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Busby, Barbara Sheen.
Foods of Ethiopia / by Barbara Sheen Busby.
p. cm. -- (A taste of culture)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN-13: 978-0-7377-3775-2 (hardcover)
1. Cookery, Ethiopian--Juvenile literature. I. Title.
TX725.E84S54 2007

ISBN-10: 0-7377-3775-1

Printed in the United States of America

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12 11 10 09 08

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Chapter 1
The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking

Chapter 2
Favorite Foods


Chapter 3
Coffee and Snacks


Chapter 4
Special Occasions


Metric Conversions






For Further Exploration




Picture Credits


About the Author


(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


The Basics
of Ethiopian

thiopia is one of the oldest civilizations in the

world. Early records of Ethiopia date back to
biblical times. In fact, members of the Ethiopian
royal family believe they are descended from the Old
Testaments King Solomon and Makeda, Queen of
Sheba. Throughout the nations long history, Ethiopian
cooks have depended on three ingredientsteff (tef ),
spices, and butterto give their cooking its distinct
flavor. These ingredients have been the foundation of
Ethiopian cooking since 3000 b.c.

A Unique Grain
Teff is a unique grain that grows only in Ethiopia and
neighboring Eritrea. Measuring only 1/32 of an inch

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Food Regions of Ethiopia






( )


Coffee Beans d>J ~J


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in diameter, it is the tiniest grain in the world. It is so

small that it takes 150 grains of teff to equal the weight
of just one grain of wheat.
Although teff is small, it is so nutritious that food
experts call it a super grain. Eight ounces of teff has
twice as much iron as an equal portion of beef and
more calcium than a cup of milk. It is also loaded with
protein and complex carbohydrates.

An Essential Part of Life

Ethiopians use teff to make injera (en-jer-a), a spongy
tart flatbread that Ethiopians cannot do without.
When I explain Ethiopian food to people who have
never had it before, I always start by telling them

Although teff is the smallest grain in the

world, it is considered a super grain
because it is so nutritious.

Foods of Ethiopia
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Injera, made from teff, is an essential part of the Ethiopian diet and is
eaten at every meal.

about injera, explains chef Marcus Samuelsson, an

Ethiopian who grew up in Europe. It is what makes
Ethiopian food special.1
The bread is served at every meal and is so much a
part of Ethiopian life that when Ethiopians meet, they
greet each other by asking, Have you eaten injera
yet? Because Ethiopia has experienced many periods
of food shortages, an answer of yes implies that all is

The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking

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well. Sharing the nourishing bread during hard times

kept many Ethiopians alive.

Plates and Utensils

Making injera is time consuming. To get its tart flavor,
which is similar to that of sourdough bread, the dough
must be left for three days while a natural substance in
teff causes it to ferment. The dough is then shaped into
a large disk that measures about 20 inches (50cm) in
diameter and looks like a giant pancake. It is dropped
into a skillet known as a mitad (mi-tad) and fried over a

Kategna is Ethiopian spicy toast. It is popular for
breakfast and snacks. Ethiopians use injera to
make kategna. Because it is not easy to find injera
in American supermarkets, this recipe uses flour

2 flour tortillas
1 tablespoon butter, softened
teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and paprika
teaspoon garlic powder

1. Mix the spices with the butter. Cut the tortillas into
quarters. Spread the butter mixture on the tortillas.
2. Put the tortillas on a tray in a toaster oven or broiler and
bake until the tortillas are crisp.
Serves 24.

Foods of Ethiopia
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Ethiopian meals, shared with friends and family, are eaten with fingers
instead of utensils.

wood fire. When the dough hits the hot pan, air bubbles
form. This gives injera a spongy texture.
When the bread has cooled, it is spread across a
large communal platter that is the same size as the
mesab (meh-sahb), a drum-shaped straw table used in
Ethiopia. The main course, which is almost always a
variety of saucy stews, is then poured over the injera.
According to journalist Amy Pataki, It looks like an

The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking

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Special Skills
In the past, it was the job of Ethiopian
women to make the mesab, the Ethiopian
dining table. Weavers used different
grasses, which they wove into intricate
patterns, and added vegetable dyes to
color their work. They waterproofed the
tables with the juice of the aloe plant.
Ethiopian women also wove straw baskets for carrying
things, as well as straw bowls, hats, and parasols. Although
many modern Ethiopian women buy these products readymade, some Ethiopian women still work with straw, especially those who live in rural villages.

Weavers use different grasses and vegetable dyes to create colorful



Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

The traditional Ethiopian meal is always served with injera.

oversized artists palette, the various stews daubed on

like various colors of paint.2
More injera is folded and placed beside every diner.
Then the fun begins! Everyone eats from the central
serving tray and no utensils or individual plates are
used. Instead, diners break off pieces of injera from the
pile beside their place and use the bread to scoop up bits
of stew from the shared platter. The many air holes in
the bread and its stretchy nature allow it to absorb the
stew like a sponge. When the folded injera is gone, the
diners share the injera on the center tray. It has soaked
up all the savory stew juices so it is especially delicious.
The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking
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The spices used to make berbere and other spice blends are sold in
outdoor markets.

Although this type of shared eating may seem odd

to North Americans, Ethiopians insist it brings people
closer together. In fact, a popular Ethiopian proverb
goes, People who eat off the same plate will never
betray each other.3

Red Hot
Fiery spice blends complement injeras tangy flavor.
For centuries, Ethiopian cooks have been combining


Foods of Ethiopia
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different spices to create a wide range of spice blends.

At first, the spices were used to preserve food that would
otherwise spoil. But they added so much flavor that they
soon became an essential part of every Ethiopian meal.
Iyassu, who grew up in Ethiopia, explains: Ethiopian
food is the ultimate in spicy cookery, not only because
the food is hot, but also because of the abundance of
spices used.4
Most Ethiopian spice blends begin with very hot
red chile peppers. They give Ethiopian cooking vivid
color, zesty flavor, and an enticing aroma. Berbere
(bar-bare-ree) is far and away the most popular of
these blends. This scarlet spice mixture combines
red chile peppers with up to 20 other spices such
as garlic, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom,
ginger, and fenugreek seeds, all of which are sold
in Ethiopian markets. Here, according to author

Many Blends
Berbere is not the only spice blend that
Ethiopians create. Awaze is another popular spice mixture. It starts with mild green
chile peppers. Ginger, garlic, cardamom,
basil, and water are added. Ethiopians use
awaze like catsup, or as a dip. It is milder
tasting than berbere.
Mitmita, on the other hand, is hotter than berbere. It is
a powder made from the hottest chile peppers in Ethiopia
and mixed with cardamom and cloves. Mitmita is sprinkled
on meat.

The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking

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To make berbere, dried chiles and

garlic are ground together in a mortar
using a pestle. Many different spices
are combined to form a berbere recipe
that is unique to each Ethiopian cook.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Helen Bergan, who lived in Ethiopia for three years,

A woman could choose those spices she wanted from
the colored mounds that filled the air with fragrance.
With these spices, taken home wrapped in pieces
of newspaper, she made her own special blend of
The first step in making berbere is drying the chiles
and garlic in the sun. This takes three days. It is common
to see the bright red peppers and the snow-white garlic
spread on straw mats outside Ethiopian homes.
Once dry, the spices are put in a stone bowl known as
a mortar and ground by hand into a fine powder with a
malletlike tool called a pestle. Depending on the cook,
because each cook has his or her own special recipe, a
variety of other spices is added. The spice blend is then
either roasted or placed out in the sun to dry again.
Because making berbere is time-consuming, many
Ethiopians make at least 15 pounds (6.80kg) of berbere
at once. The spice, which is kept in clay containers with
tight-fitting lids, can keep for several months. There is
always a supply in every Ethiopian home. Ethiopian
cooking would be incomplete without it.

Spiced Butter
Besides using spices to flavor their food, Ethiopians
mix spices with butter to create niter kebbeh,
(nit-ra keb-bah), a rich and fragrant oil that almost all
Ethiopian food is cooked in. Niter kebbeh starts with
clarified butter. It is the oil that forms when water and
milk solids are removed from butter. For this to occur,
The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking
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Eggs Firfir
Ethiopians add spice to everything, even scrambled eggs. This is an easy dish to make and a good
introduction to Ethiopian cooking. If you prefer
not to use butter, you can spray the pan with
nonstick spray. Add more or less spice depending
on your preference.

4 eggs
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
teaspoon each of garlic powder, ginger,
cup onions, chopped
1 tablespoon butter

1. Break the eggs into a bowl. Add all the other ingredients
and mix well.
2. Put the butter in the pan. Heat the pan over medium heat
until the butter melts.
3. Put the egg mixture into the pan. Stir the mixture until the
eggs cook.
Serve with injera or other flat bread.
Serves 24.

butter is heated until all the water in it evaporates and

the milk solids separate from the oil. The milk solids are
skimmed off, leaving a golden oil.
To make niter kebbeh, clarified butter is mixed with
as many as 30 spices. These may include onions, garlic,
cumin, oregano, turmeric, and basil, to name just a


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

few. The spiced oil can be stored for months without

Ethiopians cook almost everything in niter kebbeh.
It adds a powerful perfume and an intense buttery
flavor to meat, vegetables, and stews. The spiced
mixture known as nitir qibe [niter kebbeh], explains
Samuelsson, is kept handy in most Ethiopian kitchens
to add flavor to meat and vegetable stews. In fact, virtually no meal in Ethiopia is made without nitir qibe.6
The spiced butter has been a part of Ethiopian
cooking for thousands of years, as has teff and fiery
spice blends like berbere. Just like their ancestors
before them, modern Ethiopian cooks depend on these
unique ingredients to give their cooking its distinctive and delicious taste. These are the foundation of
Ethiopian cooking.

The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.




thiopians like their food spicy. But because

Ethiopian cooks artfully blend a variety of spices
to create Ethiopias favorite dishes, no one flavor overpowers another. Soothing side dishes mix well with
fiery main dishes and keep the food from burning the

Ethiopias National Dish

Wat (watt), a spicy stew made with berbere, is Ethiopias
national dish. It is far and away the most popular
food here. Wats featuring beef are among everyones
favorites, but the stew can also be made with chicken,
lamb, fish, lentils, or vegetables. Since religious beliefs

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The national dish of Ethiopia is wat, a spicy stew that can be made with
many different meats and vegetables.

prohibit most Ethiopians from eating pork, it is rarely

Beef wats may contain fresh or dried meat. The meat
may be on the bone, sliced, shredded, minced, ground,
or made into sausages. Any and every cut of meat is
used, from the finest steaks to organ meats. Wats made
with liver, brains, kidneys, tongue, or intestines are
not unusual. Even the toughest cuts of meat become
fall-apart tender after being slowly cooked. Nothing is
Favorite Foods
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Ethiopian women pride

themselves on their wat recipes,
and many keep them secret.


Foods of Ethiopia
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Every Ethiopian cook has his or her own wat

recipe. No two are exactly alike. The content and
amount of spices differ from cook to cook. Ethiopian
cooks pride themselves on their wats and many keep
their recipe secret. In fact, in the past, Ethiopian
women were judged by the quality of their cooking and, especially, their wats. Those who made the
best wats were most respected by their neighbors. So
were their husbands, who were applauded for having
the wisdom to marry such good cooks. Explains chef
Daniel J. Mesfin: A woman worth her salt values her
cooking no less than her looks. In fact, she is more
partial to her cooking because she is socially judged
by it: an unaccomplished woman makes her husband
a laughingstock.7
Things have changed in modern Ethiopia. Women
are respected for many things besides their ability to
cook. What has not changed is the Ethiopian peoples
love of wat. Ethiopian cooks agree that the best wats
begin with onions. They are fried in niter kebbeh
until they are soft and brown. The onions sweeten
and thicken the stew, while the niter kebbeh adds a
rich buttery flavor. Depending on the cook, a variety
of fragrant spices such as ginger, cloves, fenugreek,
cumin, and garlic are added. Zesty berbere, water, and
tomato sauce follow, along with either meat, chicken,
or vegetables. The stew is left to slowly cook until
the sauce thickens. As it cooks, the flavors blend and
intensify. There is the scorching berbere, the sweet ginger, the bitter cumin, and the savory garlic, all balanced
Favorite Foods
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perfectly by the sour taste of the injera that the stew is

poured over. Or, to add even more tart flavor, pieces of
injera are sometimes cooked right in the stew. Then the
stew is known as fitfit (fit fit). Either way, the flatbreads
sour taste complements the hot and sweet spices in the
stew, while the stews vivid red color contrasts beautifully with the pale injera.
For those who find wat or fitfit too fiery, there is
alicha (ah-lee-cha). Alicha is by no means bland. Since
it does not contain berbere, however, it is milder tasting
than wat. It depends on niter kebbeh, mild peppers, and
various spices like ginger, garlic, and cardamom for its
pleasant heat. Food writer Linda Walton describes her
first taste of alicha: Each mouthful was as delicious as
the first. It, she explains, was not bland or too spicy.
The aromatic seasoning came from a combination of
shallots, red pepper, fresh ginger, cardamom, cumin,
coriander, curry. It was wonderful.8

Vegetarian Fare
Ethiopians love meaty stews. However, because of religious reasons, most Ethiopians observe 200 fast days
during the year when they do not eat meat. Ethiopian
cooks have developed many delicious dishes for these
meat-free days. Stews that feature a spicy ground pea
powder called shiro (shu-roh) are popular. Shiro is
inexpensive, good tasting, nutritious, and filling. Shiro
is a part of everyday Ethiopian life, explains an article
on Ethiopian Millennium, a Web site dedicated to
Ethiopian culture. The powder, the article continues,


Foods of Ethiopia
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Dishes made with shiro were

developed to be eaten on the
days Ethiopians do not eat meat.
Favorite Foods
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A Land of Contrasts
Ethiopia is a land of contrasts. In rural
villages, many Ethiopians live in conical
or beehive-shaped bamboo homes or
in stone houses with straw roofs. Most
are quite poor. They do not have electricity, gas, or running water. Cooking
is done over a wood fire. Fetching wood and water for
cooking is usually the job of young girls, who rarely go
to school.
In Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, many people
live in modern high-rise apartments. They have kitchens
with electricity, running water, and modern appliances.
Here, both girls and boys attend school.

Many rural Ethiopians live in villages of beehive-shaped homes.


Foods of Ethiopia
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Popular Vegetables
Eggplant is a popular vegetable in Ethiopia. Ethiopian eggplants look different
from the large purple eggplants popular
in North America. Ethiopian eggplants are
small, oval shaped, and they are cream
colored. In fact, they look a lot like eggs.
Collard greens and kale are also popular vegetables
here. Both are similar to spinach in taste and color. Sama
leaves are another spinachlike vegetable. Sama is a leafy
shrub similar to nettles. It stings the skin when it is touched.
Cooks wear gloves while preparing it.
Potatoes, yams, and bell peppers are also eaten
frequently. Beans, peanuts, and lentils are other important
parts of the Ethiopian diet.

is incredibly popular among Ethiopians of every walk

of life.9 It is no wonder that almost every Ethiopian
cook keeps a supply handy.
Shiro is made from yellow split peas or chickpeas.
Turning them into a flavorful powder takes time, which
is why some Ethiopians buy the powder ready-made.
Many others still make it by hand.
Making shiro involves multiple steps. First, the
peas are boiled in water with chile peppers, berbere,
and garlic. Then they are placed out in the sun to dry.
This can take days. When the peas are ready, a
variety of spices such as cardamom, basil, and garlic are added. The mixture is ground into flourlike
powder. Since many Ethiopians do not have food
Favorite Foods
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Ethiopian Collard
Collard greens are often served as an accompaniment to Ethiopian stews. They may be served
alone or mixed with ayib.

1 pound collard greens
2 tablespoons butter
teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, paprika,
and garlic powder
salt to taste

1. Wash the collard greens. Remove the stems and chop the
greens into 1-inch pieces.
2. Put the greens in a bowl, cover with water, and microwave
until the greens are tender, or cook them in a saucepan on
the stove on low heat.
3. Melt the butter. Add the spices to the melted butter. Pour
the spiced butter over the cooked greens.
Serves 46.

Stews are often served with collard greens as a side dish.


Foods of Ethiopia
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processors, grinding the powder is done with a mortar and pestle. It takes a lot of time and energy to get
it fine enough.
Once the powder is made, making stews with shiro
is relatively easy. The powder is added to water, onions,
spices, niter kebbeh, and green peppers and slowly
cooked. Other ingredients, such as pumpkin, cabbage,
and green bananas, may also be added.
Depending on what spices are added, the stew can
be red-hot or relatively mild. It may be served piping
hot or chilled. Thick and creamy shiro stews taste of
zesty and sweet spices, hearty peas, and savory peppers.
Ethiopians love the taste so much that they often eat it
as a side dish on nonfasting days. It is finger-licking
good, very popular for all occasions,10 says Mesfin.

Chickpeas (above) or yellow

split peas (right) are used to
make shiro.

Favorite Foods
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Ayib is a white cheese that looks like cottage cheese but has a tangy taste.

Soothing Cheese and Yogurt

Shiro, wats, alichas, and fitfits are often accompanied by
a soothing side dish of ayib (iab), which is homemade
cheese, or irgo (ir-go), homemade yogurt. Their creamy
flavors balance the spicy taste of the stews and cool the


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Ayib is a white cheese that is similar in appearance to cottage cheese. Although mild in flavor, it is
not bland. Lemon juice and spices such as ginger,
black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper are added to
the cheese, which gives it a tangy savory taste. Some
cooks add a touch of niter kebbeh. Others add cooked
vegetables such as collard greens. Sometimes yogurt is
mixed in with the spiced cheese, which gives the dish a
flavor similar to feta cheese. Ayib is, according to
Samuelsson, simple to make, its wonderful on its own,
spread on a piece of injera, or when used to balance the
sharpness of heavenly spiced foods.11

This spiced cottage cheese is a good side dish. It is
also tasty on crackers. If you want it spicier or less
spicy, adjust the amount of spices.

8 ounces cottage cheese
teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine all ingredients. Mix well.
Serves 4.

Favorite Foods
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The same ingredients are used in making irgo, but

yogurt is substituted for cheese.
Both dishes are served with Ethiopian stews. Diners
dip pieces of injera into the cool and creamy side
dishes as a way to refresh their palates and lessen
the heat in their mouths. Their smooth texture and
slightly sour flavor just add to the range of flavors that
characterize Ethiopias favorite foods. Yes, these food
are hot and spicy, but they are also sweet, tart, smooth,
cool, and creamy all at the same time. Individually,
each flavor is distinctive. Mixed together, they balance each other to create the delicious dishes that
Ethiopian people love.
Irgo, a cool and creamy yogurt, is used along with ayib to refresh diners
palates and lessen the spicy heat of the other dishes.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Coffee and

or Ethiopians, snack time is a time for family, friends,

and neighbors to socialize. Ethiopian snacks center
around coffee, a drink that has been a part of Ethiopian
life and culture for centuries.

The Birthplace of Coffee

Historians believe that the first coffee trees originated in Kaffa, Ethiopia. In fact, the word coffee is
derived from Kaffa. Although the trees were part of the
Ethiopian landscape for hundreds of years, no one
thought to consume coffee beans until the third century. According to Ethiopian legend, that was when a

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Coffee has been grown in Ethiopia

since the 6th century, and even today it
is the countrys most important crop.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

goat herder noticed that his flock became frisky after

eating the beans. The goat herder tried them and liked
the way they helped him stay alert while he was tending his animals. Soon, people throughout Ethiopia
were snacking on coffee beans, which they ground and
rolled in animal fat. Even today, some Ethiopians enjoy
a similar snack made from ground roasted green coffee
beans and niter kebbeh.
Traders traveling the spice routes between East Africa
and the Arabian Peninsula spread the word about the
beans stimulating effect. Coffee soon became popular
in the Middle East and Europe. No one knows who first
used the bean as a drink, but many historians believe it
was an Ethiopian.
By the 6th century, Ethiopians were growing coffee.
It soon became Ethiopias most important crop and it
still is today. In fact, the coffee business employs about
25 percent of the Ethiopian people.
Ethiopian coffee is known throughout the world for
its fine taste and delicious aroma. It is no wonder that it
is the Ethiopian peoples favorite drink. According to an
article on Ambassa, the Web site of an Ethiopian coffee
exporter, Coffee is central to the lives of all Ethiopians.
In the countryside, where some people live a days walk
from the main road, coffee is often the only beverage of
choice. In the cities, as well as the countryside, coffee
is drunk with friends, family, on special occasions, or
simply out of choice. Coffee is everywhere!12

Coffee and Snacks

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


The Coffee Ceremony

Coffee is more than a beverage here. It is part of a social
ritual that many Ethiopians participate in at least once,
and sometimes three times, a day. When time permits,
friends and neighbors gather in the morning, at noon,
and in the evening to share news and to participate in
what is known as the coffee ceremony.
The ceremony begins with the roasting of coffee
beans. Traditionally, this is done in a flat pan with a
long handle. The hostess holds the pan over a tiny
charcoal stove and shakes the pan. The beans pop and
darken as they roast, releasing a delightful aroma.
When the beans are fully roasted, the hostess carries
them around the room waving her hand over them.
This ensures that the coffees rich perfume fills every
nook and cranny. Next, the
The coffee ceremony is an
hostess grinds the beans,
Ethiopian social ritual that
using a mortar and pestle.
begins with the roasting of the
coffee beans
The crushed beans are put


Foods of Ethiopia
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and ends with the drinking of three cups

of coffee, which are poured from a jebena.

into a tall black clay pot called a

jebena (ja-be-na). Water is added
and the coffee is boiled. The hostess serves the coffee, which is
dark and strong, in little cups
similar to espresso cups. Rue, a
bitter herb, butter, salt, or honey
may be added to the coffee in
much the same way that North
Americans add sugar. Sugar,
which did not arrive in Ethiopia until 1935, has only recently
become popular.
drink three cups of coffee during the ceremony. The first is the
strongest. The second and third
cups are progressively weaker.
This is because the original coffee grounds are reused to make
the succeeding cups. The last cup
is believed to contain the soul of
the coffee, so drinking it is considered good luck.
Ethiopians take the ceremony very seriously,
explains Helen Bergen. And it takes a long time. But
the coffee was worth waiting for. It was the best coffee
I ever tasted.13
Coffee and Snacks
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Spicy, Salty, or Crispy

Unlike in the West, where pastries are often served with
coffee, in Ethiopia salty-spicy snacks accompany coffee. In fact, Ethiopians rarely eat sugary treats. Popcorn
and kolo (koh-loh), a type of cracker, are among the
most popular snacks here.
Ethiopian popcorn is similar to that eaten in North
America. However, since most Ethiopians do not own
a microwave oven, Ethiopians make their popcorn the
old-fashioned way, by cooking it in a long-handled pan

Spiced Popcorn
This is a spicy snack that is easy to make by using
microwave popcorn. You can add raisins to the
spiced popcorn if you like.

2 bags, 3 ounces each, plain microwave popcorn
2 tablespoons butter
teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, paprika,
and salt
teaspoon each of cumin and garlic powder

1. Prepare the popcorn following the package directions.
2. Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the butter in
the microwave.
3. Add the spices to the melted butter and stir. If the popcorn
is salted, do not add salt.
4. Put the popcorn in a large bowl. Pour the spiced butter
over the popcorn.
Serves 4.


Foods of Ethiopia
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Ethiopians prefer salty or spicy snacks,

such as popcorn, to sweet ones.
Coffee and Snacks
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Outside Influences
The cooking of most African nations has
been strongly influenced by the European
countries that colonized them. Ethiopia is
the only nation in Africa that was never
colonized. Its mountains and deserts made
colonization difficult.
The Italians, however, did have some impact.
Italy invaded and occupied Ethiopia from 19351941.
Although Ethiopian cooks did not adopt Italian cooking practices, many Italians remained in Ethiopia after
the occupation ended. They opened a number of
Italian restaurants in Addis Ababa, making pizza a
popular Ethiopian snack.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

over a charcoal fire. This is not hard to do. First, niter

kebbeh is heated in the pan. When the spiced butter
is hot, the popcorn is added and the pan is covered.
The lid must fit securely so the kernels do not escape,
but not so tightly that steam cannot. The cook shakes
the pan as the popcorn pops. This keeps the kernels
from burning and ensures that each kernel is covered
with the spicy buttery taste of the niter kebbeh. When
the popping stops, the popcorn is topped with salt.
Sometimes raisins are added. The result is a multiflavored treat that tastes great with a cup of coffee.

The country of Ethiopia consists largely of mountains and desert.

Coffee and Snacks

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Sambussas are another popular snack.
They are savory pastries stuffed with a
wide range of fillings. Boiled lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, vegetables, and ground
beef are all popular fillings. Once the
dough is filled, it is folded and fried until
it is golden.

Sambussas are fried pastries filled with anything from lentils

to meat.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Kolo is another coffee-time favorite. These crisp

spiced crackers look a lot like peanuts. Kolo is made of
wheat dough spiced with berbere. The dough is formed
into long narrow rolls, then cut into peanut-size pieces.
Traditionally, the dough is cooked on a griddle until it
is crunchy, but it can be baked or fried.
Besides accompanying coffee, kolo is a popular between-meal snack. Young boys sell the treats,
wrapped in paper cones, on street corners and at train
and bus stations. Travelers often take kolo on long trips.
When stored in an airtight container, the little crackers
will not spoil or lose their crispness, and they are easy
to carry. Ethiopians love their crunchy flavor. Wube,
an Ethiopian, warns: Once you start eating them, you
cant stop.14

Dried Meat
Qwanta (ku-wan-ta), dried spicy meat similar to beef
jerky, is another popular snack. Qwanta is usually made
from beef, but it can also be made from goat or lamb.
The meat is rubbed with salt, berbere, and fragrant
spices such as fenugreek and cardamom. Then it is cut
into long thin strips and hung to dry on wires strung in
the sun. This takes one to three days. Ethiopians have
been drying meat in this manner for thousands of years.
It is the oldest method of preserving meat known to
Once all the moisture has been removed from the
meat, it is ready to eat. Or, it may be smoked over
a wood fire, then fried in niter kebbeh before it is
Coffee and Snacks
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


eaten. Either way, the end result is crisp and crunchy

with a zesty flavor that Ethiopians find hard to resist.
Food critic Robert Sietsema says qwanta tastes much
chewier and tastier than fresh beef.15
That may be why, in addition to snacking on it,
Ethiopians use qwanta in fitfit. Sometimes they grind
qwanta into a powder and mix it in with shiro to make a
creamy nonvegetarian stew. Mesfin explains: Qwanta
is mainly a snack food It is very versatile and can be
consumed as it is, fried, cooked in sauce, or ground
into a powder and stewed.16
Indeed, crispy snacks such as qwanta, kolo, and
spiced popcorn are irresistible. It is easy to understand
why these snacks, accompanied by freshly brewed
local coffee, bring Ethiopians together.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.



thiopian hospitality is legendary, and guests are

always welcome. At home, hospitality was our way
of life! recalls Berhane Kitflom, an Ethiopian man who
now lives in Texas. I can remember as a small boy that
my grandfather always brought a least one guest home
to share our meals with us. Sometimes, when no one
came, he sent someone out into the road to look for a
complete stranger to do the honors. Needless to say,
few in our province remained strangers for long!17
Such occasions as weddings, holidays, and birthdays give Ethiopians a special chance to extend
their hospitality. In fact, guests are not only warmly
welcomed; they are hand fed their first bite of food.

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

At their wedding, the newly

married couple practice gursha.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

This practice, known as gursha (gur-sha), begins when

the guests are seated. Thats when the hostess goes
around the table. She breaks off a tiny piece of injera,
wraps it around a choice bit of stew and places it directly
into the mouth of each guest. This tells the guests that
they are welcomed and appreciated. The custom,
explains an article on Ethiopian Restaurant, a Web site
dedicated to Ethiopian food, is no different from a hug
between friends, no less bond affirming than a mother
feeding a child by hand.18

Doro Wat
If the occasion is a special one, a delicious chicken stew
called doro wat (do-roh watt) is likely to be the gursha
offering. A festive meal without a richly flavored doro
wet [wat] is practically a contradiction in terms,19
explains Mesfin.
Doro wat begins with chicken. Although packaged
chicken can be purchased in supermarkets in Ethiopian
cities, Ethiopian cooks who live in small villages usually
buy a live chicken from an outdoor market. They
slaughter the bird at home, pluck the feathers, then
soak the chicken in water, lemon juice, and salt to
remove bacteria. Finally, they cut the chicken into eight
to twelve pieces. The thighs and legs, with their sweet
dark meat, are considered the choicest.
Doro wat is then prepared in the same way as other
wats, except about five minutes before the stew is done,
whole peeled hard-boiled eggs are added to the mix.
The eggs quickly absorb the flavor of the sauce and
Special Occasions
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Doro Wat
Doro wat is not hard to make, but it has many
steps and takes time.

1 broiler chicken, 23 pounds, cut in 8 pieces
with skin removed
2 cups onions, chopped
cup butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons tomato paste
46 whole hard-boiled eggs, shells removed
1 teaspoon each of ginger, paprika, cayenne
pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper

1. Make several cuts in each of the chicken pieces with a
knife. Put the chicken in a bowl with the lemon juice, salt,
and 1 cup of water. Put in the refrigerator. Let the chicken
soak for 1530 minutes.
2. Put the butter in a stew pot, add the onions, and cook
them until they are browned.
3. Add the spices, tomato paste, and broth.
4. Dry the chicken parts and add them to the stew pot. Cover
the pot and cook on low for 20 minutes.
5. Add the hard-boiled eggs. Spoon the sauce over the eggs.
Cook covered on low until the chicken is done and the
sauce has thickened, about 1020 minutes.
Serve over injera or other flat bread.
Serves 46.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

As in many countries, Christmas

and Easter in Ethiopia are
special occasions that call for
celebration and special meals.

Special Occasions
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Nutritional Problems
During the twentieth century, drought and
political unrest led to serious food shortages in Ethiopia. One hundred thousand
Ethiopians died because of food shortages
in 1973. Up to one million died between
1983 and 1985.
Things are better in Ethiopia today, but there are still
problems. According to the World Bank, one half of the
nations population is undernourished and 48 percent of
all Ethiopian children under age five are underweight.
Many groups throughout the world are helping Ethiopia.

spices and the red color of the berbere. The finished

stew tastes of tender juicy chicken, stick-to-the-ribs
boiled eggs, and a myriad of hot and sweet spices.
It is the first Ethiopian dish I ever had, recalls chef
Samuelsson, and I immediately liked the tender meat,
spicy eggs, and the flavorful sauce laced with berbere
and ginger.20
Doro wat is standard fare at almost every Ethiopian
festivity, including Christmas. In fact, many Ethiopians
give up meat for 43 days before Christmas for religious
reasons. On Christmas day, when they can eat any meat
dish they want, the most popular choice is doro wat.
The stew is also an Easter mainstay. Traditionally,
eggs represent rebirth, a concept closely connected
with Easter. The egg-filled stew is not only delectable;
it is also symbolic of the holiday.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Festive Breads
Although injera is the bread that Ethiopians eat everyday, different types of dabo (da-boh), baked yeast
breads, are served on important occasions and holidays. There are many different kinds of dabo. They
can be made with wheat, chickpeas, or barley flour.
They can be dark or snow-white. Some are sweetened with honey, while others are filled with a spicy
meat or chicken sauce. Defo dabo (de-foh da-boh), a
large white bread spiced with fenugreek, cumin, and
coriander and topped with black sesame seeds, is
among the most popular.
Special occasions would not be the same without
this large round bread, which measures about 24 inches
(60cm) in diameter. In fact, its size makes it perfect for
sharing. An article on Ethiopian Millennium explains:
If there is one thing you are certain to find at every

An Interesting
Before eating, Ethiopians perform a handwashing ritual. Each diner holds out their
right hand. The hostess pours water from
a beautiful jug over them and then offers
a towel. Only the right hand is washed because Ethiopians
use only their right hands for eating. Using the left hand is
considered rude.

Special Occasions
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Honey Water
Although coffee is the most popular beverage in
Ethiopia, honey water is another popular snack
drink. It is served cold and is refreshing on a hot

4 cups water
4 tablespoons honey

1. Pour the honey into a pitcher or jar. Add the water and stir
well. Make sure the honey is dissolved.
2. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate overnight. Shake well
and add ice before serving.
Serves 4.

Ethiopian household on every Ethiopian occasion, it

has got to be defo dabo Ethiopians have a tradition
of sharing meals with neighbors and friends. At times
of festivals and national holidays, defo dabbo comes
to strengthen this tradition because it is baked in large
quantity to serve up as many people as possible.21
Before defo dabo is baked, the dough is wrapped in
enset (en-set) leaves and placed in a clay pan. Enset is a
bananalike plant that grows in most Ethiopian gardens.
Ethiopians use starch from the plant to make pancakes,
cereal, and dumplings. They use the leaves to cook
and wrap food in. This is cheaper and better for the


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Honey and water are mixed to

make a cool and refreshing drink.
Special Occasions
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Kitfo can be served warmed or browned. This
version browns the meat. If you prefer it to be
blander, use less spice.

1 pound lean ground steak
onion, chopped
2 ounces butter
teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, paprika,
coriander, garlic, and cinnamon
pinch of salt

1. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
2. Mix the salt and spices with the meat.
3. Brown the onions. Add the meat. Cook until the meat is
browned. Stir constantly to keep the meat from sticking.
Serves 4.

environment than plastic wrap. Plus, the leaves impart

a fruity scent to the food they encase, and they help
keep the bread moist and flaky.
When the bread is done, the eldest member of the
household cuts it, giving each guest a slice. At weddings,
the fathers of the bride and groom share this honor. It
is part of a special ceremony in which the two fathers
give the bride a nickname that she will be called from
then on. Once the name is chosen, the fathers cut out
the center of the bread to form a ring. They hold the
ring in front of the brides face like a picture frame and


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

announce her new name. Then, pieces of the bread are

given to all the guests who say the brides new name as
they eat the bread.

Barely Cooked
Kitfo (kit-foh) is another celebratory food that is often
served at weddings. It features freshly minced beef
combined with niter kibbeh, cardamom, ginger, black
pepper, salt, and mitmita (mit-mit-a), a super-hot
spice blend. Traditionally, the meat, which is eaten
almost raw, is bathed in niter kibbeh and heated just
long enough to warm it. It is quite similar to a raw meat
dish popular in Europe called steak tartare.
According to a legend, Ethiopian warriors who
wanted to avoid cooking meat over a large fire, which
would attract the enemies, created kitfo. Many modern
cooks brown the meat before serving it. This lessens
the risk of food poisoning since cooking meat until it is
no longer red destroys harmful bacteria.
Whether browned or almost raw, kitfo is made
with the leanest, most-tender meat available. This is
usually steak. The meat is hand-minced until it is finer
than ground meat, then smothered with niter kebbeh
flavored with lemon verbena. It is a spice that tastes
and smells like lemons. The meat tastes extremely rich
and buttery with a red-hot flavor and a citrusy aroma.
It is usually served with spiced collard greens and
cooling ayib. A saucer full of mitmita accompanies
the meat. Brave Ethiopians sprinkle it on the already
fiery meat to add mouth-scorching flavor. Food writer
Special Occasions
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Jason Sheehan describes his first taste of kitfo: It was

delicious, a pure kick of blood and protein topped with
spiced Ethiopian butter and laced with the wicked
heat of a smoky-hot chile I never had anything like
it before, nothing even close. But I know that I loved it,
that it was one of those flavors that hits you in the back
of the head like a lightning bolt.22
Indeed, Ethiopian festive foods are filled with exceptional flavors. Sharing these foods with guests is a
way of life here. Hostesses even go as far as feeding
their guests their first bite of food just to make them
feel welcome. It is no wonder that the warm atmosphere and the delectable foods make all occasions
memorable and fun.


Foods of Ethiopia
(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Metric Conversions
Mass (weight)
1 ounce (oz.)
8 ounces
1 pound (lb.)
or 16 ounces
2.2 pounds

= 28.0 grams (g)

= 227.0 grams
= 0.45 kilograms (kg)
= 1.0 kilogram

Liquid Volume
1 teaspoon (tsp.)
1 tablespoon (tbsp.)
1 fluid ounce (oz.)
1 cup (c.)
1 pint (pt.)
1 quart (qt.)
1 gallon (gal.)

= 5.0 milliliters (ml)

= 15.0 milliliters
= 30.0 milliliters
= 240 milliliters
= 480 milliliters
= 0.96 liters (l)
= 3.84 liters

Pan Sizes
8- inch cake pan
9-inch cake pan
11 x 7-inch baking pan
13 x 9-inch baking pan
9 x 5-inch loaf pan
2-quart casserole

= 20 x 4-centimeter cake pan

= 23 x 3.5-centimeter cake pan
= 28 x 18-centimeter baking pan
= 32.5 x 23-centimeter baking pan
= 23 x 13-centimeter loaf pan
= 2-liter casserole

1/4 inch (in.)
1/2 inch
1 inch

= 0.6 centimeters (cm)

= 1.25 centimeters
= 2.5 centimeters

212 F
225 F
250 F
275 F
300 F
325 F
350 F
375 F
400 F

= 100 C (boiling point of water)

= 110 C
= 120 C
= 135 C
= 150 C
= 160 C
= 180 C
= 190 C
= 200 C

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 1: The Basics of Ethiopian Cooking
1. Marcus Samuelsson, The Soul of a New Cuisine. Hoboken,
N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. p. 145.
2. Amy Pataki, Ethiopian House,
3. Zel and Reuben Allen, Vegetarians in Paradise, Dining in
4. Iyassu Demissie, Iyassu, Ethiopian Food, www.geocities.
5. Helen Bergan, Climbing Kilimanjaro. Arlington, VA: BioGuide
Press, 1999. p. 11.
6. Marcus Samuelsson, The Soul of a New Cuisine. p. 34.

Chapter 2: Favorite Foods

7. Daniel J. Mesfin, Exotic Ethiopian Cooking. Falls Church, VA:
Ethiopian Cookbook Enterprises, 2006. p. xvi.
8. Linda Walton, Messob Ethiopian Restaurant, Ethiopian
9. Ethiopian, Shiro, www.ethiopianmillennium.
10. Daniel J. Mesfin, Exotic Ethiopian Cooking. p. 189.
11. Marcus Samuelsson, The Soul of a New Cuisine. p. 52.

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 3: Coffee and Snacks

12. Ambassa Enterprises, Coffee in Ethiopia, www.telecom.
13. Helen Bergen, personal interview with the author, Las
Cruces, New Mexico, March 16, 2007.
14., Recipes,
15. Robert Sietsema, Village Voice, Queen of Sheba, May 10,
16. Daniel J. Mesfin, Exotic Ethiopian Cooking. p. 30.

Chapter 4: Special Occasions

17. Quoted in Queen of Sheba Restaurant, Welcome Guests,
18. Ethiopian, Gursha,
19. Daniel J. Mesfin, Exotic Ethiopian Cooking. p. xix.
20. Marcus Samuelsson, The Soul of a New Cuisine. p. 245.
21. Ethiopian, Habesha Bread (Defo Dabo),
22. Jason Sheehan, Westword, Stranger in a Strange Land, June
29, 2006,

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


alicha: Stew that does not contain berbere.
ayib: (also spelled iab) Spiced cheese similar to
cottage cheese.
berbere: Hot spice blend made with red chiles.
clarified butter: Butter in which all milk fat and
liquids have been removed.
dabo: Yeast bread.
defo dabo: Yeast bread popular on special occasions.
doro wat: Stew containing chicken and hardboiled eggs.
enset: A plant similar to the banana plant.
ferment: Become sour.
fitfit: A stew containing injera.
gursha: Practice in which guests are hand-fed their
first bite of food.
injera: Flat spongy bread.
irgo: Ethiopian yogurt.
jebena: Tall coffee pot with a rounded bottom.
kitfo: Minced raw or lightly cooked meat.

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

kolo: (also spelled qolo) Spiced crackers.

mesab: Basket-like dining table.
mitad: Large pan in which injera is made.
mitmita: A very hot spice blend.
mortar: A bowl used for grinding spices.
niter kebbeh: (also spelled nitir qibe) Spiced
clarified butter.
pestle: A mallet-like tool used for grinding spices.
qwanta: Dried meat similar to jerky.
shiro: Spicy powder made of ground peas.
teff: Grain used to make injera.
wat: (also spelled wett/wet) Stew containing berbere.

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


For Further Exploration

Dan Elish, Eleanor Ayer, Daniel Benjamin, S. Gish,
Ethiopia. New York: Benchmark Books, 2007. Discusses
all aspects of Ethiopia, including history, geography,
and culture.
Yvonne Young Merrill, Hands-on Africa: Art Activities
for all Ages. Salt Lake City: Kits Publishing, 2000. Talks
about Africa with accompanying art activities, including a section on Ethiopia.
Constance Nabwire, Bertha Vining Montgomery,
Cooking the East African Way. Minneapolis: Lerner
Publications, 2001. A childrens cookbook offering recipes from East Africa, including Ethiopia.
Jeffrey Zuehike, Ethiopia in Pictures. Minneapolis:
Lerner Publications, 2004. Introduces the reader to
Ethiopia through pictures.

Web Sites
Fact Monster, Ethiopia, (http://www.factmonster.
com/ipka/A0107505.html). Information on Ethiopian
history, geography, culture, economics, and daily life
written for kids.

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

Food in Every Country, Food in Ethiopia, (www.
html). Gives information about the geography, history,
and food of Ethiopia with recipes.
Rainbow Kids, Lets Learn about Ethiopia, ( A
Web site just for kids that offers coloring activities
about Ethiopia, including the Ethiopian flag.
Tourism Ethiopia, ( This
Web site maintained by the Ethiopian government has
lots of information, maps, and pictures of Ethiopia.

For Further Exploration

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Addis Ababa (capital), 24
Alicha, 22
Awaze, 13
Ayib, 2829
Beans, 25
Beef, 1819, 4142
Berbere, 1315
Bergan, Helen, 15, 35
coffee, 3135
honey water, 50
dabo, 4950
injera, 69, 11, 22
claried, 1516
spiced, 4, 1517
Cheese, 2829
Chicken, 45
Chickpeas, 27
Children, 24, 48
Chile peppers, 13
Christmas, 47, 48
Claried butter, 1516
Coffee, 3133
Coffee ceremony,
Collard greens, 25, 26
Communal eating, 9,
Crackers, 41
Dabo, 4950

Defo dabo, 4953

Doro wat, 4548
Dried meat, 4142
Easter, 47, 48
Eggplants, 25
Eggs, 48
Eggs rr, 16
Enset leaves, 50
Eritrea, 4
Ethiopia, 4
European inuences,
Fast days, 22, 47
Fermentation, 8
Festive foods
dabo, 4950
doro wat, 4548
kitfo, 5254
Fitt, 22, 42
Flatbread (injera), 69,
11, 22
Food regions, 5
Food shortages, 48
Girls, 24
Guests, 4345, 53
Gursha, 45
Handwashing ritual,
Holidays, 45, 48
Honey water recipe, 50
Hospitality, 4345, 54

Houses, 24
eating, 11
making, 89
as staple food, 68
in wat, 22
Irgo, 30
Italian inuences, 38
Jebena, 35
Kale, 25
Kategna, 8
Kitom, Berhane, 43
Kitfo, 5254
Kolo, 36, 41
Left hand, 49
Lemon verbena, 53
Lentils, 25
Makeda, (queen of
Sheba), 4
Malnutrition, 48
Meals, communal, 9,
Mesab, 9, 10
Mesn, Daniel J.
on doro wat, 45
on social value of
cooking, 21
Mitad, 8
Mitmita, 13, 53
Mortar, 15

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.

National dish, 1821

Niter kebbeh, 1517
Nutritional problems,
Onions, 21
Pastries, 36, 40
Pataki, Amy, 9, 11
Peanuts, 25
Peppers, 13, 25
Pestle, 15
Pizza, 38
Plates, 11
Popcorn, 36, 39
Pork, 19
Potatoes, 25
Poverty, 24
Qwanta, 4142
ayib, 29
collard greens, 26
doro wat, 46
eggs rr, 16
honey water, 50
kategna, 8
kitfo, 53
spiced popcorn, 36
Red chile peppers, 13

Religious beliefs, 1819,

22, 48
coffee ceremony,
handwashing, 49
Royal family, 4
Rue, 35
Rural villages, 24

alicha, 22
doro wat, 4546, 48
tt, 22
shiro, 2223, 25, 27
vegetarian, 22, 2527
wat, 1821
Straw baskets, 10
Sugar, 35

Sama, 25
Sambussas, 40
Schools, 24
Sheehan, Jason, 53
Shiro, 22, 23, 25, 27
Sietsema, Robert, 42
Snacks, 3637, 3942
Social rituals. See
Solomon (king), 4
Special occasions
foods for, 4553
hospitality during,
4345, 54
Spice blends, 4, 1215,
Spiced butter, 1517
Spiced popcorn, 36,
Split peas, 27
Steak, 5253

Tables, 10
Teff, 4, 6, 7
Urgo, 28
Utensils, 11
Vegetables, 25
Vegetarian dishes, 22,
Villages, 24
Walton, Linda, 22
Wat, 1821
Weavers, 10
Weddings, 5253
cooking by, 21
weavers, 10
Yams, 25
Yogurt, 28, 30

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.


Picture Credits
Cover: Jim Sugar/CORBIS
AP Images, 6 (left), 44
Adrian Arbib/CORBIS, 20
Robin Avila, Austin, TX, 11, 19, 23, 28
Bruno Barbier/Robert Harding/Jupiter Images, 47
The Gale Group, 5
Gavin Hellier/JAI/Corbis, 35
Gavin Hellier/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis,
2007 Royalty Free/, 6 (right), 7, 14,
26, 30, 40
Jacques Langevin/CORBIS SYGMA, 37
Carl & Ann Purcell/CORBIS, 12
Ricki Rosen/CORBIS SABA, 9
2007 Royalty Free/, 10, 24, 27, 32,
Jim Sugar/CORBIS, 7
Tony Waltham/Robert Harding/Jupiter Images, 3839

About the Author

Barbara Sheen is the author of numerous works of
fiction and nonfiction for young people, including
more than a dozen books in the Taste of Culture series.
She lives in New Mexico with her family. In her spare
time, she likes to swim, walk, garden, and read. And, of
course, she loves to cook!

(c) 2011 Kidhaven Press. All Rights Reserved.