cover image Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa

Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa

Yohanis Gebreyesus, with Jeff Koehler. Interlink, $35 (224p) ISBN 978-1-62371-963-0

Ethiopia-born Gebreyesus, who trained at the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon and hosts a cooking show in Addis Ababa, offers a primer on the food and culture of his native country. Thoughtfully, he provides two versions of an Ethiopian staple, the bubble-dotted teff-flour crepe injera—a traditional one that takes a week to ferment and a quick version ready in a day. He offers a discourse on niter kebbeh, spiced clarified butter that is “the central ingredient in the local cuisine,” and is infused with cardamom, coriander, and nigella seeds. Legumes are ground into flour that is cooked into a porridge or stewed with okra and then eaten with pinches of genfo, a giant cornmeal dumpling. Sidebars cover such topics as vegan “fasting meals” and kurt, a beef platter that highlights the meat of local breeds. Raw beef—a centuries-old tradition that came about when soldiers didn’t dare draw attention by lighting fires—appears with dipping sauces and tossed in spiced butter. Snacks include cubes of toasted barley flour and buttery green coffee beans. Not all the ingredients, such as besobela or the teff grain, are easy to access, but the recipes make for fascinating reading. Even the most well-traveled cook is likely to encounter something new in this informative volume. (Mar.)