I truly adore Ethiopian food so I needed no persuasion when Matthew suggested having some at the weekend. I was doubly excited because I had a new ingredient to try – shiro.
I’d first heard of this when I got the incredible must have Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food but had never been able to find any, even online. I’d even looked for recipes to make it myself but had never got round to making it. In an Ethiopian restaurant in London recently (where I bought my injera, but more on that later), I spotted bags of a dark powder for sale at the till. Hardly daring to believe my luck I asked what it was, and yes it was the elusive shiro powder! I snatched it up and hid it in the depths of my bag as I didn’t want to answer too many questions about why I was taking a bag of powder into a football match…
Anyway, I also buy a few injera there and stash them in the freezer. I have made them, and the biggest success I had is with a cheater version which didn’t make into Vegan Eats World (the one in there isn’t the same) but the mice keep eating my precious teff flour, so I’m grateful for another speedier option.
The four dishes you see on the injera are: Kik Alicha (yellow split pea stew) from Papa Tofu, Ye’abesha Gomen (greens) from Papa Tofu, Shiro (as above) from Papa Tofu, and the Seitan Tibs from Vegan Eats World, but made using the Niter Kibbeh (spiced vegan butter) from Papa Tofu because it’s one of my favourite things in the world. I’ve made a reasonable amount of Ethiopian food but this was my favourite combination so far. I used a very spicy berbere (spice blend) in the seitan, and that worked perfectly with the creamy split peas and intensely buttery silky shiro.