About the Cuisine
Spices and herbs are the heart and soul of Ethiopian cooking. The cuisine is enriched with carefully selected herbs and spices. Generous amount of finely chopped onions form the body of the sauce and control its smoothness while the garlic and ginger partner with the rest of the seasoning. The presence of berbere (a mixture of chili spices and herbs) in dishes made from beef, lamb, poultry, fish, lentils, split peas (or shiro-a sauce making powder used as a thickener made from legumes and a mixture of herbs and spices) is what gives it the name of wett. While that of alecha belongs to a dish that is made with most of the ingredients and the addition of fresh garlic, ginger and turmeric but without the berbere.
In the preparation of meat and poultry dishes nitir kibe (clarified spiced butter) is used while vegetarian dishes are made with oil (from vegetable or oilseed) to comply with religious dietary laws. These complex and conflicting flavors manage to coexist and collaborate to delight and satisfy the palate.
Ghenet’s Ethiopian cuisine offers an outstanding variety of meat and vegetarian dishes from the humble shiro to the complex and intriguing doro wat or doroalecha (chicken stews), garnished with boiled eggs slit at the sides and submerged in the sauce to marinate. This dish is known as the entrée par excellence of the Ethiopian table and holds favor with most people who have tasted it.
Berbere dominates the culinary landscape. It is a vibrant red chili powder that has been marinated, fused and seasoned with onion, garlic, ginger, and numerous varieties of herbs and spices. Berbere used in the Ghenet kitchen is made to order.
At Ghenet, we strive to control the quality of the spices and herbs used, retain the familiar ingredients while carefully balancing the amount of each. This delicate and meticulous process resulted in a picante but mellow berbere of our own making. Berbere is a defining element in Ethiopian dishes, therefore, the quality and blend of the berbere is worth its weight in gold.