Going back to basics - eating with your hands... A heart-warming Eritrean dining experience!
" This is an inspiring follow-up story to¬†my earlier blog about ""Come on... do you need to win the lottery to....? "" http://tuneinandstepup2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/come-on-do-you-really-need-to-win-the-lottery-to/ I indicated that my boss, Mengistab¬†(above¬†left) ¬†and I¬†were having lunch in a¬†¬†small Eritrean Restaurant, The Red Sea Caf√©, ¬†in Ottawa, when we came up with a plan to¬†support ¬†the two wonderful women who own the restaurant as we noticed that the place was empty and the business needed help to thrive.¬† That day (about three weeks ago), we left a huge smile on the faces of Hedat¬†and Azieb¬†(center,¬† above center) ¬†the owners, as we promised to invite a group of people to have a meal the following week.¬† All of this planning happened within half an hour and since then, I am happy to report that we have actually hosted 2 full house events at the restaurant with another one scheduled for Thursday October 10th, 2013.¬†¬†This is another great example of people coming together to support¬†a new business and ¬†to create a positive impact on our community with very minimum¬†effort and having a great dining ¬†experience in great company! The experience of¬†having a traditional Eritrean dinner with the coffee ceremony is quite a unique experience as there are many heart-warming cultural elements which brings us back to that feeling of community and heart to heart connections. The meal started with some¬†traditional spice tea served with chick pea fries¬†and¬†a delicious¬†dipping sauce.¬† It is a great healthy alterative to potato fries! Next came the real deal - The Eritrean dinner!¬† The main traditional food in Eritrean cuisine¬† is tsehhi¬†(stew), served with injera¬† (flatbread made¬† from teff, wheat or sorghum)¬†and hilbet¬†(paste made¬† from legumes, mainly lentil and faba¬†beans,¬†served on a large platter with the injera ¬†(at the bottom of the plate).¬† Additional¬†injera is also placed on the side.¬†Each plate is organized¬†to feed at least four people - everyone eats from the same plate! The great combination of vegetables, lentils, beef and chicken is cooked¬†with the most amazing spices!¬† Instead of using cutlery, the Injera¬†is used as the utensils to pick up¬†the ¬†food. Rules for eating:
- You must start your meal with¬†clean hands as you are sharing with others.
- Eat with your right hand only and don‚Äôt ¬†touch your lips with your fingers or lick your fingers.