Though it’s been more than three years since I was cruising winding my way through Ethiopia and following the Nile River, exploring the ancient ruins of Lalibela and searching for the remains of Haile Selassie’s Lions and the tomb or memorial of Bob Marley.
Though the donkey dealer I whom I tried to purchase one of his finest specimens, strongly talked me out of it by reasoning that the Sudanese border and customs officers wouldn’t let me into their country with an Ethiopian donkey. To be sure, I wanted to try.
Though I never found out if I could’ve brought my new donkey into Sudan, I did have incredible experiences and discoveries while traveling through Ethiopia. As I’ve been deep into the production and writing of my new book, this evening I had the urge to cook Ethiopian food. So I pulled out my recipe of zizil alecha, a somewhat spicy dish (well, this is Ethiopian after all) of prime beef simmered in a green pepper sauce. So easy it is to prepare and so tasty it is on my palate, the only, and slightly, disappointment is that her in the USA we cannot, without great effort, grow injera, the almost spongy bread like meal accompaniment that the Ethiopians make from the grain “teff”. It’s ubiquitous in Ethiopia, yet so rare to find outside this part of Africa. I guess some combo of rice and flatbread will suffice as a poor substitute.
The flavors are complex, the spice tamed and the beef tender and rich. You need to try cooking this! Alas, while you can find recipes online, I’m confident, you should wait for the Tasting Adventure cookbook, as we’ve taken it up a notch and combined the recipe with more stories of donkeys and injera from Ethiopia and great photographs from my journey.
Meanwhile, enjoy a few snaps from my culinary crusade and adventure into Ethi0pia this evening.