Wednesday, January 30, 2019

“Let’s eat, Enebla, My Favorite Ethiopian Recipes,” is one of my favorite Ethiopian cookbooks.  Unique in today’s “303 Best recipe”-genre massolithic cookscape, Enebla is short, sweet, artistically laid out and contains cooking wisdom gems. The up-and-down vertical shape alone bespeaks a certain “IDGAF” with respect to normalizing processes, as this could by no means be called a “standard format.” At 21 recipes it packs wallop but doesn’t overwhelm with redundancy (as many modern tomes either cover too much ground “the whole kitchen sink” or reiterate versions of the same recipe ad infinitum). The recipes span basics like gomen and shuro wat as well as classics like spiced beef and less well known to Westerners staples such as Ambush spiced bread and Duro chicken bread. Mekelesha powder is featured frequently as is pine cone or temeze. There is a nice section on hand washing and coffee rituals and apparently the author Sari Nordberg-Tafassa has lived in Ethiopia since 1976 and married an Ethiopian gentleman. She has authored several children’s boooks (illustrated) and published Enebla by Shama books in 2009, making her one of the first English language Ethiopian cookbook authors. Daniel Jote Mesfin and Ian Finn’s contributions came out several years earlier but it is one of the first and certainly an original genuine contribution to the field. It’s not easy to find a copy but if you can I highly recommend this book. The art alone is quite impressive.

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