I had my first Ethiopian food when I was 16. I was a bit skeptical, as the thought of wet stuff sitting on bread just ooged me out. My folks are rice people. Gravy and its associated wetness goes on rice, not on bread. I don’t even like my biscuits wet with gravy! Horrors.
Thankfully, my palate’s a bit more sophisticated these days, and I’m always willing to throw down on some stew-soaked injera these days. But unfortunately, I live the Ethiopian food wasteland known as the central San Francisco Bay Peninsula. You see that big, empty space on the land noodle between the two clusters of Yelp pins? That’s my wasteland. Boatloads of wot-free sadness.
To the Internet I went in search of ways to get my Ethiopian food fix a little closer to home. I found a couple places online where I could have injera delivered for about what it would cost in gas, bridge toll, and headache to get it locally. I also picked up a most excellent cookzine, Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food, written by Kittee Berns, and it is vegan, gluten-free, and an absolute steal at $9. You need this, especially if you like ginger, garlic, and extremely delicious things.
My injera arrived this past Saturday via FedEx, as fresh as any I’ve ever had. I decided to whip up a few of these dishes for a big Sunday feast. I made the ye’takelt allecha (mixed vegetables baked with ginger and garlic), ye’kik allecha (yellow split pea stew with ginger and garlic), and a vegan version of the ubiquitous doro wot (spicy red stew) using Butler Soy Curls. I also whipped up a batch of niter kibbeh (seasoned Earth Balance and canola oil) and a simple selata with tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and a light wine vinaigrette.
Here is the ye’takelt allecha before it was baked. It looks delicious, even raw!
You can believe we ate this again for dinner tonight. Scrumptious. But I still don’t like gravy anywhere near my biscuits.