I did warn you.
This is an easy one. Like, surprisingly easy, assuming you live in the right kind of neighbourhood, which I do. Otherwise I imagine it's a pain in the ass.
Ethiopian is pretty much my favourite overall cuisine but, unlike my other favourite foods, it tends to be one I'm afraid of making, largely because the one time I tried it came out gross. This avoidance is enabled by the fact that there is a really excellent Ethiopian place across the street from me and several others within stumbling distance, so why bother doing it myself?
Because I can
, that's why. And also because no one at work will go out for Ethiopian food for lunch with me and while this is a stupid thing to bring to lunch when you tend to eat at your desk and not always have access to a sink, I'm clearly going to do it anyway.
So I was walking home, past one of the many little convenience stores along my route, when I thought, "wait a sec, I wonder if I can get berbere here?" It looked like the kind of convenience store where they don't sell anything other than $5 deodorant and energy drinks, but inside, lo and behold, there before me was a whole rack of unlabelled spices, facing another rack of exciting obscure flours and lentils. Shyly, I asked, "do you have berbere?"
The two women working there looked at me like I was a particularly entertaining cat video. "You know what berbere is?" one asked. "You like
I nodded. She handed me a massive fucking container of berbere. "Be careful with it," she advised me. "It's spicy. Start with two teaspoons."
I promised I'd be careful. I was not planning to be careful. Deciding that this was a magical convenience store, I asked if they also had injera. She handed me a massive fucking package of injera. The two women then proceeded to question me on my experience with making Ethiopian food (none) and what I liked (all of it) and both of them gave me tips. Which amounted to fry onions, put in spices, fill with delicious things, and nuke the injera for about a minute.
Anyway I made d'ba zigni and it came out amazingly:The recipe is here.
I followed it pretty exactly except that I used canned pumpkin (I know
) and tomato sauce rather than puréeing tomatoes because I was lazy and didn't want to go out again. I also tasted it about halfway through and decided that it needed more berbere, because I am not a careful person.
Verdict: Do it my way and it takes far less time than it says in the recipe (we're talking like 10-15 minutes), and basically tastes like the d'ba zigni I've had at restaurants.
I meant to take a taste and I ended up shovelling massive amounts of it into my mouth. Oops. This was not supposed to be for dinner tonight. Fortunately it makes a not-miniscule quantity—I guess to go along with the ridiculous amount of injera I now have in my fridge. I might make some misir wat to go along with it this weekend because apparently that is pretty easy too.