Finally it was time to make injera wat, the Ethiopian food with panncakes tasting from sourdough and spicy stews my wife grew up with when she was living in Ethiopia as a child.I’ve been enjoying this food since we met, seveteen years ago, but have never made it my self. But now my parents in law, who know how to make this, where visiting and in the evening we would get more visitors. Beckas sister, Johanna and our new friend Gloria - who we also celebrated Christmas with - would come over. Family, relatives, friends and injera - just the way it should be!
Either you love injera or you hate it. There’s really nothing inbetween since the flavours are so very special. It comes from the bread that has been rising during 3 days and has a texture resembling an old Wettex cloth (Mmm, now I really have gotten your attention, haven’t I?) and from the use of berberi, an Ethiopian spice mix, and the Ethiopian butter. The butter is pretty tricky to make yourself and is very hard to find in Sweden so most of the times it’s excluded from the recipe. It’s not quite the real thing without it, but what do you do?
Considering the texture of the bread and the spicyness of the stews, theis dish is often referre to as fire and rag.
Speaking of the real thing, injera should really be made from Teff, an Ethiopian cereal, but since it’s very hard to find in Sweden we make it like this instead. Not as sour and coarse as the real thing, but pretty good anyway.
This kind of food takes a while to make, but it doesn’t matter. With a lot of people in the kitchen and food simmering away in the pots and pans, life is pretty good. Besides, you get even hungrier when watching all the food and for a feat like this, you need that hunger.
The dorowat is done
Usually we serve the injera with one or several of the stews here, cottage cheese and som kind of salad. Like the one we had this time, finelly chopped tomatoes with red onion. According to the family tradtitions we serve Coke with this dish, but of course other drinks that can take some heat would go fine as well.
Naturally we eat ethiopian style - with our hands. But only the right one, since the left one is used… in other situations…
- Pour the water in a big bucket.
- Dissolve the yeast in the water
- Whisk in the flour to a smooth texture. Cover with a tea towel, but make sure to leave a small opening.
- Let it be for 3 days. Now it will rise and become sour.
After 3 days
- Stir the dough. It should resemble a loose pancake dough.
- Heat a non-stick pan to medium hot.
- Pour approx 100ml in the pan and tilt the pan until it’s covered with a thin layer. Just like when you do crepes or thin pancakes (not the american kind)
- Leave it until it’s dry on top and then cover with a lid for 2-3 min. Leave a small opening.
- After 2-3 min - pick up the injera and put it a side to cool. When it’s cool you can stack them, but not before since the will stick to each other then.
- Continue to make injeras until the dough is finished. 3-4 injeras per person is probably enough for a normal dinner.
Dorowat and minced meat stew
Dorowat and the minced meat stew are done min the exact same way. You just put chicken in one and minced meat in the other. Easy, right?
- Quarter the chicken and cut each leg into three pieces.
- Chop the onion and garlic finely and put them into a thick-bottomed pan. Add just a little water. Let the onion simmer until it’s soft, but not brown. Add some maore water if you have to. It should take around 40 min.
- Add the berberi. Boil for 5 min. The berberi and onion mixture should be a thick sauce by now. Dilute with water if you have to.
- Add the tomato paste and the butter and let it boil for a couple of minutes.
- Add salt and ginger. Give it a stir.
- Add the chicken to the dorowat and the minced meat to the mince meat stew. Let it boil until done. You don’t want to braise the chicken or meat before.The cooking time should be around an hour. Just watch out so you don’t cook the chicken into a mush, but the meat should start to loosen from the legs.
- If you have the Ethiopian butter, add it the last 15 min. If not, don’t bother.
- Make small cuts in the hardboiled, peeled eggs and add them to the simmering dorowat when it’s 10 min left of the cooking time.
- Peel and cut the onion into wedges.
- Boil the onion in a pot on low heat until soft. Just add a few drops of water to prevent it from burning or getting brown. It should pretty much boil in it’s own moisture.
- Crush the garlic and add it, the spices, the salt and the oil. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the diced cabbage. Let it cook until soft.
- Add the potatoes and the carrots. Let them cook until almost done. Add the green chili. If you like your alicha milder - don’t use the chili. You might have to add some water when you put in the potatoes and carrots. It should be a stew, not looser (or firmer) than that.