What Ethiopians Drink and Eat

Sure, the rest of the world has a not-so-clear idea about where Ethiopia is or what’s so special about it. But once you’ve been here, it’s really hard to get it out of your system.  The hospitality and unique complexion of the people, the variety of the culture, the list can just keep on growing. But one thing is for sure, Ethiopians have a very tasty and distinctive cuisine. Check out a few below.

Injera: Injera is the most basic part of every meal. This vegan, gluten-free spongy flat bread made from teff grain is used to eat any and every type of stew in Ethiopia.






Shiro: With chickpea and broad bean flour as the main ingredients, Shiro is probably the most common meal to be enjoyed by all. Shiro can be a soupy thin stew or thick glob like dish, both of which present a different and unique taste.


Doro wet (Ethiopian chicken stew): If there is one dish Ethiopians are very passionate about, it is doro wet. This dish is a holiday must-have amongst Ethiopian households. This hot, spicy stew makes use of every bit of the chicken and whole boiled eggs, guaranteeing your taste buds a work day ahead of them.


Kitfo: A dish made from minced beef, it’s a favorite of most locals and some foreigners (similar to beef taratar). It can be ordered raw (tire), medium-rare (leb leb), or well-done (yebesele). It is usually served with local cheese, a ‘False Banana’ flatbread called Kocho and cabbage (locally known us Gomen). Many Ethiopians will have it raw, with a side of local hot-sauce.


Beyaynetu: Directly translated as “variety”, this dish is popular during fasting period of Orthodox Christians. It is made of samples of the very popular vegetarian dishes in one serving plate.


 Tej (Honey-wine): Tej, special wine made from fermented organic honey has a long history in the Ethiopian culture. It is believed to be the drink used for the toast between King Solomon and Queen Sheba. With a sweet taste and high alocoholic content, it is a favorite drink of locals, particulalry in the evenings, weekends or holidays.


Tella: Beer brewed at home with 2-5% alcoholic content is a holiday special in Ethiopian Households. The popularity of Tella is also evident from the special Tella shops (Tella bet) around town. Traditional Tella bet is usually advertised by a small tin can placed on top of vertical stick.

Buna (Coffee): It is no secret to the world that Ethiopia gave birth to Coffee. Ethiopian coffee, compared to coffee from other parts of the world, has a rich aroma. It is enjoyed by households with a trademark ceremony, a comprehensive process that includes roasting, grinding, brewing and drinking it. In addition to the coffee preparation process, the ceremony includes burning incense, a clay coffee pot (jebena), coffee cup (sini). The ceremony is just as pleasant as the coffee itself.  Coffee shops, both traditional and modern, can be found all over Addis in convenient locations.


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