Skoudehkaris on Lahooh
I was really excited for Djibouti to reach our kitchen as it is the first horn of Africa country so far. I am fascinated by the food of this region which includes the countries of Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia. I think this is one of the most flavoursome and amazing food regions in the world.
First thing you have to do to cook food from this region is make some Niter Kebbeh. This is a heavily spiced clarified butter. Really easy to make, just gently boil butter for about an hour with a big load of spices and then filter it through a cheese cloth. This seperates the milk solids thus clarifying the butter. What this means is you can cook it hot with no risk of it burning like butter does.
Niter Kebbeh is amazing and everyone should try it at least once. If you see a recipe from a horn of africa country it will almost always call for Ghee, and what this actually means is Niter Kebbeh.
Next thing I was excited about was making Lahooh for the first time. This region of Africa eats tons of fermented flatbread. There are about 10 different types, with Injera from Ethiopia being the most likely to have been tried in Australia. The technique is the same, the grain differs, ie. Injera is made of teff, Lahooh is a mixture of sorghum and wheat.
Basically you ferment the dough for a couple of days so the natural yeast in the air and the flour cause it to rise, similar to making sourdough. Then you thin it out with water to the consistency of a pancake batter and cook it like a pancake. Because it is fermented it fills with bubbles during cooking and becomes an amazing spongy pancake. You serve your stew, in this case being Skoudehkaris, on top and eat it with your hands.
Loved Djibouti. Some of the best food we have tasted so far. Next up: Dominica