Ethiopian cuisine

Ethiopian cuisine characteristically consists of spicy vegetable and meat dishes, usually in the form of wat (also w'et or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrees and side dishes. Utensils are rarely used with Ethiopian cuisine. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church prescribes a number of fasting (tsom Ge'ez: ?om) periods, including Wednesdays, Fridays, and the entire Lenten season, so Ethiopian cuisine contains many dishes that are vegan (Amharic: ye-tsom ? ye-?om, Tigrinya: nay-tsom nay-?om). This has also led Ethiopian cooks to develop a rich array of cooking oil sources: besides sesame and safflower, Ethiopian cuisine also uses nug (also spelled noog, known also as niger seed). Ethiopian cuisine mostly consists of breads, stews (known as wat), grains, and spices. Typically, an Ethiopian meal consists of a combination of injera (flatbread) with different wats, yet each cultural group has their unique variation. A typical snack would be small pieces of baked bread called dabo kollo or local grains called kollo. Pasta is frequently available throughout Ethiopia, including rural areas. Coffee is also a large part o

Ethiopian culture/cuisine; after every meal a coffee ceremony is enacted and espresso coffee is drunk. Berbere, a combination of powdered chili pepper and other spices (somewhat analogous to Southwestern American chili powder), is an important ingredient used in many dishes. Also essential is niter kibbeh, a clarified butter infused with ginger, garlic, and several spices. Wat stews all begin with a large amount of chopped red onion, which is simmered or sauteed in a pot. Once the onions have softened, niter kebbeh (or, in the case of vegan dishes, vegetable oil) is added. Following this, berbere is added to make a spicy keiy (Amharic: ?ey, Tigrinya, Ge'ez: ? ?eyyi?; "red") wat, or may be omitted for a milder alicha wat or alecha wat (Amharic: ? alic?a). In the event that the berbere is particularly spicy, the cook may elect to add it before the kibbeh or oil so the berbere will cook longer and become milder. Meat such as beef (siga, Ge'ez: siga), chicken (Amharic: doro, Tigrinya: ? derho), fish (Amharic: asa), goat or lamb (Amharic: beg, Tigrinya ? beggi?) is added; legumes such as split peas (Amharic: kik, Tigrinya: kikki) or lentils (Amharic: ? misir, Tigrinya: birsin); or vegetables such as potato (dinich, Amharic: ? dinic, Tigrinya ? dinis), carrots and chard (Tigrinya: costa) are also used in wat.