How to Eat Ethiopian food?
The very first thing you need to know about Ethiopian food is something called lnjera. Injera is the staple and the most widely consumed starch / filler in all of Ethiopian cuisine; Most Ethiopians eat it Injera, twice, or even three times a day. It’s the foundation of Ethiopian food.
What is Injera?
Injera is made from a grain known as Teff, which is ground into flour, made into a batter, slightly fermented, and then fried on a heavy skillet into a giant circular pancake. The texture is soft and spongy and the flavor would be lightly sour for the first time.
When you go to an Ethiopian restaurant in Ethiopia, you order the dish, or mix of dishes that you would like, and Injera automatically comes with it – you don’t need to order it separately.
Food in Ethiopia is served on a platter known as a Gebeta, a large circular, usually metal platter. First, a circle of Injera is placed on the Gebeta, then the different stews, curries, or vegetables, that you have ordered are placed on top of the Injera. From a single dish to a mix of different dishes, everything is piled onto the plate of Injera.
Depending on the restaurant, you might also get some extra rolls of Injera if you need. To begin eating with first, or alternatively you can immediately begin tearing off pieces of Injera from the edges of the large main piece.
To begin eating, first tear off a bite sized piece of Injera with your right hand. Then use it to scoop up, and pick up a bite of your choice of whatever you have on your platter.
As you begin to eat your dishes, you can begin to eat the foundation piece of Injera at the bottom, and know that is the best part of the meal, because it’s had time to soak up all the wonderful flavors of the dishes.
No utensils are needed, you eat with your hands, and make sure that you catch your Injera with your 5 fingers before taking part of the stew, while sharing a single platter of food with everyone