Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *
I don’t exactly remember when I first tasted Ethiopian food, but I do remember two things: it was a long time ago and there was a great famine in Ethiopia at the time. It seemed ironic to me that the Ethiopian people were starving just when we (at least in New York) were suddenly becoming interested in Ethiopian cuisine. The restaurant was called The Blue Nile and was on West 77th Street. It was kind of dark and cave-like. You sat on very low stools and the food was served on a flat basket lined with the injera (bread/giant crepe with a consistency somewhere between a sponge and a crepe and a vaguely sour taste) with various foods on top of it – and no utensils. The injera was then torn and used to scoop up the food. It was a memorable experience.
I’ve eaten Ethiopian food many times since then (in fact I had it for lunch today) and I love the subtle and not so subtle flavors of the food. I also love the fact that injera is a gluten-free bread when made with teff flour as it is in Ethiopia. So though this is my first Ethiopian recipe here, you can be sure there will be more to follow.
Fosolia (fasolia), Ethiopian Green Beans and Carrots
Although I usually prefer my vegetables tender-crisp, this Ethiopian recipe cooks them until they are completely soft and all the vegetables have developed a delicious sweetness.
3 tablespoons olive, coconut, or palm oil
1 cup chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cups green beans, ends removed and halved
2 cups carrot sticks
1 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring, until softened.
Add the turmeric and stir until absorbed.
2. Add the green beans and carrot and sauté until softened.
3. Add the water and tomato paste, stir until combined. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or longer until the vegetables are very soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir the vegetables occasionally and add extra water if necessary. Add salt to taste.
Place in serving bowl.
Makes: 3 1/ 2 cups