Injera

Ethiopian food is experiencing a swell of popularity in the United States, as explained in this Washington Post story.

You know times are achangin’ when the staple grain of Ethiopian cuisine is flourishing in the fields of Idaho.

injera
Ethiopian meal with stews served on injera

Rather than import the grain teff that makes the flatbread injera – literally the foundation of an Ethiopian meal – a bustling little $12 million industry has emerged in the US farming heartland.

In cities like Washington DC where Ethiopians have been migrating for nearly 50 years, there is now a significant number of Ethiopian restaurants serving indigenous and curious mainstream eaters this ancient cuisine.

The flatbread injera is spongy and slightly tangy. It makes a dramatic base when brought to the table in a 70cm round on to which pottles of different meat and vegetarian stews (wat) are upturned. Diners can tear in with their hands. Sometimes edge strips will be cut off and rolled up Swiss roll-style to be served in a basket alongside the meal.

(Thanks to Caleb Sconosciuto for the above photo).

Where to eat injera in Auckland

Sadly there are no Ethiopian restaurants in the city yet, but there is a small Ethiopian population, so surely it’s just a matter of time? Ethiopian food is normally served at the annual Auckland International Cultural Festival in Mt Roskill. Bookmark that one for next March …

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Alessandra says:

    I had an Eritrean friend in Milan who made it every time we went to her house for dinner, with lentils for me since I am a vegetarian. I never thought of looking for an Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant here, I don’t think that there are enough people to have one, we need to get more refugees in for sure, we are well below world standard in accepting refugees and we could have so many more cool restaurants!!

    Ciao for now, and I look forward to meeting you at the NZFBA conference.

    Alessandra

    1. Claire says:

      Hi Alessandra, lucky you enjoying home-cooked Eritrean dinners – in Milan too, nice! When I’ve eaten at Ethiopian restaurants in London the coffee was always a highlight as well, quite the ceremony. The Auckland dining scene would be a much less interesting place if it weren’t for the waves of immigrants and refugees. Really looking forward to meeting you too. Claire

  2. JC says:

    Good news guys, an Ethiopian Cafe has just opened in Stoddard Road Mt Roskill. My Ethiopian and Eritrean friends have given it the thumbs up so must be good. Haven’t tried it myself yet but will be getting along there soon to support them and enjoy the yummy food.Open for lunch and dinner:
    Cafe Abyssinia 6/190 Stoddard Rd ph 6205599

    1. Claire says:

      Thanks for the tip… We will get along there to sample their cooking too. Just the kind of diversity the Auckland dining scene needs!

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