Kibrom’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Restaurant at 3506 W State St, Ste 100, Boise, Idaho. (208) 703-0564. Eritrea, “Eritrea (/ˌɛrᵻˈtreɪ.ə/ or /ˌɛrᵻˈtriːə/;, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the East Africa. With its capital at Asmara, it is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast.” [Wikipedia] We were pleasantly surprised by this totally different cuisine. “Ethiopian cuisine (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ምግብ?) characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. This is usually in the form of wat (also w’et or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. Ethiopians eat exclusively with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. Utensils are optional…The Ethiopian Orthodox Church prescribes a number of fasting (tsom, Ge’ez: ጾም ṣōm) periods, including Wednesdays, Fridays, and the entire Lenten season, so Ethiopian cuisine contains many dishes that are vegan… typical dish consists of injera accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes beef, lamb, vegetables and various types of legumes, such as lentils. Gurage cuisine also makes use of the false banana plant (enset, Ge’ez: እንሰት inset), a type of ensete. The plant is pulverized and fermented to make a bread-like food called qocho or kocho (Ge’ez: ቆጮ ḳōč̣ō), which is eaten with kitfo. The root of this plant may be powdered and prepared as a hot drink called bulla (Ge’ez: ቡላ būlā), which is often given to those who are tired or ill. Another typical Gurage preparation is coffee with butter (kebbeh). Kita herb bread is also baked. Pasta is frequently available throughout Ethiopia, including rural areas. Coffee is also a large part of Ethiopian culture and cuisine. After every meal, a coffee ceremony is enacted and espresso coffee is served. Ajwain or radhuni, korarima, nigella and fenugreek (clockwise, from top) are used with chilies and salt to make berbere, a basic ingredient in many Ethiopian dishes.
Berbere, a combination of powdered chili pepper and other spices (somewhat analogous to Southwestern American chili powder), is an important ingredient used in many dishes. Also essential is niter kibbeh, a clarified butter infused with ginger, garlic, and several spices.
Mitmita (Amharic: ሚጥሚጣ?, IPA: [mitʼmitʼa]) is a powdered seasoning mix used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It is orange-red in color and contains ground birdseye chili peppers (piri piri), cardamom seed, cloves and salt. It occasionally has other spices including cinnamon, cumin and ginger…In their adherence to strict fasting, Ethiopian cooks have developed a rich array of cooking oil sources—besides sesame and safflower—for use as a substitute for animal fats which is forbidden during fasting periods. Ethiopian cuisine also uses nug (also spelled noog, also known as “niger seed”).
Alcohol – Tej is a potent honey wine. It is similar to mead, which is frequently served in bars (in particular, in a tej bet or “tej house”). Katikala and araqe are inexpensive local spirits that are very strong.
Tella is a home-brewed beer served in tella bet (“tella houses”) which specialize in serving tella only. Tella is the most common beverage made and served in households during holidays.” [Wikipedia]
We saw no alcoholic beverages listed on the house menu. I hope this attempt at demystifying the Ethiopian cuisine helps. It is good and the restaurant can be a fun place. I would suggest going with friends or a small group. Here are some photos of our meal. Enjoy!
Lentil and Beef Samosas with Cardamom Tea
Please note: The bread like addition to the next two plates is as common as Wonder Bread and is known as, “Injera (Amharic: ənǧära እንጀራ [ɨndʒəra]; sometimes transliterated as enjera; Oromo: bidenaa; Somali: canjeero) or taita (Tigrinya: ጣይታ) is a sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea. A similar variant is eaten in Somalia and Djibouti (where it is called canjeero or lahooh), as well as Yemen (where it is known as lahoh) and Sudan (where it is known as kisra).” [Wikipedia]
Menchet – Ground Beef with Butter, Onion, Tomato and Berbera Sauce
White Tibs – Lamb, Onion and Garlic