I love cooking, especially when it comes to other ethnic foods. My shelf of cookbooks is full of recipes for dishes that are Korean, Thai, Chinese, Mediterranean, Japanese, Indian, etc.
Last night I stopped by one of the few remaining authentic Asian grocery stores to get some fresh produce for a stir fry. Oyster mushrooms, fresh bamboo shoots, home made firm tofu, garlic, water chestnuts, (canned) baby corn, garlic, ginger, young bean sprouts and snow peas. Yummy.
Yet… there is one type of ethnic cooking that has so far eluded my mad skills: Ethiopian.
I gained a love of Ethiopian food from a guy I dated about a year ago. Yet I can’t eat the Injera that most restaurants serve with the food because, to cut costs, many places add regular flour to the teff flour. Urg. Injera is spongy flat bread with kind of a sour/bitter flavor to it. Injera is served on a platter with the food on top of it. People scoop up and eat their food by hand using injera.
So I recently bought some teff flour from the Takoma Park food cooperative and tried to make it at home. Apparently I let the teff/water mixture ferment a day or two more than I should have and I may have added too much water. I felt like a totally incompetent cook.
Then, while riding the bus home from DC the other day I happened to get into a conversation with a couple of Ethiopian women and I mentioned my cooking woes.
They laughed at me. Not because I had flubbed up such an easy food but because I had even tried. They said it is so difficult to make that they don’t even try to make it at home.
I am still undaunted by this news, however, and I fully intend to give it another go, that is, as soon as I can get my hands on some good quality, fresh ground beef for a recipe that calls for it to be eaten raw with spices and injera.