (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ምግብ) characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. This is usually in the form of wat, a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. Ethiopians eat most of the time with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church prescribes a number of fasting periods (tsom, Ge'ez: ጾም ṣōm) from any kind of animal products (including dairy products and eggs) on Wednesdays, Fridays, and the entire Lenten season, so Ethiopian cuisine contains many dishes that are vegan.
Ingredients - Serves 4
2 lbs Organic chicken pieces 1 Organic lemon juice 1 TBSP Organic Olive oil 2 cups Organic onions, finely minced 4 cloves Freshly minced Gilroy garlic 1 TBSP Organic ginger 1 tsp Organic turmeric 1 tsp Finely ground sea salt 1 tsp Finely ground pepper 3 TBSP Berbere spice mix
8oz Organic Tomato Paste 1 cup Organic low sodium chicken broth 4 Hard Boiled Eggs (Halved) added at the end