Ethiopian Shaloch Manos
This year we made Ethiopian Shaloch Manos and it was a culinary adventure. We made Kik Wot (Red Lentil Stew) and Injera (a sourdough crepe-like flat bread). First we had to find all the ingredients. Injera is made with Teff Flour – a protein packed grain found in Ethiopia. Here I got it from Bob’s Red Mills in Whole Foods (I tried to find it closer to home, but the supermarkets didn’t have it, nor the local health food stores, hooray for Whole Foods).
Then the red lentils were also found at Whole foods. Red lentils are fantastic, not only are they good for you, they change color! That’s right, they start off a salmon color and when heated turn yellow. Red lentils make a great soup or a side dish.
Three days before you decide you want to make your Injera crepes – put all the ingredients together – the teff, regular flour, water, salt. Then let it sit for three days, outside of the refrigerator. Three days. I know, kind of weird – but if you have ever made sourdough bread, this process is totally normal. And with luck, you will get the mixture to ferment. Fermentation is key to get the bubbles, and the bubbles are key for the Injera to look like it is spongelike when cooked.
After the ingredients were gathered, I checked and washed the red lentils and then sauteed the onions in oil until translucent and then added the minced garlic and then added the Berbere – an Ethiopian spice mixture similar to curry in that everyone makes it a little different, but the primary spice is Paprika. Please see below for my recipe for it – (it called for Fenugreek and cardamom – neither of which I was able to find with a Kosher certification, so I left them out). That mixture sauteed for about 5 minutes, then I added the diced tomatoes. Then I added the red lentils and the water. Then I let it “stew” for about 2 hours. In the end, the mixture should be thick and stew like – not a thin soup, so if you end up having too much water, let it boil off.
In Ethiopia, apparently, they use only Teff flour for Injera, but in America, most Ethiopian restaurants (according to the brief research I did on the internet) use regular flour with the Teff to create a milder flavor. While the red lentils are stewing you can make the Injera. I used a crepe pan, but you can use any circular sautee pan. The Injera batter had bubbles floating at the top which let me know it did ferment and it smelled sour dough-y. I took about 1/4 of a cup and poured it on the heated pan with a little bit of cooking spray. Then as it heated, the bubbles came to the top and made the sponge like consistency. You cook it like a crepe – but you only cook one side, no flipping. It took about 2 minutes for the crepe to be fully cooked.
After everything was cooked, if it is a “real” Ethiopian meal, you put the Injera down on a platter and put the stew on top of it (the Injera soaks up some of the juices). Then it is served with extra Injera to be used as utensils – you tear off pieces of the Injera and use it to scoop the stew. After all the stew is scooped, then you eat the bottom layer of Injera (which is delicious). If anyone tries this and wants extra information or pointers, just give us a call. Purim Sameach! Happy Purim!
Kik Wot (Red Lentil Stew)
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 2 cups Onions
- 2 tablespoons minced Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 10 Tablespoons Berbere
- a container of Grape Tomatoes
- 10 cups Red Lentils
- About 20 cups of Water (I just added enough to cover and then added more when it was too dry)
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1 cup Paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Fenugreek (I didn’t use it)
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Allspice (didn’t use)
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Cumin
- 2 teaspoons Turmeric
Mix all of the above ingredients. I made this mixture only for the red lentils, if you are going to use this mixture for a lot of different uses, most people add minced garlic and onions to the dried ingredients and then sautee it, but since the red lentils had garlic and onions in it, I didn’t add them to the Berbere.
This amount made a little over 30 cups worth.
- 1 cup Teff Flour
- 8 cups White Flour
- Enough water to make a slightly thicker than crepe like consistency – approximately 8 cups of water split into 2 cups and then add the rest.
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Mix the flours and salt and add 2 cups of the water. Knead the dough. I had read that kneading the dough first helps develop the gluten and makes it better. So, I did this, for about 30 minutes (it was fun, and the Teff flour makes for a very silky fun texture). Then I added the extra water – and the gluten didn’t dissolve after a day. I was nervous I was going to have to toss the mixture and start again, but I just left it sit in the water, hoping the flour would dissolve after 2 more days, and it did just that. When I was ready to make the Injera, I had a lot of bubbles – and it was slightly thicker than a crepe batter. This mixture works just like a sourdough mixture, so you could save some and use it as a starter for the next time, if you want.