There are less than a dozen Ethiopian restaurants in Chicago, but NBC 5’s Food Guy, Steve Dolinsky, has a particular preference for one that is located in the Uptown neighborhood. It’s primarily due to the food, which he considers exceptional despite the fact that it’s all made from scratch. Secondly, the proprietor is dedicated to helping her fellow citizens involved in conflicts at home.
Even though the conflict in Ukraine may be getting the most attention in the media, another fight is being felt by the Ethiopian community in Chicago. A lady has been working tirelessly over the last 15 years to educate the visitors about the title of the meals while simultaneously collecting money for her war-torn nation, despite the fact that they are not familiar with the titles of the meals.
What is Injera?
Demera Restaurant in Uptown, where injera is prepared every day in batches, switches buckets of batter according to the length of time the teff or flour is fermenting. The procedure is followed to ensure high-quality injera.
According to Dolinsky, every study of Ethiopian cuisine must begin with a discussion of injera. The fermented, spongy flatbread is a fundamental component of the cuisine. It is essential for our survival.
In point of fact, we eat injera for every meal of the day, from breakfast to supper. According to the proprietor, Tigist Reda, teff is a tiny cereal grain that is naturally gluten-free and rich in fiber and calcium.
Special Ethiopian Menu
Reda also has access to a vast collection of spices. In addition to berbere, you’ll also find cardamom, cloves, and perhaps a dozen other spices, including awaze.
- Awaze is similar to berbere but hotter. She described mitmita as “a small orange chili” that may grind into a paste. Both may be found in a seafood stew that also includes tomatoes, onions, and fresh rosemary.
- Ye-Asa Leb Leb means “fish cooked extremely quickly” in Swahili.
- Clarified butter is the foundation for Kitfo, a type of beef tartare that appears on numerous vibrant, injera-based plates alongside the ubiquitous Doro Wat. Mitmita and black pepper are added for extra flavor. I would call Doro Wat the de facto national dish of Cambodia. “Onion, garlic, and ginger make up the foundation, and then we add chicken and hard-boiled egg,” said Reda.
- Both vegetarians and those avoiding gluten will find something to eat here. Gomen, often known as collard greens, are a common staple in Japanese cooking, appearing as frequently as farmer’s cheese or red lentil stew. A piece of injera is torn off and used as a spoon to scoop up food. There is no need for cutlery.
Reda’s Interest: In Philanthropy
I’m from Tigray, and that’s where the fighting is, she remarked. Last month, an “Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray” event brought in over $100,000.
“The funds are sent to our partners in Tigray who are providing food and medication to the refugee camps in Sudan.”
She will conduct charity dinners in the restaurant to benefit a topic she cares about. Reda has remarked, “Every month, I host a dinner to raise money and serve the community.” Next month, Tigist will host another massive fundraising event.
Feature image: Feastmagazine