March 12, 2013

Alecha and Miser: Ethiopian Vegetable Dishes to Beat the Winter Blues

What a gift it was to have RW in town last weekend! We spent our evenings preparing elaborate vegetable dishes and our mornings sneaking scoops of ice cream out of the freezer while sipping tall coffee cups. Old friends make the best kitchen pals. Here are a few Ethiopian recipes for you all to enjoy! Many thanks to EA, who passed versions of these recipes along to me three years ago!

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger (minced)
3 carrots (chopped)
3 potatoes (chopped into large chunks)
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1-2 jalapeno peppers (minced/ optional)
1 small cabbage head (chopped- I used savoy cabbage here and it was delicious!)

In a very large frying pan or pot heat the oil. Add the onion and saute for five minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute or two. Add the carrots, potatoes, turmeric  salt, and jalapeno peppers and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Lower heat to allow the potatoes and carrots to soften. Stir and add water as you see fit. After ten minutes, or once potatoes and carrots are soft, add the cabbage and another 1/2 cup of water. Stir to combine. Cover and let simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender. Stir gently and add salt, pepper, and ginger to taste.

Miser (previous published as a guest-post on KOTOA)
1 small red onion (minced finely)
4 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. burbere spice
2 cups red lentils
1 tsp salt

In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute the red onion with NO oil. This is a very unusual method that allows the onion to sweat and become very sweet. Stir often to prevent burning. After ten minutes add the oil and saute for another five minutes. Be patient! Add the lentils and burbere spice and fry, stirring constantly, for a moment. Add the salt and cover the lentils with water. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary. Once lentils have softened, add salt and burbere to taste.

Serve it all atop a blanket of spongy ingera!