Hello my friends! For Day 3 of Vegan MoFo I wanted to bring your attention to an awesome new cooking zine I got my hands on recently. It's called "Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food" and it's written by Miss Kittee Berns. Anyone who is a vegan and is also gluten-free has GOT to know about her. Kittee is an absolute rockstar when it comes to cooking and baking without animal products or gluten. In fact, she even coined the term "xgfx" as the shorthand for "vegan and gluten-free". Pretty ingenious, huh?
Kittee writes a blog called The Cakemaker to the Stars, is also a founder and contributor to the site xgfx.org, and she is one of the organizers of Vegan MoFo. In her spare time, she self-publishes a series of cooking zines that are quite legendary in the vegan-verse. Her latest, "Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food" focuses on... Ethiopian food! It's a topic which has never been fully covered in any vegan cookbook before, and as I read through the zine I came to realize what a fascinating cuisine it truly is.
Personally, I've been a fan of Ethiopian food since I first set foot in Zemam's, a wonderful little restaurant back in Tucson. It feels more like you're eating in someone's home than in a restaurant. For those not familiar with Ethiopian food, you order several dishes to try (either on your own or as a group) and the food is served in heaps on top of a big piece of airy flatbread called injera. You get extra injera on the side and you scoop up and eat the food with it. No flatware! Eating with your hands may seem strange, but as they say at Zemam's, the majority of the world's inhabitants eat with their hands and it's quite fun! Most Ethiopian food is highly spiced (but not necessarily spicy) and the flavors are unlike any other cuisine I've tried. It's the perfect food for vegans and vegetarians because they offer a lot of lentil and vegetable based dishes. Yum!
Anyway, back to Papa Tofu! Kittee really did her research on this one. She starts off by giving a very helpful intro to the spices and ingredients you'll need to make the recipes. Two of the most important items are berbere, a spice blend, and niter kibbeh, a spiced butter or margarine that is used in place of cooking oil. I was able to find berbere at Kalustyan's, my neighborhood ethnic foods market, but the niter kibbeh has to be prepared at home.
|The meal I made thanks to Kittee!|
There are so many amazing dishes to choose from in this zine, it's hard to narrow it down! I decided to cook the Lentils in Spicy Gravy and Collard Greens. I actually planned on making the Black Eyed Pea Sausages, but I was out of black eyed peas. Those are definitely on my radar for next time!