Sunday, April 20, 2014

HORN WEEK: Happy Ethiopian Easter

Lots of food. Half eaten by the time I arrived.
Today is Ethiopian Easter 2014. I wanted to republish this post I wrote on Ethiopian Easter two years ago.

Originally published April 18, 2012

This past Sunday was Ethiopian Easter.  As I already mentioned yesterday, Washington D.C. has a huge Ethiopian population. So in general the whole holiday was felt throughout the city.

You must be thinking, "but Easter has already passed!"

It has by Western church standards. Time Magazine has a great description of Ethiopian New Year:
"Ethiopian Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter anywhere from a week to two weeks after the western Church (sometimes, they occur at the same time, due to the vagaries of the Eastern Orthodox calendar, which Ethiopians follows). Fasika (Easter) follows eight weeks of fasting from meat and dairy. On Easter Eve, Ethiopian Christians participate in an hours-long church service that ends around 3 a.m., after which they break their fast and celebrate the risen Christ"

One of my very good friends, Eden, invited me over to break fast with her family for dinner that evening. When her aunt heard I would be coming over she said,

"Be prepared to enjoy an authentic Ethiopian meal."

I was psyched!
spicy (doro wet) and non-spicy (alicha doro wet) versions of the same chicken dish. I took the spicy version...and an egg
the spread...the Injera in being attacked!
 My cab took forever to get there so by the time I arrived, they'd already began to eat. And plus I was really hungry, so the pics are minimum. The food was so delicious, I was left in a food comma

 There were so many tasty dishes to try along with the injera which is the basic starch in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. There were spicy and non-spicy versions of different meat dishes. The non-spicy ones excluded the very Ethiopian "berbere spice" which is the basis of much of their cooking.

This is what we ate:

Spicy chicken: doro wet/wot

Mild chicken : alicha doro wet
Minced beef (raw): kitfo
Cottage cheese: ayib
Meat/beef dish: sega wet
lasagna + salad
Mild meat with injera mixed in it: alecha
Ethiopian bread: dabo
Grilled meat: zilzil tibs
Spicy sauce to accompany grilled meat: awaze
sega wet- spicy beef dish
The lasagna indicates the very Italian influences found in that region of the world. It is not a surprise to find many Italian influences also with Somali and especially Eritrean food.
lasagna in the background there
I also was able to try some Ethiopian bread (dabo) which is pictured above. You can also see the spicy sauce, awaze, that accompanies the grilled meat zilzil tibs.  Next to the sauce is a kitfo, a minced beef dish that is raw! I tried a little. Delicious but an acquired taste! (They were impressed I tried it though)!

The family also had home-made cottage cheese, ayib. also a popular Ethiopian dish that was extremely fresh. The best I've ever had and I am not even the cottage cheese type. I must get the recipe from Eden's aunt!
this cottage cheese, ayib, was to die for I tell you!

We ended the evening with five types of dessert (non-ethiopian) and some great Ethiopian coffee.
dessert on the right
coffee on the stove

With Ethiopian music in the background and amharic in the foreground, I sat and enjoyed dinner with three generations of family and it was a beautiful sight. So far from Ethiopia, yet still so close. I chose not to share pictures of the family for their privacy.

More pics below:

1 comment:

manga mboa said...

Happy Easter to them and God Bless this beautiful family; you are so lucky to be part of it; Evrything look sooo delicious; I will have a coma to if i had to eat all this delicatessen!

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