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Cooking Around the World: Eritrea

Tonight we headed to Eritrea for dinner in our Cooking Around the World Adventure. Eri - where? Eritrea.

Eritrea, roughly the size of Indiana, was formerly the northernmost province of Ethiopia and was once an Italian Colony. The Italians named the colony after the Roman name for the Red Sea, Mare Erythraeum, controlling the area until World War II.

Eritrea is bordered by the Sudan on the north and west, the Red Sea on the north and east, and Ethiopia and Djibouti on the south.

  
This was probably one of the easier international meals I've made. And, surprisingly, Jake declared it in his top 5. When I asked what were the meals above it, he shrugged.  "I don't remember, but this is defnitely 'top 5'."

I served a traditional Eritrean recipe for a classic leavened flatbread flavored with garlic, cumin, and cardamom: Hembesha.



1 1/2 C warm water
1 T active, dry yeast
1 T organic granulated sugar
4 C white whole wheat flour (I have no idea what kind of flour is traditionally used)
1 T pink Himalaya salt
1/4 C olive oil
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground cardamom
1 T minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Place the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Let it bloom for 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, garlic, and spices. Knead well for 5 mins. Put dough ball back in bowl, drizzle with oil, cover with a towel, and let rise for an hour. Punch the dough down.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough into half press it out into rounds, on an ungreased baking stone, about an 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 20 to 25 mins.

I served that with: D'Nish Zigni
 
olive oil
1 t ground paprika*
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cardamom
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium potatoes, cubed
1 C tomato sauce
1 tbsp salt
1 C chicken stock

Fry the onions in oil for 5 minutes then add the spices and potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes before adding the tomato paste, season to taste and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

* These ground spices, along with fenugreek and all-spice, make up a commonly used blend called berbere spice. I didn't have the fenugreek or all-spice, so I used what I had. This was fragrant and fabulous as is. I'll have to give it a try with all the spices soon!

This global table ambassador is signing off for now. We're headed to Estonia next.

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