Cooking in Ethiopia…

Cooking in Ethiopia (Photo: Emily O'Dell)

When I was in Ethiopia, I was very fortunate to be treated to a private cooking class to learn how to make
shiro — my favorite Ethiopian dish. Shiro is a tasty chickpea stew — I ate it every day that I was in Ethiopia (had to get my fix while I could). While traveling throughout Ethiopia, I ordered the “fasting” menu for lunch and dinner — a colorful medley of vegetarian delights for Ethiopian Christians abstaining from meat and fish on select days.

Stirring the shiro (Photo: Emily O'Dell)

To make this delectable shiro, we used onions, garlic, butter, berbere and chickpea flour. After our cooking session, it was very rewarding to sit down and taste my own shiro creation (and injera!)! Culinary tourism in Ethiopia isn’t yet a thing — but my tour operator knew how much I love the food there so he helped set up this unique experience for me. Unfortunately, many tourists who visit Ethiopia are afraid to taste the food and eat with their hands — a shame, since Ethiopian cuisine (in my humble opinion) is the best in the world. If you visit Ethiopia, be sure to make a meal out of it — try as many different dishes as you can, and if you’re lucky you might get to cook one too!

Best shiro in Addis Ababa (Photo: Emily O'Dell)

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