Cookbook Review & Giveaway! Teff Love By Kittee Berns – CLOSED

April 13th, 2015 - filed under: Furthermore » Reviews

vegan ehiopian food

Hello, I cannot believe I made this food at home!!

I adore Ethiopian food. Ever since I discovered a little spot in SE Portland called Bete Lukas, I have been in love with this cuisine. There’s just something about it – the strange spongy injera bread, the delightful lack of utensils, and of course, the incredibly complex flavors which are unlike any I’ve ever tasted. And bonus of bonuses, Ethiopian food is primarily vegan and exclusively gluten-free!

So anyway, I quickly became an Ethiopian lover, and I spent many a birthday or date night huddled around the table at Bete Lukas, happily soaking up miser wot, shiro, gomen, and tibs with springy strips of injera.

*sigh* I miss that.

vegan ethiopian recipes

Santa Barbara has no Ethiopian restaurants, and I’ve spent the past few years in a serious berbere deficit. Until now!

Because now I am completely equipped to make all my favorite sauces and stews – as well as oil and spice blends – thanks to my friend Kittee‘s new Ethiopian cookbook, Teff Love.

YOU GUYS THIS BOOK. This book is amazing. And really, Ethiopian cooking is amazing! I’ve been a bit immersed in it for the past few weeks, and I just keep thinking “The French ain’t got nothing on this!” Okay, perhaps an exaggeration, but truly. Everyone considers French cuisine to be the height of flavor and technique, but man . . . the intricacy that goes into an Ethiopian meal!

Complex doesn’t even begin to describe it. (Complex, yes, but not difficult. It’s a lot of steps but very straightforward, so don’t be intimidated. Plus, it’s WELL worth the work.)

I began my adventure by getting a batch of injera started. Injera is the traditional bread that’s served with Ethiopian food, and it’s sort of like a sourdough crepe made from a very nutritious and high-protein grain, called teff. You all know how much I love my ferments, so setting up a sourdough teff starter was pretty exciting for me. I even made a video on the last day of the process, because I was so proud of my bubbly little beasties!

Once the injera-making went off without a hook (see my excited Instagram that night) I knew this cookbook was a keeper. So from there it was on to ye’wot qimem, an incredibly aromatic spice blend that’s used in a number of dishes.

vegan ethiopian cooking

Popping the spices for the ye’wot qimem.

vegan ethiopian cookbook
Grinding the dried ye’wot qimem to be used in recipes.

I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing my kitchen smelled. Every time I came home I was hit with a mouthwatering blast, for DAYS after I made this stuff. So good.

All in all, I’ve made four separate dishes out of Teff Love, not including the injera and the ye’wot qimem.

First up was ye’nech bakela alicha – creamy garlicky white beans in an onion-turmeric sauce (top left in the first photo up there^^). This dish was amazing, smooth and garlicky. It got better each time I ate it, as the flavors continues to merge and steep.

Next up was an old favorite, ye’misser wot – red lentils in a spicy sauce (top right in the first photo). Loads of berbere and perfectly soppy, it balanced so nicely against the crisp fresh salad.

Then came ye’atakilt alicha – stewed cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in a mild sauce (bottom right in the first photo). This was Jeremy’s favorite dish, and probably mine as well. Everything was so perfectly balanced, light yet comforting. Also, really easy to make!

And finally, on a totally last minute whim I threw together some ye’atakilt wot – potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower in a spicy sauce (bottom left in the first photo). I needed an excuse to use more of that delicious ye’wot qimem!

By the end there, I was an old pro at dry salt-sweating the onion, adding the oil and spices, and layering the flavors. These techniques were all new to me but I picked them up pretty quickly, and man, I learned so much! This book is just packed full of tips and tricks, troubleshooting and all sorts of amazing advice. Truly, Kittee went above and beyond.

vegan ethiopian

Off to Still with Jeremy. Ethiopian makes great leftovers!

Alright, so wouldn’t you just love to get your hands on a copy of Teff Love?? I’ll be giving away a copy to one lucky reader (sorry, US residents only), and all you have to do to enter is answer this question in the comments below:

What is your favorite Ethiopian dish, OR, if you’ve never had Ethiopian food, what are you most excited to try?

Remember – I think “like-gating” / “fan-gating” is weird and insincere, and I’ll never make you guys do it.

That being said, the truth is that social media stats are pretty important these days, in blogging as well as in business. So no, I’m not going to require you to “like” me all over the Internet just to enter this giveaway. BUT, if you do like my blog and enjoy the work I do here – and this goes for any blog really – then liking my Facebook page, or following me on Instagram or on Twitter is a great, easy way to help me out. Those numbers really do count for something.

So no, I will never manipulate you into following me as a way to get more entries in this contest. But hey, maybe you appreciate that, and want to follow me just because? Yay! Thank you!

But no coercion. K? ALL you have to do to enter to win a copy of Teff Love, is just leave a comment here, on this post, answering that question above. That’s it!

This giveaway will end on Wednesday 15 April at midnight PST. I’ll contact the winner the next day.

Good luck guys!

♥ ♥ ♥


Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 12.41.48 PM

Congratulations to Gillian, who said:

“I love all (vegan) Ethiopian food, but my favorite is usually the yellow lentil dish, which google tells me is kik alicha!”

Yay, look for an email from me!

  • Amy

    I live right next to Silver Spring, Maryland which is arguably the capital of Ethiopian food in the U.S.- seriously, SO MANY ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANTS (and in the DC area in general, but definitely Silver Spring)! My favorite is actually called Bete (did you know that means “my house”?) and they definitely know us as regulars there- we order takeout at least 1x a week and always get the giant vegetarian platter. I have no idea what any of the dishes are called (shame on me) but I love the yellow split peas and the green lentils equally, cannot pick a favorite. I also love the weird green mush made out of chickpeas, the beets, and the cabbage/carrot/potato thingy. Injera is absolutely amazing, actually THAT’S my favorite! It’s all so good!

  • Sarah C.

    I LLLLLLLUUUUUUVVVV Ethiopian food, but I don’t live in a town with an Ethiopian restaurant (or anywhere near one – I live in my state’s biggest city, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there isn’t one in my whole state!). My faves are the red lentils and the cabbage – droool.

  • jill

    Injera, made with all teff, not wheat! (It can be hard to find at restaurants that way).

  • Aderann

    I have sadly never tried Ethiopian food, but am now motivated to remedy this…I am excited to try any recipes using teff. It is a tiny little grain (seed?) that packs a lot of nutrition into a tiny package.

  • Sarah W

    My favorite Ethiopian dish is berbere spiced lentils! I would love to learn how to make authentic injera bread!

  • Saja

    Tiny gods.
    I’ve been looking for an Ethiopian cookbook for *years* and then it shows up here when I’m moving and not allowed to buy more books.
    Thank you all the same!

  • Janel Gradowski

    I have never tried Ethiopian food, but it sounds so tasty! I love cabbage, but my family doesn’t. Maybe preparing it the Ethiopian way will convert them. :)

  • Cara

    Not sure of the name of my favorite ethiopian vegetable dish, but it’s all cabbage. There’s a wonderful little Ethiopian restaurant on 10th Ave in NYC, by the name of Meskerem, The veggie platter’s wonderful & ample. Those spicy red lentils are great too!

  • Britt

    I love Ethiopian food! Bunna Cafe here in Brooklyn is really great (and all vegan!). Hard to pick a favorite dish, but let’s go with injera. Love that tangy flatbread–it would be awesome to make my own at home!

  • kittee berns

    Hi Callie!
    The book has about 60+ more recipes!!

  • Adrienne

    Anything with “wot” on the end.

  • Chantel

    I have never had Ethiopian food but I do love teff. I went through an ancient grain kick a while back and bought some amaranth, millet and teff to try. The only thing I have made with the teff is the “stew” recipe on the back of the package, but it is delicious and hearty. Would love to try using it in other preparations though.

  • appifanie

    I’ve only had Ethiopian food once, and it was 9 1/2 years ago so I forget what I had. I just remember I thought it was really yummy.

  • Laine Young

    Right now gomen is my favorite dish!

  • Felicity

    I love Ethiopian food! My absolute favorite dish is misr kik wot and gomen wat. When I moved to Sacramento, I wasn’t sure where all the good vegan food was so I basically camped out at our local (fabulous!) Ethiopian restaurant for a while :)

  • Annie

    Can I say my favorite is the dish that still has food on it. Learning to make Injera would be amazing.

  • Chelsey

    I’ve never had Ethiopian food, had no idea it was so vegan friendly, and now I can’t wait to see if there is a place near by to try all of this delicious sounding/looking food. Thanks so much for the enlightenment and the chance to win a book and become more enlightened!!

  • Clementine

    I’ve only had Ethiopian food once, but it was terrific and your review of the book (and photos) made my mouth water! I would love to try my hand at it. As for what I remember enjoying, I have to say, I liked the honey wine called Tej!

  • Rachel

    Ah! Almost missed this giveaway, and I love love love Ethiopian food. I’m a super fan of lentils, so I think I’ll have to go with ye’misser wot as my favorite dish. And don’t worry, I like you all over the internet and appreciate the lack of strange “like” mongering.

  • Sonja Hilton

    I’m excited to try anything vegan as Ive never have Ethiopian food before

  • Pingback: Okay! So We Opened A Wine Bar. A VEGAN Wine Bar. Huzzah! | Bonzai Aphrodite