Wednesday, November 12, 2008
An Ethiopian Feast: Injera and Lentils
Ben and I were able to go out to an Ethiopian Restaurant in East Lansing recently. The place is called Altu's and the head cook is none other than Altu herself. The small restaurant was surprisingly busy as we took our place at a table that really looked more like a woven basket. We ordered the meat and vegetable feast for two, thinking that way we could try a bit of everything. The waitress let us know that the ground yellow peas were her personal favorite and the lima beans were a secret family recipe, so we were sure to include both and added in the lentils. Mummm, I like lentils. We ordered the lamb and the chicken for our meat selections and filled our own cups at the soda fountain in the middle of the dining room.
Soon authentic Ethiopian flat bread (injera) with a variety of legumes and meat spread out on top all cooked by an authentic Ethiopian woman arrived to our basket- table. The injera bread is make by fermenting a teff flour batter for several days and cooking it in a skillet(you can see it rolled up on the side of the platter. It can best be described as a spongy sourdough pancake. I is not only used to line the plate, but as utensils as well. We broke off pieces of the bread and picked up a bit of meat or vegetable with it and dropped it in our mouths.
We really enjoyed our first Ethiopian food experience. Lots of new flavors, although we didn't order any of the spicy options and I think that it may have been more authentic with the spicy spices! Maybe next time. Hope you enjoy the photos of our food- fest... we sure enjoyed eating it.