This week our third graders discussed the food of Ethiopia and made their own spice blend called berbere, added it to a spiced lentil stew called misir wot, and ate the stew with a traditional Ethiopian flatbread called injera. Both last week’s and this week’s classes featured lentils, but there was a noticeable difference in the flavor profile used in France (olive oil, Dijon mustard, thyme, red wine vinegar) versus in Ethiopia (clarified butter, a multitude of spices, heat).
The berbere our students made (and took home!) consisted of coriander, fenugreek, black peppercorns, cardamom, garlic, allspice, onion, chilis, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. After toasting the seeds and spices, they used a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients into a powder. They then made the lentil stew with plenty of the freshly ground berbere.
The final product was fragrant and delicious, especially when accompanied by the sour, fermented injera. When it was time to eat, one of our students who has Ethiopian heritage taught us how to eat the misir wot with our hands the traditional Ethiopian way by scooping up the stew with a piece of injera between our fingers!