Overview: Some light and refreshing Eritrean meals to cook during warm weather
While there are many ways to combat the heat, there’s nothing better than a light and refreshing meal to brush off the dust of an exhausting day.
Every culture has an idiosyncrasy of its own – although Eritrean recipes have blended with other cuisines, the signature features retain the same.
With that being said, we present just that: some light yet refreshing Eritrean meals you’ll love to try at least once! We’ve combined some salty and sweet dishes altogether for you to have an exciting meal with little effort and rich in taste.
Easy 5-step Eritrean Meals #1: Alitcha Barsin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ginger paste/powder
- 2 fresh red chilies
- 5 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
- 6 cloves crushed garlic
- 250 gr. peeled tomatoes
- 1 liter boiling water
- 200 gr. lentils
Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic until it goes golden brown.
Add sliced tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Once the tomatoes are softened, add salt, chilli powder, garlic, and ginger.
Mix all well and then add the last ingredient – lentils and water.
Bring it to a boil on high flame and let it cook on low fire for 60 minutes
Serve with injera. (Don’t worry — we’re covering that recipe right now!)
Popular Eritrean Recipe #2: Injera
200 gr. dark teff flour/self-rising flour/maize flour
1 tsp salt
3 cups of water
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
Mix grounded teff/flour with water and salt in a bowl.
Cover it with a dishtowel until it bubbles and turns sour. The fermenting mixture and odor with a consistency of cake batter will be the perfect time to bake the injera.
Spray oil on a large frying pan and heat it over medium flame. Proceed with crepes or pancake batter – we’ll suggest you go with pancake batter since crepes are too thin.
Pour the mixture onto the frying pan and let it cook briefly until holes form in injera. Flip the side and turn the flame off.
Your yummy injera is ready!
Eritrean Recipe #3: Kitche Fit Fit (Pancakes)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp berbere
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 batch kicha (recipe is mentioned below)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp canola oil
Place the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt.
Add berbere, and cook it gently – keep stirring the paste until the spices sizzle and/or smells fragrant.
Add kicha pieces and add sprinkled salt and cook and stir to coat the pieces of kicha with spiced butter for about 3-4 minutes.
Transfer your kicha kicha to a serving platter, top up with yogurt and serve fresh!
Delicious Eritrean Recipe #4: Doughnuts with Honey (Makleel)
1.5 cup plain flour
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
Oil for frying
Honey for drizzling
Mix plain flour, yeast, salt, and water lukewarm in a big bowl. Use water as required to form a dough.
Cover the mixture and set aside until the dough rises.
In a large skillet/frying pan, heat oil to shallow fry the donuts/doughnuts. Tear small ball-sized pieces from the dough or small donuts to fry them into the hot oil.
Deep fry the donuts in the boiling oil and strain them aside once they’re golden brown in color.
After frying all the donuts, pour a generous amount of honey over it and enjoy the light and refreshing donuts sweet in the hot summers!
You can also replace the honey with agave or add nutella for some extra flavor and decadence.
Eritrean Recipe #4: Hembesha – Inspired Sweet Loaf
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp dried yeast
1/4 tsp grounded cardamom
2/3 cups raisins
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter/1 thick stick
1 tsp cumin
1 cup lukewarm milk
Mix together flour, yeast, cardamom, raisins, sugar, cumin, eggs, and salt
Splash the warm milk on the mixture and make a soft dough hook. Cover and let the dough double in size studded with pretty raisins.
Press the dough in a spring form pan and punch a little to kneed it softly. Grab a knife to make loaf design in a grid fashion.
Bake on a greased pan for 30-35 minutes on 350F. Once the bread is baked, brush it with melted butter for shine.
Slice and serve the bread warm with a cup of coffee or shahi plain tea for a satisfying breakfast, snack, or dessert!
Simple 2-step Eritrean Dessert #5: Mocha Cookies
2 1/2 cups Maskal Teff flour
1 tbsp arrowroot
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup grain coffee
1/3 cup cooking oil (your choice)
1/3 cup maple syrup
5-6 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 350F and mix all ingredients together into round balls. Flatten the surface on your palm by 1/2 and place the cookies in the cookie sheet with a nonstick spray.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Yes, it’s that easy!
Serve the cookies with black coffee in the evening after an exhausting day and appreciate the scrumptious flavor of cookies. And here’s a unique suggestion: try adding your favorite jam to the middle of the cookies for another layer of texture and complex flavors.
While Eritrean cuisine is rich in flavors and known mainly for spicy dishes of meat, mince, and vegetables, we’ve focused on bringing you light and refreshing meals that not only will combat the heat, but also be filling enough to get through the day!
And as a reminder, check out our market to see if we have the ingredients to help you make authentic Eritrean-inspired meals, as our international department continues to expand with our amazing customer requests!