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The Abissinia serves Zignie

The traditional dish of beef with spicy sauce is served in Eritrea with injera, a sour flatbread that serves as a plate. Dantina Woldebruk-Horst does the same in her Abissinia restaurant.

Decoration in the Eritrean restaurant Abissinia in Berlin (Photo: Lena Ganssmann)

Eritrea’s and Ethiopia’s unique food culture

Dantina Woldebruk-Horst had to leave her home because of the civil war with Ethiopia. She misses her culture, the food culture: “Food is very important in Eritrea because we eat from a plate together and it is eaten by hand. That means it is not just the food, but the different hands that come from it Eat plates. That trust, that’s what makes it! ”

Dantina Woldebruk-Horst, cook and operator of the Berlin restaurant Abissinia (photo: Lena Ganssmann)

From a muffle to a successful cook

“Actually I could never cook well, but practice makes perfect. If someone from Eritrea was asked if Dantina could cook, everyone would laugh because I really had two left hands. I could only eat, I could not cook. But in I’ve learned a lot in these six years! ” – Dantina Woldebruk-Horst

Ethiopian recipes in the Abissinia restaurant (Photo: Lena Ganssmann)

Home in recipe form

Cantina Woldebruk-Horst wrote down her recipes in the Ethiopian script. It is used not only for the Ethiopian national language Amharic but also for the two Eritrean languages ​​Tigre and Tigrinya. Like the Latin script, it runs from left to right, but is a syllable script and comprises 26 basic characters that are expanded by several signatures to reproduce all sounds.

Close-up of Injera, a flatbread made from sourdough from Eritrea and Ethiopia (Photo: Lena Ganssmann)

Injera – flatbread made from sourdough

“Injera is the basic food in Eritrea. Everything is eaten with injera, everything. No matter whether at lunchtime or in the evening, this is our main course. It is a little bit sour because we also let it ferment for two or three days! Injera is in a special pan made and served with every meal. ” – Dantina Woldebruk-Horst

Close-up of Zignie, an Eritrean beef dish (Photo: Lena Ganssmann)

Typically Eritrean

The most important ingredient for the Zignie beef dish is berbere! A spicy mix of spices, including chili pepper, ginger, and garlic. It is used in many dishes in Eritrea. Otherwise, you need a good dose of patience for the Eritrean cuisine, because the preparation of the dishes takes time.

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