FOOD DIARY: Saturday, February 16th Evening in Ethiopia

Last night was supposed to be the second night of our diet but when you have an invitation to your favourite restaurant then the diet can be postponed one day.

The restaurant, as I wrote, is my favourite in Perth.  It is a small place tucked away in Hammy Hill and it is called The Abyssinian Artifact Cafe.  We have eaten there maybe six times in the recent past and last night, our old and dear friends, Lyn and Jim invited us to share a meal and sharing a meal is what Ethiopian dining is all about.  We began the meal with two dips and a plate of four sambussa (like Indian samossas).

The four of us was served a platter with a large (about 50 centimeters) round of injera a thin sourdough bread made of fermented teff flour.  On this injera are placed the contents of four small bowls filled with various vegetarian foods and in the middle a larger mound of an Ethiopian lamb curry, for want of an Ethiopian word.

The Ethiopians never use utensils; rather, they tear off pieces of the injera and wrap it around the desired food.  It is an endearing way to eat and is perfect for the type of food served.  Obviously the last part of the meal consists of eating the now delicious injera upon which all of the dishes have been resting but until then each person is given a serve of injera with which to begin the meal.  I have found that I always need another serve of bread in order to finish the meal.

I have never seen any desserts served but towards the end of the meal a Coffee Ceremony is held which is very traditional in Ethiopian meals.  The green coffee beans are roasted before the guests, then ground immediately and these freshly ground beans are brewed.  The result is coffee about as good as I have ever had and it is served with no whitener in small espresso handle less cups.

As a beverage we had a bottle of champs.

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