Culinary Traditions of Ethiopian

Posted: March 4, 2016 in Ethiopia - the Secret of Africa

The Ethiopian national dish consists of injera, a flat, circular pancake made of fermented dough. This is usually served with side dishes of meat, pulses, vegetables and spicy sauces. The traditional way of eating is with the right hand, having washed one’s hands in water – usually brought to the table before the meal is served.

Ethiopian have unique and original varieties of culinary delights; ‘injera’ and ‘wot’ are the most important. Injera is the heart of every meal in Ethiopia. The national dish of Ethiopia is locally known as ‘wot’, usually a hot spicy stew comes in many varieties. The dominant part of the spicy is ‘berbere’. It is made of fried red hot pepper, herbs spices, dried onions, dried garlic and salt ingredients. ‘Wot’ and without ‘berbere’ is called alicha. ‘Doro wot’ (a spicy chicken stew) has special place in the Ethiopian dish. Meat, specifically beef, chicken and lamb, is eaten with injera on special occasions. Beef is sometimes eaten raw or slightly cooked in a dish called Kitfo, which is mainly specialized by the Gurage Peoples. There also other meat dishes like ‘dulet’ and ‘Kwanta’.


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Some part of food culture is influenced by Judaic traditions. For instance, the flesh of animals with unclosed hoofs and those that do not chew than cud are avoided as unclean.

Ethiopians also enjoys a variety of drinks. For example, at the end of the meal, coffee is usually served. Coffe/Buna/ is the favorite drink of many Ethiopians. It is drunk in Ethiopia in a unique and traditional way known as a “Coffee Ceremony”, a common ritual.

Tej, Tella and Arake are the most common local beverages. Tej is a kind of homemade wine prepared from honey and “Gesho” (leaves of a local buch). It is served in beautiful tube-shaped bottle called brille. Tella is a kind of homemade beer prepared from melted barely or some other grains. Ararke is strong liquor prepared using traditional distillation technique. ‘Tej’ and ‘Tella’ are usually drunk at feasts and celebrations.



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