Tuesday, May 15, 2012

THE INJERA PANCAKE RECIPE- THE BREAD OF ETHIOPIA. THE CUISINE OF EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA.


THE CUISINE OF EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA.
INJERA  PANCAKE RECIPE- THE BREAD OF ETHIOPIA.

I have done this kind of post before- something from the ancient culinary, like  those of the Romans. Now I will cover on the Africans in an interesting 4 part series.

African cuisine is a generalized term collectively referring to the cuisines of Africa. Africa is the second largest landmass continent on Earth, and is home to hundreds of different cultural and ethnic groups. This diversity is also reflected in the many local culinary traditions in terms of choice of ingredients, style of preparation and cooking techniques.
The continent's many populations: Central Africa, East, North and South and the Horn of Africa each have their own distinctive dishes, eating and drinking habits.

THIS POST IS PART 1 OF A FOUR PART SERIES-

PART 1-   CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICAN COOKING
PART 2-   link here  
PART 3-   link here

Central African cooking has remained mostly traditional.

The basic ingredients are plantains and cassava. Fufu- like starchy foods (from fermented cassava roots) are served with grilled meat and sauces. Another favorite is Bambara, a porridge of rice, peanut butter and sugar. Beef and chicken are favorite meat dishes. Game meat preparations containing crocodile, monkey, antelope and warthog are also served occasionally.

East African cooking
The cuisine of East Africa varies on areas. In the inland savannah, the sheep, goat and cattle-rearing traditional people regard their animals, as a store of  wealth, to be sold and are not normally eaten. In some areas, traditional people consume the milk and blood of cattle, but rarely the meat.

Elsewhere, are grains and vegetables. Maize (corn) is the basis of Ugali, the East African version of West Africa's Fufu. Ugali is a starch dish eaten with meats or stews. In Uganda, steamed, green bananas, called matoke provide the starch filler of many meals.

Around 1000 years ago, the Arab settlers on coastal areas of East Africa, brought in Arabic influences, as reflected in the Swahili cuisine – steamed cooked rice with spices in Persian style and pomegranate juice.
Several centuries later, the British and the Indians came and brought
with them their foods, like Indian curries, lentil soups, chapattis and pickles. The Portuguese introduced  roasting and marinating.

Somalia cuisine, mostly halal, varies regionally and consists of an exotic mixture of culinary influences. Due to Somali's rich trade, basmati rice and spices are  popular.
Xalwo or halva is a popular confection, made from sugar, cornstarch, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and ghee. Peanuts may be added to enhance texture and flavor.
After meals, homes are traditionally perfumed using incense. Amazing !!

The best known Ethiopian cuisine consists of various vegetables or meat side dishes and entrées, usually a Wat or thick stew, served atop Injera, a large sourdough flatbread made of teff flour.
RECIPE
INJERA PANCAKE-the bread of Ethiopia
Yield: 5 9-inch pancakes
Combine: 
1 cup BUCKWHEAT PANCAKE MIX
1 cup BISCUIT MIX
1 EGG
Add: 1 Tbs. OIL
1 1/2- 2 cups WATER to obtain an easy pouring consistency.
Bring a 10-inch skillet or a handled griddle pan to medium heat- not too hot please.
Spread 1/2 tsp. oil over the pan with a brush.
Fill a measuring cup (with spout) or a large cream pitcher with batter.
Pour the mixture on the hot pan or griddle in a thin stream starting from the outside and going in circles to the center from left to right. As soon as it bubbles uniformly all over remove from heat. Pancakes should be 9 inches in diameter.
Place the pan in an oven at 325' for about 1 minute until the top is dry but not brown.
Arrange the five pancakes overlapping each other so as to completely cover a fifteen-inch tray, thus forming the Injera  (like a ) "tablecloth."
The Tef batter is saved from an earlier baking and added to the new batter to give it a sourdough quality.
Tef is not available here, combining buckwheat flour mix and biscuit mix, produces the closest substitute. When using buckwheat Injera; the stews should be thick enough so that they do not soak through the pancake.

How a Dinner is Served in Ethiopia

Reading on, I am attracted to the way dinner is served in Ethiopia.

This ancient country, where the Queen of Sheba once ruled, is called The land of thirteen months of sunshine, (the Ethiopian calendar has 12 months of 30 days and an extra month of five days called Pagume) 

The open-air market of Addis Ababa is the largest in all of Africa. It stretches for miles. Everything, from clothing, household wares to foodies. Women sit on the ground with tiny scales to measure spices for the Wat-the stews cooked in every home. Grains, called Tef, in huge bags are ready for the housewives who make Injera--the unleavened bread prepared today as it was a thousand years ago.

A meal in Ethiopia is an experience. When you have dinner in an Ethiopian home or restaurant, you eat the tablecloth!
Provide forks for the uninitiated who may give up before they learn to eat in the traditional way of using hands.

One or two of the guests are seated on a low comfortable divan . A handmade  table, called  “mesab” which has a dome cover, is set before them. The other guests are then seated round the table on stools about eight inches high, covered with monkey fur.

A tall, stunning woman with characteristically high cheekbones and soft skin, dressed in a shama, carries a long-spouted copper pitcher in her right hand, a copper basin in her left hand, and a towel over her left arm.
She pours warm water over the fingers of your right hand, holding the basin to catch the excess, and you wipe your hands on the towel that hangs over her arm.

The mesab is taken out of the room . It is then returned shortly, now covered with the dome. She removes the dome and the table is covered with what looks like a gray cloth overlapping the edge of a huge tray. But it is not a "tablecloth" at all. It is the Injera, the sourdough pancake- the bread of Ethiopia !!!

Food is brought in and apportioned out onto the "tablecloth!"(injera)-  such as lamb wat, chicken wat, cheese, yogurt, herbs.
Also Kitfo- a ground raw beef as dessert.

The entire Injera is covered with wat stews, etc., you tear off a piece about two or three inches square and use this to "roll" the food in-the same way you would roll a huge cigarette.
Then just swoop it up and pop it into your mouth. Your host might "pop" the first little "roll" in your mouth for you.

No other dessert is served. Coffee comes in on a tray in tiny Japanese cups served black with sugar.
Dinner is concluded with hand-washing again and incense is burned.
Some costumes of Ethiopia, modeled by happy japanese..
Look at his afro hairstyle..ha ha .l like these guys
sources- wikipedia and other sources
http://homepage3.nifty.com/mocha-ethiopia-dance/tradituonalcostum.htm  

41 comments:

  1. How nice! It's very interesting to learn more about a country and its traditions and cooking recipes. I will try the Ethiopian Bread, it sounds delicious!
    Thanks Wan.

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  2. Thanks for sharing all the info.
    I have lived in west Africa and we used to make fufu at home with palm oil chicken...awesome dish.

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    Replies
    1. hi shobha, o ya? i have never eaten fufu before. happy weekend

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  3. I enjoyed reading this post, it was very interesting.
    I recently have been reading about cape malay in south Africa. Java peoples were brought there by the Dutch in the 17th century and brought their curries with them. I imagine one could study African culture for years and years and not see it all.
    Thank You for sharing this post.

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    Replies
    1. thanks a lot anthony, happy weekend, i like this post too

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  4. In some parts of India food is still eaten with hands, I mean like using fingers to eat rice. But the Ethiopian tradition is really unique. It was interesting to learn about this table cloth Ethiopian bread.

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    Replies
    1. hi balvinder, we in malaysia too, do eat using our hands sometimes. happy weekend

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  5. Another good lesson about regional food...Thanks Wan!

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    Replies
    1. hi jasna. many thanks. CONGRATS on achieving your # 100,000 visitors..well done, great way you celebrate with coconut and lemon cake and with your first time try at that very beautiful rose marsh mellow fondant. i am soooooooo happy for you my friend. happy weekend.

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  6. Lovely tour to Ethiopia,Enjoyed..Nice pancake recipe too!

    Join me(Erivum Puliyum)
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    Replies
    1. hi julie, glad you like ethiopia foood culture. happy weekend

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  7. What a great post. I've been curious about Ethiopian food ever since The Simpsons made a food-centric episode.

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    Replies
    1. hi yummy chunklet- yes, the simpsons, hubby always got bullied. heh heh. happy weekend

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  8. Very interesting post Wan!:)I enjoyed reading and knowing about the table cloth Ethiopian bread! And pancake, wow!:)

    Waiting for the other part of African cuisine to read and learn more from it!:) Thanks a lot Wan!:) Muaaahhhhhh..:)

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    Replies
    1. hi linda,thats ethiopian culture, why dont you try.............. hugs always, happy weekend dear

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  9. I enjoyed reading it Wan and knowing more of Ethiopian culture..it is my first time to read on their food delicacies..thank you for sharing Wan..visiting you ;)

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    Replies
    1. hi sie, thanks sie, i know a poet at heart will also,love culture. happy weekend

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  10. Hi Wan, wow! I may eat to live, not live to eat, but reading, seeing your pics here might change that. You sure know your stuff about these East and Central African foods.
    We have many African friends here, as well from the Caribbean and love the way they cook, often eating their plantain.
    I love their dressing too, often look like Batik.

    Wan, the way you describe the foods, preparations and protocol sure enlightens me. Really interesting to note if different cultures and their ways.
    I will take note next time I get a dinner invitation to an East, Central African friend's home.
    Thank you Wan, for the lifebelt, ha ha.
    Keep a song in your heart.
    Lee.

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    1. hi Lee, thanks you for your comments and visit, we also have a lot of african students here, but i dont know any, nor try their foodies. Never seen an african restaurant either. apart from egyptian, moroccan. Their clothings are colorful,i have sen many pretty faces here. have a nice day.

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  11. Replies
    1. hi akila, thank you for being here. yes, amazing. have a nice day

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  12. Oh! This reminds me so much to my assignment during my studies where I have to do a bit research to South African cuisine. It was interesting. And your post certainly add in a few more information I have not know before. Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. hi nash, you are most welcome.. have a happy weeekend

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  13. nice post and the platter looks delicious

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  14. informative post....the bread looks great !!!

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    1. hi sonali, yes and i gotta get used to the name "bread" happy weekend to you.

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  15. wow...very interesting tour to Ethiopia..their way of serving food sounds amazing...great post dear..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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    Replies
    1. hi jay, thanks dear for coming. wow that lady is really interested in your recipe, i feel so happy and proud of you. happy weekend

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  16. It is so interesting when we read about the cultures practiced by others, each their own with hidden messages tht go together with each step and preparation.

    TQ for this fantastic read.

    Cheers

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    Replies
    1. hi katrina, guess you are also very culture oriented. i love culture and the history of it... wish i can come up with more and more interesting findings to blog. happy weekend

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  17. first time read this dish
    looks tasty

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    Replies
    1. hi sm, happy weekend. that SRK is such a person of NO character..

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  18. I have heard of the cassava and the bread from my foreign students from Africa and seeing the pics, they look very nice. My taste is all about nasi and bread will make my other half happy. Seems like a thin chappati paired with the rest of the goodies. Nice to see you featuring food from other parts of the world esp from Africa.

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    Replies
    1. hi nava, thanks, you are the only one i know, who refers your hubby by the name ' your other half" :) - not the first time i heard this romantic term from you. happy weekend

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  19. So glad you'd shared this interesting cuisine to us! Thanks so much for your sweet comment posted on my space!

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    Replies
    1. hi treat and trick thanks for your visit, my comment to you is genuine. happy weekend dera

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  20. Replies
    1. hi john, thanks for your comment and happy weekend

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  21. Every man ought to be inquisitive through every hour of his great adventure down to the day when he shall no longer cast a shadow in the sun. For if he dies without a question in his heart, what excuse is there for his continuance?
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