What a month September has been! Right back at the beginning I leapt at the chance to be a recipe tester for the new The Lotus and the Artichoke cookbook – ETHIOPIA. I have tried making Ethiopian food before but have not had much luck in getting that distinctive taste of the dishes I love so much, so I was raring to give it another go! In case you aren’t aware, many cookbook authors give access to their draft receipts to a group of ‘testers’. This is to ensure the recipe works, tastes good, that the instructions are clear and of course to get feedback. I have never done this before but had such an amazing experience. It can be somewhat intense but there was no pressure to test out a set number of recipes, only to do as little or as much as you could. Me being me therefore, I found myself making stews at 9am and prepping at 9pm to squeeze everything in between my full-time job and taking care of the kids.
I am also one for substituting or leaving things out of recipes if I don’t have them and instinctively adjusting quantities so it was actually quite novel to make sure I read the recipe completely first and then following it to the T.
Since I do love to cook and especially from my many cookbooks I needed to buy very few ingredients to get started. The very first things I made were a spice mix and a flavoured oil which were to be used in many of the dishes.
I managed to work my way through 11 recipes, it was such a pleasure working with Justin and I had a whale of a time cooking but guess what?! If you’re cooking there’s food to eat at the end of it! Win, win my friends 😉
Below are some of my favourite dishes, I also rediscovered a love for working with yeast and making bread.
Unfortunately the elusive injera remained outside my reach, I gave it a good few tries but I work with batter and breads so rarely I think my instinct for those types of items is in hibernation. I have still got a bag of teff however, so I will not give up!!
Justin travelled to Ethiopia to collect these authentic recipes which are based on his experiences in restaurants and with families, he also illustrates and photographs everything himself. It really was little surprise that cookbook was fully funded on Kickstarter.
If you looking to get a bit more adventurous in the kitchen I would recommend any of Justin’s books which are full of exiting flavours but with recipes that are simple to make.
You can see more photos of what I made and will continue to make from the book here.