The Story Behind the Ethiopian Veggie Combo

During the interview with Naomi Tomky, Kaffa Coffee not only presented a Coffee Ceremony, they also served the Veggie Combo.  While organic meat aplenty is offered, traditional Ethiopia is a more impoverished country than the United States.   Therefore, many of the nationals eat much more vegetables than meat.  The next item up from tasty veggies is lamb, the beef and chicken, with beef being more prevalent, typically eaten raw after slaughtering the cow.

Meat as an everyday item tends to be restricted to the wealthier regions, and with Ethiopia incorporating non-GMO agriculture, tends to be healthier than the United State's counterpart.  However, the majority of dishes are vegetarian, with Injera.  Get ready to browse through a few of the traditions and typical recipes found in the Vegetarian Combo (which is actually more of a Vegan Dish).  When reference is made to Berbere, Milen uses her own special recipes, since berbere can be a combination of up to 16 spices.

Misir Wot*

This dish, along with Shiro, is considered the poor man's diet.  The dish starts out with onions, and then fat is added to the sauté process, usually the Ethiopian Clarified Butter.  Yellow split peas add to the broken down onions, and the dish can be prepared with chicken or without.  Milen uses split lentils, and does not add chicken.  It is quite delicious, especially with Injera.

Ater Kik*

This dish is also linked to Yellow Split Peas.  Kik is also in the Wot family of foods, the cooking process is very similar to Misir Wot.  Tumeric is used in place of onions, and specific spices are in addition. or in place, of berbere.  An excellent tasty addition that is also very healthy.

Tikil Gomen*

Along with Gomen, this vegan dish is definitely tops in flavor (Milen is tweaking the recipe).  Cabbage, a hardy vegetable grown around the world, combines with carrots and potatoes.  Some variations use either carrots or potatoes.  Kibe, the clarified butter, is used to braise the vegetables.  Spices such as garlic, tomato, ginger and jalapeno round out the taste for this very healthy dish.


The best tasting of the bunch, saved for last.  Another braised vegetable dish using organic spinach and/or collard greens.  Onion replaces tomatoes in the spice mix, quite scoopable with Injera.  The serving is healthy, and the complete combo is more than filling, consider taking some home with you.

PS. Kaffa Coffee and Wine Bar sells Injera to go.  $4 for 5, $8 for 10.  Please call in advance for an order of more than five Injera.

PPS, Round out your Vegan experience with an addition of the Shiro Tegabino.  A review of the complete vegan experience will be coming soon.

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Published 10/23/2015

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