Menu: Eritrea

Sisters. We share the same mother, the same nose, and the same penchant for immature giggle-fits. She took me to the mall when I was too young to drive. She encouraged me not to get a tattoo. She held me strong after our brother died in 1992. She didn’t blink when I dyed my hair purple at 16. And, this week? She came to pledge her support in the spiritual journey of my sweet Miss Ava. In the process she rolled up her sleeves and helped me cook our Eritrean Global Table. And she suggested I start dying my hair again. Ah, the honesty of sisters.

Teff Pancake (Injera) [Recipes]
A thin sour pancake pocked with little holes and used as a plate and to scoop up thick stewed vegetables and meats.

Berberé – Hot East African Spice mix [Recipe]
This popular spice blend is known for scorching heat, but also a balance of background flavors including cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric and more.

Spicy Lentil Stew [Recipe]
Made with little more than lentils, onions, carrots, and berberé – a delicious vegan stew perfect for a cold winter’s day.

Hembesha-Inspired Sweet Loaf [Recipe]
Inspired by the thin, decorative celebration bread enjoyed in Eritrea, this version is simplified for the home cook – thick, rich, and great with butter and honey. Seasoned with cumin and coriander, and sweetened with bursts of raisins.


  1. elisa waller says

    Nothing like rolling out of bed and cooking a fantastic meal…tee..hee…
    That was a fun meal to make and to eat….
    P.S. I love you and your hair just the way it is…<3

    • Sasha Martin says

      I forgot to send you home with some berberé!! You’ll have to mix up a batch with Donovan. He’d probably like the heat.

  2. Brian S. says

    It looks delicious! Basically Ethiopian, etc — yes, Ethiopia gets a triple dip with Djibouti and Eritrea. The wat, the stew, does have something more than just onion and lentils, I think — a LOT of spicy clarified butter (niter kibbeh). Yum!

    • Sasha Martin says

      niter kibbeh sounds wonderful … will have to try that next time. 🙂 I think I’ll work on perfecting the injera for our Ethiopia Global Table. What an unusual recipe.

  3. elisa waller says

    The Injera was a challenging process…although I love the idea of using it as the plate and spoon…I wonder if they do that because they don’t use “utensils”. Do they always eat with their fingers? I also enjoyed eating the Hembesha..what a moring/sfternoon/late night snack treat.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Eating with fingers is common in the area. The left hand is considered unclean, so only the right hand is used. Recipe will be up this morning, yay! 🙂

  4. Just noticing…it took two pictures – the second – for Elisa to relax and show she is part of the whole as well as an individual in her own right…..And as for that dark haired beauty (vs the “bleached” beauty) it took two pictures – the second – for HER to relax and show she is “hopeful” …….? Not sure I know what I mean by that…

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