All About Abyssinian Food

Forget trendy ‘sharing plates’; if you really want to get involved around the table then an Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurant is the way to go. The food is served on a giant flat bread called injera, which everyone tears into and uses to scoop up mouthfuls of the various dishes on top.

Abyssinian food characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. You should really consider eating at one today!


A typical dish consists of injera accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes beef, lamb, vegetables and various types of legumes, such as lentils. Gurage cuisine also makes use of the false banana plant , a type of ensete. The plant is pulverized and fermented to make a bread-like food called qocho or kocho, which is eaten with kitfo. The root of this plant may be powdered and prepared as a hot drink called bulla , which is often given to those who are tired or ill. Another typical Gurage preparation is coffee with butter (kebbeh). Kita herb bread is also baked.

The injera is particularly good, nice and sour, just as it is in Ethiopia.

The spicing is exceptional and these wings are smothered in a thick paste which is addictive, flavoured heavily with berbere.


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Typical Ethiopian snacks are Dabo Kolo (small pieces of baked bread that are similar to pretzels) or kolo (roasted barley sometimes mixed with other local grains). Kolo made from roasted and spiced barley, sunflower kernels, chickpeas and/or peanuts are often sold by kiosks and street venders wrapped in a paper cone. Snacking on popcorn is also common.

gursha (var. gorshagoorsha) is an act of friendship and love. When eating injera, a person uses his or her right hand to strip off a piece, wraps it around some wat or kitfo, and then puts it into his or her mouth. During a meal with friends or family, it is a common custom to feed others in the group with one’s hand by putting the rolled injera or a spoon full of other dishes into another’s mouth