Nov 18th, 2015, 02:08 PM

Ethiopian Cuisine

By Amanuel Neguede
This Food Sends You Straight To The Great Rift Valley

When it comes to food, France has the tendency to spoil the amateurs of "Bonne Bouffe". From the basic Parisian bistrot meals with a tarte tattin for dessert, to the Asian savours of the 13th arrondissment or even the 18th impregnated with West African aromas, the choice in Paris is far from limited.

But some African flavors remain unknown in the capital. The Ethiopian cuisine, was revised by many Ethiopian restaurants in Paris in order to adapt to the European pallet. Michelle Mira is a foodie that loves foreign meals, she says she has "the impression of traveling when she eats Injera". 

Image credit: Flickr/rod_waddington

Injera, typically made of teff (Flour growing exclusively in Ethiopian highlands) was modified and made with wheat flour for most restaurants in Paris. "It changes the taste obviously, but the clients prefer it to the more bitter taste of teff" says Yodit Teferra, owner of the restaurant La Reine de Saba in the eleventh arroundissement. 

So, what do you eat in an Ethiopian restaurant? Well, we eat meat. Yes, a lot of meat! Tartare meat ( Kitfo ), meat cooked over burning coals ( Goden Tibs ), minced meat with spicy onion sauce ( Siga Wot ) or even raw diced meat ( Gored ). Indeed, it's a lot of meat.


Image credit: Flickr/rod_waddington

But if you're vegetarian do not worry, there are plenty of vegetarian meals. 

The majority of the Ethiopian population are Greek-Orthodox, and many Ethiopians fast three days of the week, all year long. Meat along with dairy products are forbidden on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. That is why every Ethiopian restaurant offer two different menus, the one for those who fast ( ye tsom menu ) and another for the less believers ( ye feseg menu ).


Image credit: Flickr/rod_waddington

Quick Tips: 

1. You use your fingers to eat, and you wash your hands when you are done eating so please don't worry about getting messy, just enjoy the food and stop worrying about your hands.

2. Mix everything! Take a little salad, than take a little meat, take a some mashed lentils dip it all in a sauce and eat it all together.