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Ethiopia has one of the richest cuisines in Africa. One may choose to eat foods which are simple or complex. There are 9 states in Ethiopia all of which have their own cuisine. Some regions share food culture but their preparation might be different. Addis is the meeting point for all these states where you can find all types of Ethiopian food.

The most popular dish in Ethiopia is wot. Wot is a thick stew which consists of beef, chicken, lamb, goat, lentils or chick peas. Eating pork is unusual in Ethiopia because half of the population is either Christian or muslim and pork is forbidden in both religions. Wot’s other main ingredient is berbere. Berbere is a combination of several spices and herbs which include onion, garlic, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, coriander and all spice. Alecha is another type of thick stew but without the spice. Traditional butter named kehbe is also another important ingredient in Ethiopian cuisine. It is quite flexible in Ethiopian cuisine and is deep rooted in the culture. Kehbe is butter infused with different spices and is used in almost all Ethiopian dishes. Kehbe is prepared roughly all over Ethiopia but the preparation process is different from place to place. Wot and alecha have to be accompanied to injera. Sometimes bread is also served. kitfo is a  Gurage dish which is basically raw meet marinated in mitmita and kehbe. Mitmita s a a chilli powder quite similar to berbere. Kitfo is accompanied by kotcho. Kotcho is similar to a flat bread. The root of false banana tree is used to make kotcho. The root is pulverized and fermented to create kotcho so it can be eaten with kitfo. Kitfo can also be eaten with ayeb and/or gomen. Ayeb is a type of cheese which resembles extremely scrambled eggs. Gomen is collard green which has been stir fried with onions.

 Keeta firfir (also known as chechebsa or fit fit)is a breakfast meals which is made by mixing flour water and salt and baking it similar to how you would pancakes. Though, keeta is heavier than pancakes but not necessarily thicker. The keeta is then split into smaller pieces and cooked slightly with berbere and khebe. Gonfo is another broadly eaten meal in Ethiopia. Gonfo is similar to porridge. Gonfo is made differently all over Ethiopia with different types of flours. It could be made with barely, corn flour or even a mix several types. It’s safe to say that gonfo is probably one of the most flexible dish in Ethiopia.

After a very good meal a drink is needed. The three most famous drinks in Ethiopia are coffee, tej, and tela. Ethiopia is the home of coffee. It is a tradition (not always exercised because its time consuming)to drink coffee after meals but the coffee brewing norm has to be implemented. Tej is a very sweet and strong honey wine. Tella on the other hand is traditional beer which is usually home made. Tej and tella are served mostly during special occasions though there are small bars which serve tej or tella.

Dabo kolo and kolo are snacks which have multipurpose functions. They are served in almost any occasion or for guests. They are there during weddings and funerals, day-to-day activities or when having tella and they can be served for any reason. You can never go wrong with a dabo kolo or kolo.

If one knows about these simple facts concerning Ethiopian cuisine then it will be easier to understand and explore the endless possibilities of experimentation and appreciation.

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