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Easy Ethiopian Fare

ethiopian food is so easy to make!

I love Ethiopian food and so do the kids and the Lieutenant.  Unfortunately,  we don’t get to Seattle as often as we would like to have it. Ethiopian food is very scrumptious and fun to eat. The flavorful meat  and vegetable stews are served on large platters over a layer of injera bread.  Extra injera is served on the side and when it comes to the table looks like folded cloths but it is really a spongy, pliable, tangy flatbread made from fermented teff that is used to pick up the stews and eat with – no forks or spoons allowed.  Luckily, Sunset magazine saved the day several years ago and featured Ethiopian food and a couple of the recipes we have made a lot since then. I didn’t care for Sunset’s Injera recipe, but fortunately my very old The Africa News Cookbook has a good imitation of injera sans teff.  Of course, the hearty Wilson appetites demand that I double the beef stew recipe and it doubles wonderfully. Also, know that I am a wimp when it comes to cayenne, so I drastically cut back on what the recipe calls for, but you don’t need to.

Ethiopian Lemony Lentils

from Sunset Magazine (March 2006)


  • 2 T. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 T. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 lemon juiced and the peel finely grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro

Cooking Directions:

  1. Melt butter in pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and stir about a minute.
  2. Add lentils, stir to coat with butter, then add broth. Simmer, covered until lentils are firm but tender - 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in ginger, lemon peel, juice from one lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve with chopped cilantro.

Ethiopian Injera Bread

from Lorna Harkrader in The Africa News Cookbook


  • 4 cups self rising flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 2 cups club soda
  • 4 cups water

Cooking Directions:

  1. Combine flours and baking powder in a large bowl. Add club soda and water. Whisk together until a smooth, runny batter forms. Add more water as needed.
  2. Heat a large non-stick pan, spray with Pam as needed. Pour a bit of batter into pan and swirl so it covers the bottom - like you would do with a crepe.
  3. No need to flip it - when the moisture evaporates and small holes appear it is done. Remove injera and make another one.
  4. Stack the cooked injera on top of each other, covering with a cloth to prevent them drying out.

Ethiopian Beef Stew

from Sunset Magazine (March 2006)


  • 2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 T. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 T. cayenne (I reduce this to about 1/2 t. since I do not like heat)
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. fenugreek (I have left this out as it is hard to find around here)
  • 1/2 t. ground tumeric
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. cardamom
  • 1/4 t. ground cloves
  • 1/4 t. allspice
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1/4 cup dry red wind
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, boned, fat trimmed, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • salt to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Pulse onions in a food processor until very finely diced.
  2. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add onions and stir until browned - about 10 minutes.
  3. Add spices and stir until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes, wine and beef, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer until beef is very tender - about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
  5. Salt to taste.
  6. Enjoy!




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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Kathie September 23, 2011, 9:05 pm

    This looks great and has inspired me to have something new for my family. Thanks!

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