Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Doro Wat - The Spices

My Doro Wat called for some spices - berbere, azmud, and kibe. Ironically enough, I had just used up all of my berbere, azmud, and kibe last week! Well, okay, that's not totally true. My pantry has never seen spices with names like these. The most adventurous my pantry gets is cumin.

I knew these spices wouldn't be available at the nearby big-box grocery store, so I made my way to the computer, boldly sat down in front of the glowing screen and typed in "Ethiopian Grocery Stores - Minneapolis."

The results surprised me - there was an African grocery store just blocks from my house. How did I miss this? It wasn't an Ethiopian grocery store, though, so I wondered if it would carry the specific spices I needed. Then my eyes came across "Shabelle Grocery and Restaurant: Ethiopian and East African Foods, Fresh Spices & Meats, Grocery and Restaurant." Perfect.

I soon made my way to the quaint shop on Franklin in Minneapolis. As I walked toward the front door of the store, Ethiopian faces smiled at me, greeted me, held the door for me. This new experience was turning out to be less overwhelming than I thought. And!

Once inside, I found the section I needed; however, some of the product labels had names that resembled my shopping list items, but weren't exactly the same. I wanted to make sure I got the right ingredients - after all, I had spent all this time cooking down the onions. I was not about to let my Wat go bad because of incorrect spices!

The store employee was so kind and he helped me out a great deal. Here's what I purchased:

The red spice in the bag is the berbere. It's a mixture of all sorts of spices, and is hot like cayenne pepper.

The black spice is azmud, or black pepper. The recipe was clear that I was NOT to substitute American black pepper for this, and now I know why. Azmud is totally different than American pepper in smell, taste, and texture. My azmud came somewhat granular, so I had to crush it down to a powder, which you see below.

And finally, the butter spice with which to make Kibe, spiced butter. I had hoped to buy kibe already made, but it was just as easy to make it myself.

To make Kibe, melt down butter. I'm on it!

And then add one spoonful of spice. Check!

My final purchase was the tell-tale sign of Ethiopian food, Injera bread. It is used to grasp the main dish, kind of like a tortilla is used in authentic Mexican meals. You pull off a piece with your right hand, and use it to scoop up the stew or sauce. Yum!

Next time I'll show you the cooking Wat and the finished product!

1 comment:

  1. neat! the injera is nothing like i had pictured in my head. :)