Injera with Tsebhi (Stew) is one of the main traditional foods in Eritrean cuisine. Injera, also called Taita, is leavened pancake made with sourdough of Taff flour. Injera is prepared by mixing rice flour with water and left to ferment for a few days. When the mixture matures, it is baked on a round clay stove into large flat pancakes.
Tsebhi is mainly prepared with beef, chicken, mutton or vegetables. As well as Tsebhi, Eritrean cuisine comprises of a variety of vegetarian dishes such us Shiro – a spicy chickpea mush, Timtimo – spiced lentils dahl with tomatoes, and Hamli, a spinach recipe with a touch of Eritrean spices and herbs.
AN ERITREAN MEALDuring a meal, people gather around a Meadi (Meal) traditionally called a Mosob – a woven basket vessel. A meal cannot start until all members of a family take up position to break injera together.
Eating a meal is a collective family engagement with people sharing food from a large circular tray filled with layers of injera and topped with various spicy stews and vegetarian dishes. Eating involves tearing off pieces of injera and wrapping it around portions of tsebhi to form a helping – each helping is handled with the hand without the use of any utensils.
COFFEE CEREMONYFollowing a meal, fresh coffee beans are roasted and offered to guests to have a waft of the aroma. The roast is then ground and put into a traditional clay vessel, called a Jebena, and boiled. Coffee is traditionally accompanied with burning frankincense and served with popcorns.