I don’t know what your favorite Ethiopian delicacy eatery is in this City in the Sun.
As for me, I needn’t think about it. Asmara, the name ticks off my salivary glands even when the only thing I am staring at is a blank computer screen with a Microsoft word program running.
Located on the outskirts of Nairobi in Pangani, an area full of Kenyan Ethiopians, Asmara has this ‘Ethiopian’ feeling about it. It is on the main road just after the Chai Road flyover.
Once inside, you are momentarily transported into the hot and spicy Abbynisian World of
Exotic food in the low seat, dimly lit restaurant.
The soft music playing in the background provides not only ambiance but also a perfect conversational environment.
Outdoor lovers can wine and dine in the low stool traditional antique Ethiopian stools on the restaurant verandah whereas indoor diners can use the round tables.
My favorite dish is Zigni, a traditional spicy beef and injera dish which will be served to you steaming hot and at your request, a glass of freshly squeezed juice or spiced tea can be provided. The meat is tender and well seasoned. The injera tangy and well fermented.
The waiters are courteous, warm, friendly and very light on their feet. It feels just like a rub the magic lamp and the genie appears sort of service.
It is easy on the pocket as a combo tray for two going for Kshs. 350/- and the fresh juice for Kshs. 100/-
- Be prepared to eat with your hands as the meat is rolled up into the bread, this is so as to soap up all deliciousness, and also that it actually tastes better. (May I add that I have NEVER seen anyone eat with a spoon?)
- Be prepared to SHARE as you can never eat up the whole tray of injera and lots of meat alone, no matter how hungry you are.
To the restaurant owners.
I wish it was more spacious especially with the number of diners on Sundays.Plus I wouldn’t mind hot towels for the hands.
- 2 kg cubes of Beet Stew.
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic crashed.
- 2 cans tomato paste
- Salt, pepper
- Fresh coriander(optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon salt.
- 5 tablespoons cayenne pepper.
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
- For the berbere, combine the spices and roast in a dry skillet on low to moderate heat, stirring constantly, for about 5-10 minutes, or until roasted.
- Keep in a tight jar.
- For the stew, fry the meat on high heat until brown, then add the onion, and eventually the garlic and 3 tbsp Berbere, which are NOT to become burnt.
- Add the tomatoes with their liquid and boil slowly until the meat is tender and the stew has thickened (30-60 minutes).
- Garnish with coriander and serve hot on Injera (Ethiopian flat bread