It’s time to decide on another African nation for one of the final thirty-two places in The World Cup of Food. This week, our match pits the cuisines of Egypt and Ethiopia against each other. Which do we think is better?
Wat (or alternately, wot) is an Ethiopian stew spiced with the ridiculously hot spice mixture berbere (recipe follows that of doro wat) and cooked in a copious amount of niter kibbeh, Ethiopian clarified butter. The chicken version, doro wat (recipe follows) is probably the most popular, though lamb, beef, or even vegetarian versions are common.
Leafy greens are an essential part of the Ethiopian diet. Gomen (recipe follows), collard greens stewed until tender and spiced with niter kibbeh (Ethiopian clarified butter), are perhaps Ethiopia’s favorite vegetable dish.
Niter kibbeh (recipe follows) is a staple of the Ethiopian kitchen. Clarified butter slowly simmered with fenugreek, cardamom, or nigella seeds forms the base for nearly all Ethiopian stews.
Ethiopian cuisine has a very different feel than those of other parts of Africa. Ethiopia is one of the few areas of Africa never to have been colonized by any European power, and while European influences exist within its borders, Ethiopian cuisine has held on to its own native traditions very strongly.