Saturday, 6 December 2008

My Kitchen, My World - Ethiopia

Today in My Kitchen, My World we visited Ethiopia.

I originally had great plans for this theme as I had a favourite Eritrean restaurant that a friend used to take me to in the city. We would have ful (pronounced fool)- a bowl of spicy beans - (better than it sounds), and special tebsis - a fermented crepe (injera) with little piles of savoury meats, vegetables and lentils. Life got in the way, however, and I had to pare down my expectations of myself.

Now faced with only a couple of hours to make dinner, I made Dora Wat - a curry-like chicken dish served with injera or rice. I chose rice.

From Whats4Eats, International Recipes and Cooking Around the World:
"Doro wat is perhaps the best known food from Ethiopia and is often referred to as the Ethiopian national dish. This recipe makes a very tasty version with a deep, rich flavor and tender chicken pieces. Making your own homemade berberé is not difficult and is essential to give the dish the proper flavor. Doro wat is traditionally very spicy, but you can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your liking. Also spelled doro wot or doro wet."

Doro Wat
4-6 servings
Chicken legs and thighs, skinless -- 2 pounds
Lemon, juice only -- 1
Salt -- 2 teaspoons
Onions, chopped -- 2
Garlic, crushed -- 3 cloves
Gingerroot, peeled and chopped -- 1 tablespoon
Oil, butter or niter kibbeh -- 1/4 cup
Paprika -- 2 tablespoons
Berberé paste -- 1/4-1/2 cup
Water or stock -- 3/4 cup
Red wine -- 1/4 cup
Cayenne pepper -- from 1/2 to 2 teaspoons
Salt and pepper -- to taste
Hard-boiled eggs (optional) -- 4

Mix together the chicken pieces, lemon juice and salt and in a large, non-reactive bowl and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, puree the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender. Add a little water if necessary.
Heat the oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large pot over medium flame. Add the paprika and stir in to color the oil and cook the spice through, about 1 minute. Do not burn. Stir in the berberé paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the onion-garlic-ginger puree and sauté until most of the moisture evaporates and the onion cooks down and loses its raw aroma, about 5-10 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to burn.
Pour in the water or stock and wine and stir in the chicken pieces, cayenne to taste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to maintain a sauce-like consistency.
Add the whole hard boiled eggs and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and very tender.
Adjust seasoning and serve hot with injera bread or rice.

My Changes
I used boneless skinless chicken breasts as that is what I had on hand. I cut them into large pieces.
I did have some berbere on hand from another recipe a few months ago. It won't be exactly the same as the linked one but similar enough.
I omitted the hard boiled eggs and added red lentils and stirred in some baby spinach right before serving.
I served the dora wat with basmati rice.
My verdict - this was an excellent dish. Spicy but not too spicy, a great winter meal to keep you warm, healthy and satisfied.

Check out My Kitchen, My World to see how the other culinary world travellers fared.