Saturday, 12 December 2015

Globecooking recipe : Ye Masir Azifa - Two Ways (Ethiopia)

Today I turned to the first recipe from my Ethiopian-themed Kitchen Trotter box and discovered a lentil puree-based dish called Ye Masir Azifa. The recipe suggested serving it with an Injera, an Ethiopian pancake/flatbread, rolled into a cornet filled with some whole lentils. Azifa is usually served cold, but after a couple of hours wandering around the local Christmas markets, I wanted something warming so I decided to serve it hot and added extra liquid to make it more of a soup/stew. I also decided to forego the injera this time because we had some fougasse - a cheese and bacon-topped French springy bread almost like pizza - that we wanted to eat, but I will be trying injeras at a later date.

The recipe called for one ingredient from the box - Berberé, an Ethiopian spice blend made of cumin, cloves, chilli, cardamom, fenugreek, coriander, garlic powder, ginger, curcuma, paprika and cinnamon. It's a moderately hot spice blend, adding more flavour than heat.

 Ye Masir Azifa

ingredients :
(serves 4)

1tsp berberé (Ethiopian spice blend)
300g green lentils
1 clove garlic
10g fresh ginger (I used 1tsp ginger powder)
3tbsp olive oil
1tsp salt

4 injeras

I can tell I'm getting more at ease with globe-cooking because I'm now quite at ease taking liberties to adapt exotic recipes to suit our tastes or the contents of my cupboards. I always think everything tastes better with onions so I started off by frying one clove of minced garlic and one chopped onion in a drizzle of olive oil.

Cook the lentils for 15-20 minutes in one and a half times their volume of boiling water.

Drain the lentils and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Put 3/4 of the lentils, the garlic and ginger, the olive oil and the salt in a blender or blitz with a stick blender until smooth. The oil should give it a creamy texture. Add the salt, pepper, ginger and berberé and stir (I love the way this unintentionally made a smily face !).

To follow the official recipe, cut an injera in half, roll into a cone and fill with 1tbsp of the reserved lentils. Serve, cold, on top of a bowl of the lentil puree. You can scatter slices of cherry tomato, chillis or shallot on top of the bowl and/or drizzle with a few drops of olive oil. I had a taste and it would be very nice as a dip with crusty bread if you don't want to make injeras. 

I added 300ml water which made it look decidedly unappetising to begin with ! Bring it back to a gentle boil while stirring to create a smooth texture.

 I put the reserved lentils back into the pot to add extra texture and scattered with chopped cured ham, chopped leftover roast chicken and halved cherry tomatoes.

As a cold dip or a hot soup, it's a wholesome, earthy, satisfying dish that can be adapted to suit vegetarians or meat-eaters. It would be a perfect New Year dish after all the over-indulgence of Christmas !

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1 comment:

  1. I love the sound of this warm and at this time of year it's so comforting to have this type of spiced soup, even it that's not what it's meant to be! I'm planning to have a go at injera one day but still haven't but I'm sure it would be a lovely meal.