The Spice Trade

7 comments to The Spice Trade

  • li'l lamb

    gorgeous as usual! thanks.

  • No wonder tofu is often used as a substitution for chicken, it has no real flavor except what it takes on from its surroundings. :)

  • Bruce

    One wonders while pondering the vastness of the universe how tantalizing close one is to tasting culinary delights. Servings for four… two participants in a feast… Five bare miles away from unfortunates who bask in a bland world, underserved.

    Such is life.

  • Jon

    Made this tonight and it came out really nicely. I did use less onion – I doubled the recipe and 6 medium red onions would have more than filled the pot I was using, let along the other ingredients. So ended up with about 2/3 the recommended amount.

    Couple of questions/comments, as I’d never cooked some of these ingredients before:

    - Dried chilis – remove seeds before grinding? (the few seeds that did survive through seemed like they were just never going to get ground by my food processor)
    - Cardamom pods, remove pods before grinding? The pods don’t look or feel very edible. When I’ve used whole cardamom before it was removed at the end of cooking rather than eaten, so I’m unsure.

    The amount of salt was in retrospect too much, the next time I’ll probably use about half that much and add more near the end of stewing if needed. Likewise the chilis were a bit strong, perhaps because I used 3 anchos to 1 Santaka (which is much smaller, but has about 40x the Scoville rating).

    I didn’t feel up to making Ethiopian flatbread from scratch so just steamed up some rice with added cinnamon / cardamom powder / coriander / cumin to accompany. My dinner companion, who is young and blunt, was very complimentary and had seconds. Thanks for posting this!

  • Jon -
    thanks for reading and trying. My recipes tend to be suited to my personal tastes, so I never know if anyone else will like them. For example, I don’t remove seeds from chilis, because I like my mouth to be on fire. Cardamom pods are inedible, but I don’t mind picking bits out of my stew. In Thailand, where I had some of the best food of my life, it was not rare for about a quarter of the ingredients in any dish to be literally inedible – chunks of lemongrass, slices of galangal. But I don’t think it would hurt it much to remove the pods.

    My wife feels I make things too salty. She may be right. But I don’t eat many sweet things, so it all balances out in my book.

  • Jon

    Yep, I am more oriented towards sweet over salty. Oddly I tend to find hotness in Chinese cuisine more tolerable than Indian / Middle Eastern food. I’ve never tried to track down why that might be – I assume they’re all mostly getting hotness from capsaicin but perhaps it’s moderated differently by other common ingredients or relative oiliness of the food or something on that order. In any event this was pretty much the first substantial African-inspired dish I’ve cooked, and it was very good (though doubling the quantities was a bit much, I’ll be eating it for the next week :-) , so thanks again!

  • I haven’t had Ethiopian food in some time, but your dish has gotten me craving injera and awaze tibs. Oh man, and I love having a salad with a really acidic dressing on the side to cut through the heavy butter taste. MMMMM!