Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule, one exception being the Italian occupation of 1936-41. In 1974 a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in 1991. A constitution was adopted in 1994 and Ethiopia’s first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A two and a half year border war with Eritrea ended with a peace treaty on 12 December 2000. Final demarcation of the boundary is currently on hold due to Ethiopian objections to an international commission’s finding requiring it to surrender sensitive territory.
Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking “injera” and sharing food from a common plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. The traditional way of eating is with fingers. “Injera” is placed on the plate with variety of dishes decoratively arranged around it. A small portion of “Injera” is torn off and wrapped around a mouthful of the selected dish.
“Injera”, our staple bread, is a flat bread made of “Teff”, a fine grain unique to Ethiopia. “Wot” is dipping sauce which maybe prepared using a variety of meats, fish, and vegetables. “Wot” is cooked with “Berbere” (Ethiopian seasoning prepared from matured red chili pepper and other exotic spices) which may range from very mild to spicy hot. “Alitcha” is more mildly spiced dipping sauce prepared with a variety of meats or vegetables.
Ethiopian dishes are prepared with a distinctive variety of unique spices for an unforgettably striking dimension to exotic cookery. To help you make the best of choice for this truly different and exciting dinning experience we offer the following descriptions:
Berbere : A popular Ethiopian seasoning prepared from red chili peppers, garlic, & other spice. Berbere is sun-dried then mixed with more spices & used in wots.
Nitir Kibe : Another Ethiopian basic, Nitir Kibe is pure clarified butter seasoned with several condiments and used in traditional sauteing.
Kaey Wot : A lively sauce prepared with berbere, nitir kibe & meat, fish or legumes.
Alitcha : A delicately mild sauce made from meat, legumes or beans with garlic, ginger and Ird.
Mitmita : Bird’s eye red pepper spiced with cardamom & salt, usually served with Kitfo.