Sunday, September 30, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 26: West African Lime Cake

West African Lime Cake concludes a month of Veganizing Recipes from Africa. I loved that a majority of these finds were already vegan. 

It has been a splendid Vegan Mofo. Thank you everyone for visiting, leaving comments, and trying out shared recipes. I truly appreciate the time spent learning about Africa regions and diverse cuisines and bringing that to AfroVeganChick. Whether recipes succeeded triumphantly or failed profusely, I had wonderful, long moments spent in the kitchen, experimenting and growing as a vegan cook enthusiast.  This is certainly not the end to integrating ancestral food into my contemporary lifestyle.
A huge thank you to the Vegan Mofo team for the avid social media support including this shout out to the "Fish" Balls (thank you, Rosie!). You gals and guys rock!
Since my birthday is next Sunday, a light early celebratory dessert was in order. In West Africa, lime cake is the rage next to sweet fried puff puffs and mandazi. I made a veganized version that is coarse and grainy, less airier than a standard American cake. Similar to cornbread texture, this lime cake will please anyone who has a modest sweet tooth.

West African Lime Cake Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoon flaxmeal with 4 tablespoon water)
juice and zest of one lime
2/3 cup dairy free milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, sugar, and baking powder.
Mix in oil, flax egg, lime zest and juice, and dairy free milk.

All mixed together. Pour into a greased baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. 

Cooled lime cake topped with Reddi Whip Almond Whipped Cream and lime slices. 

Perfect end to an amazing Vegan Mofo 2018. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 25: Khobz

Baked khobz is perfect any time of the day. Best served warm. 
Morocco--primarily mountainous-- is definitely a place that I long to visit alongside the newly discovered Mauritius. Known for pleasant beaches and gorgeous weather, this large country hashweather similar to California. Official languages are Moroccan and Hassaniya Arabic, Berber, and some French. Majestic peaks include the Toubkal (the largest range in Northern Africa) and the High Atlas Mountains. Their arts and literature are celebrated. Louis Lumiere's Le Chevier Marocain has the earliest film created in Morocco from 1897.
Moroccan cuisine is limitless with influences from Moorish to Mediterranean. Mint, saffron, lemons, oranges, olives, couscous, and dates.
Most importantly, they have bread everyday and khobz is often the top bakery choice. It is a hard and crusty with a soft interior. The top is often coated in sesame seeds before baking in the oven. I found this recipe on Kevin Lee Jacob's A Garden for the House blog-- takes an hour and minutes to make and well worth the effort in the end.

Khobz Ingredients and Preparation

1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
sesame seeds

Mix warm water and yeast together. Set aside for ten minutes.
Stir flour and salt.
Add warm water and yeast mixture.
Knead for ten to twelve minutes.
Transfer onto parchment paper that is laid out a baking sheet. Cut dough in half and flatten with palm. Cover and rest for ten minutes.
Once the dough has risen, pour and press in the sesame seeds.
Cover again and let dough rest for another hour.
Preheat oven to 425, use a knife to score steam vents on both breads, and bake for 25 minutes.

Fresh baked bread is one of the best kitchen smells.  In fact, this traveled all the way upstairs. 

Breakfast scene: warmed khobz, vegan butter, and cold almond milk. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 24: Grilled Enqulal Tibs & Cheese Sandwiches

A spice grilled cheese with amazing tofu scramble.
Today's destination of Ethiopia hails a few people I personally know including local artist Sedakial Gebremedhim. This highly populated (100 million people), very beautiful country is located in the Horn of Africa bordered by Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya. There are 856 bird species and 16 of them are endangered. Mammals are also vulnerable and on a rapid decline due to deforestation. Organizations are in place to aide in reducing the issues.
Ethiopian cuisine is starred by delicious injera-- a sour teff flour dough usually topped with a variety of spiced vegetables and legumes. It is custom to eat it with hands and feed it to loved ones and strangers.
Originally, I had planned to make injera, but fate had other ideas in store. In comes enqulal tibs-- a popular scrambled eggs dish prepared with nit'r kibbeh and berbere spice. I crumbled extra firm tofu and fried with leftover coconut nit'r kibbeh and homemade berbere. It doesn't stop there. The bread is grilled on both sides, lightly coated in the kibbeh, making for one of the most unique grilled "cheese" experiences ever. The flavors are outstanding.
By the way, while in the kitchen photographing my sandwiches, my passing housemate exclaimed," wow that looks and smells good. Everything you make always smells good!"
That was my happy, humbling moment of today.

Grilled Enqulal Tibs & Cheese Sandwiches Ingredients and Preparation

berbere spice from Imma

3 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon black pepper (preferably white)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fenugreek
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Stir everything together, making sure to crush any balls and lumps like ground ginger. 

I poured mine in an empty black pepper grinder.

Tofu Scramble

1 1/2 tablespoon coconut nit'r kibbeh
1 1/2 cup crumbled extra firm tofu
1 1/2 teaspoon berbere spice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
bread (used Dave's Killer 21 Seeds Thin Sliced Bread)
Field Roast Tomato Cayenne Chao (or any dairy free alternative)

In a skillet, heat up coconut nit'r kibbeh.
Toss tofu scramble with berbere, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Pour into hot skillet.
Stir tofu scramble around in the sizzling kibbeh, browning sides for five to seven minutes.
Scoop prepared tofu scramble into bread and top with vegan cheese.
Add more coconut nit'r kibbeh to the skillet and lay down the sandwiches, pressing on them with a spatula. Both sides should be toasty and brown.

Gorgeous sandwiches presented on a beautiful plate.

Dig in. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 23: Arroz Roce

São Tomé and Príncipe are an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, near western coast of central Africa, with Gabon closest. The official language is Portuguese and Forro, Angolar, and Principense are also spoken. It is a hot and humid location with a few bird species and plants thriving in Africa's second smallest country. The main agricultural crop is cocoa and then palm kernels, copra, and coffee. Their cuisine is mostly beans, corn, cooked bananas, pineapple, avocado, coffee as seasoning, hot spices, and sweet potato omelettes.
I wasn't partial to making rice pudding. Once, I had a stepfather that demanded my siblings and I to eat sugared white rice. Back then, we were raised on butter and salted rice. I thought it was one of the grossest creations known to man-- well next to my hatred of ham and spam. Still, the island's popular arroz roce is divine and simple dessert. I didn't have coconut milk on hand, but So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer and regular almond milk thickened the rice well enough. The kitchen smelled so sweet and fragrant, I couldn't wait to devour a bowl or two. This models the recipe from the 196Flavors blog.

Arroz Roce Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/4 cup rice
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut creamer
1/2 cup almond milk

Bring rice, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick to a boil.
Add salt, sugar, cinnamon, coconut creamer, and dairy free milk.
Allow rice to thicken.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 22: Chickpea Vindaye

Chickpeas are once again transformed into a meaty starring dish.
Tropical Mauritius, where flightless dodos once roamed freely, is an island located in the Indian Ocean formerly under Dutch and French rule. English and French are the national languages with Creole, Bhojpuri, and Hindustani also spoken. The island ranks high as a tourist attraction with a splendid rock formation (Seven Colored Earths) being the height alongside beautiful beaches and climbing the picturesque La Morne Brabant Mountain. Among the several holidays celebrated is the Abolition of Slavery every February 1st.
Mauritian cuisine is a combination of influences from Chinese, Indian, French, and Creole. Curries, pickles, chutney, rice, and noodles are highly favored staples.
I was inspired by Aislinn's Travelstart blog post (which features plentiful meals worth veganizing) to venture into another "fish" dish. These "feel good fish cakes," crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, are a slightly altered recipe from We Are So Vegan. I created a simple mustard marinade for that authentic vindaye which is all about mustard, onions, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander.

Chickpea Vindaye Ingredients and Preparation

1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained
2 teaspoon sweet relish
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
red onion, chopped
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal with 2 tablespoon water)
2 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoon parsley

2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coriander
red onion, a few slices should do
1-2 teaspoon water
pinch of salt and black pepper

Set aside the flax egg.

In a medium bowl combine ingredients. Add flax egg last.

Shape into patties and heat a skillet with a light coating of olive or coconut oil.

Gently place patties in the skillet and brown each side for 5-7 minutes. In the meantime, whip up the marinade in a blender or food processor.

Serve "fish" vindaye with marinade and a side of a  vegetable-- perhaps broccoli.

Bon appetit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 21: Efo and Lentil Stew

The very last Vegan Mofo stew is packed with feel good vibes.
Niger is named after the Niger River and is the western part of Africa bordered by Nigeria, Benin, Libya, Mali, Burkino Faso, Chad, and Algeria. The subtropical climate is mostly dry with plenty of deserts and savannahs. The Air and Tenere National Nature Preserve was founded to protect rare species of Barbary sheep, oryxes, gazelles, and Addax antelope. While French is the official language, ten other dialects are spoken throughout. They have two major festivals each year-- Guerewol of the Wodaabe tribe is a traditional union ceremony and  La Cure Salee of Tuareg and Wodaabe pays tribute to the end of  rainy season.
Nigerien cuisine consists of vegetables (they start their day with salads), rice, potatoes, cassava, millet, dates, and groundnuts. Efo stew, quite simple to prepare, is a premiere highlight of both Niger and Nigeria-- a tasty celebration of greens. I added lentils to this delicious callaloo dish for texture, flavor, and fiber.

Efo Stew With Lentils Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup lentils
1 1/2 cup water
2 cup callaloo or spinach
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

After boiling and simmering lentils for about 30 minutes, add callaloo and other ingredients, cooking this for 7-10 minutes.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 20: Chapati

Chapati is perfect at any time of the day.
Burundi--one of the smallest countries in Africa-- is located in the eastern part of the continent. The Nile, Lake Victoria, and Lake Tanganyika are major water resources in a country of mostly agriculture and pastural. Arts and music are important, especially basket weaving and drums respectively. Oral storytelling, martial arts, and sports are also noted.
Their cuisine is simple-- sweet potatoes, corn, and peas are a usual meal. They don't eat meat as often as other countries. Close friends do, however, have communal impeke (beer) gatherings, passing around and drinking from the container that shows unity.
Chapati is a very popular fry bread almost similar to pancakes, but less sweet and a lot more prepping effort. This latest veganized recipe from Imma's African Bites website is absolutely delicious. I am thankful to have frequently visited a place that has helped shape some of the dishes over the course of my Vegan Mofo theme. The end results of making chapati for the first time were well worth the taste of crisp, "buttery" thin bread layered with the tantalizing burst of married cherries and dates.

Chapati Ingredients and Preparation

3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/4 cup warm water
coconut or olive oil for brushing and frying

In a large bowl, make a well from the flour. Add sugar, salt, oil, and water.
Knead until soft and sticky.
Transport onto a floured board and knead for 8-16 minutes longer.
Cut the dough into 6-8 circles.
Roll out each one, lightly adding oil to both sides.
Gently fold upward as if making a paper fan until it's one long strand. Coil the strand as if forming cinnamon buns.

Cover for 15 minutes to let dough rest. Afterwards, warm up the skillet and start rolling out coiled dough.

Sear each side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

A stack of "buttery" chapati.


Smothered in cherry date goodness. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 19: Curry Potatoes

Colors and flavors to celebrate the day after fall equinox and the start of Libra season.
Uganda kicks off this last week of Vegan Mofo. This is a country in the central part of Africa bordered by Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Congo, and Rwanda with English and Swahili as official languages as well as some twenty more local vernaculars. It is home to tourist attractions such as Queen Elizabeth Park (their most popular), the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (where half of the world's mountain gorillas exist), and Margherita Peak (the highest mountain range in Africa).
In Ugandan cuisine, indigenous cooking and contemporary methods thruve together with cassava, rice, plantains, sesame seeds, spices, and peppers as main components. Specialty foods are luwondo (a stew that can be made of mushrooms steamed in banana leaves), malewa (a bamboo shoots dish), and kikomando (chapati bread served with fried beans). In addition to Fanta, tea, and chai, fermented banana wine is a thing.
Alongside my Ugandan curried potatoes, a recipe from Genius Kitchen, are Brussels sprouts coated in generous teaspoons of coconut nit'r kibbeh, salt, and black pepper, making for another colorful, fulfilling meal.

Curried Potatoes Ingredients and Preparation

8-9 red potatoes (or 2 small sweet potato/Yukon)
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup onion
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon curry paste
4 small bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Boil potatoes. Drain and set aside.
In a medium pot, combine coconut oil and onions, searing until brown. Add garlic and stir together for thirty seconds.
Bring in the rest of the ingredients.
Lower heat and simmer for ten minutes.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 18: Daraba

Another hearty, vegetable stew.
Chad--located in north central Africa-- is the 22nd largest country in the world and Lake Chad is the second largest wetland on the continent. The official languages are Arabic and French, but  over one hundred other tongues are currently spoken. They recently had a cultural and national museum open to celebrate the complexities of the country's history and its people (there are some 200 different ethnicities spread throughout).
Southern Chad actually has inhabitants whom eat only plant based. Foods like lentils, melon, mango, plantains, papaya, and pineapple are consumed. Daraba is the traditional vegetable and peanut dish that is perfect now with the temperature dropping. Modeled after Notes From the Kitchen's recipe sans the okra and eggplant, I added sweet potato scraps from previous peeling efforts and callaloo (which you could use spinach or mixed greens). The broth is creamy and rich thanks to the addition of peanut butter-- a huge favorite on every country of the continent! I rarely cook with peanut butter, but these past few weeks have shaped my love for jam's best friend in a new engaging way. And this bowl licking stew is addictive. Although in Chad, they eat daraba with millet, I consumed mine with "buttery" brown rice.

Daraba Ingredients and Preparation

3 cup water
1 sweet potato, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Better Than Boullion
1 cup calaloo (or spinach)
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch of salt and black pepper

Combine water, sweet potato, carrots, tomatoes, and Better Than Bouillon together in a pot.
Once vegetables are tender, take 3/4 cup stock and mix with peanut butter.
Add callaloo and peanut butter sauce to stew. Simmer for ten minutes.
Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.

Stew close up.

Stew and brown rice at ready.

Dinner is served.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 17: Swahili Ginger and Milk Tea

Give a hoot for sweet and spice and everything is a little nice.
Mozambique--the world's 36th largest country at over 300,000 square miles-- is in the Southeastern part of Africa with the Mozambique River separating it from Madagascar. The official language is Portuguese, but Swahili, Sena, and Makhuwa are also spoken.  In their tropical climate, they have 740 bird species, 200 mammals, and several endangered. Fortunately, there are protected rainforests, national parks, and frontier conservations. Since Portugal's 500 year rule, Mozambique's cuisine has been compromised. Ncima (a maize/corn porridge), rice, cassava are primary foods among cashew nuts, paprika, bay leaves, and coriander.
Sweet Swahili ginger milk tea is the beverage of choice-- the grownups having the caffeinated version while the children settled for decaf. The ginger is strong and aggressive, but the sugar and milk counteract the spice. It can be served hot or cold. The warmth, however, is as comforting as a classic old sweater and a good putdownable book. I found this recipe at Global Table Adventure.

Swahili Ginger Milk Tea Ingredients and Preparation

1 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup black tea
1/3 cup grated ginger (or 2 tablespoon ground)
1 cup almond milk
3 tablespoon sugar

Bring water to a boil. Add tea and ginger. While simmering, pour in the dairy free milk and sugar.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 16: "Fish" Balls

"Fish" balls are lightly crunchy bite.
The smallest country on Africa's mainland, The Gambia's population of two million is almost the same amount of Philadelphia inhabitants. The Gambia--a tropical climate region-- is named after the river its nearly surrounded by, a river that in fact empties into the Atlantic Ocean. English is the official language although there are other spoken native tongues. In culinary regard, foods such as rice, black eyed peas, cassava, plantains, peanuts, cabbage are among the fare thoroughly enjoyed.
Gambians love their fish balls, having them at any time of the day usually with a light stew or over white rice. I never had fish balls (let alone a whole fish staring lifelessly at me from its POV on a plate) and recreated a Genius Kitchen recipe.
I was utterly surprised that these no animals harmed delicacies came out well. After all, it hasn't been a winning week as far as experiments go. The crisp exterior holds up for the creamy, savory interior-- very interesting flavors and texture profiles.
As for now, I am super stuffed. I ate five "fish" balls with a basic topping of Just Mayo Garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. For dessert, I had a glass of almond milk alongside the mistake makroudhs (kept in the refrigerator). They turned into chilled dense butter cookies with the cherry date filling enhancing their sweetness. Funny how failures become something entirely unexpected.

"Fish" Balls Ingredients and Preparation

1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
1 cup cornmeal mush
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 flax eggs (2 tablespoon flax meal + 6 tablespoon water)
1 cup breadcrumbs (used Watusee Foods Chickpea Crumbs)

coconut or olive oil for frying

Combine walnuts, cornmeal mush. mashed potatoes, onion, ketchup, lemon juice, parsley, paprika, salt, and black pepper-- mix well.

Tablespoon out the batter. Set up a station for the flax egg and the breadcrumbs. Dip the balls in flax and coat them in breadcrumbs.

Covered and ready to go.

In a skillet, pan sear the "fish" balls on all sides.

Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 15: Mustard Tofu

Pan seared tofu coated in mustard sauce might be one of the more interesting creations made this month.
Gabon-- located on the equator-- is in the central part of Africa and its earliest settlers were the Pygmy peoples before the Bantu came. Rainforests cover 85% of the country and a group called "The Raconteurs" want to keep alive the Gabonese tradition of oral storytelling folklore and mythology through language of the Fangs. Their cuisine is largely influenced by former French rule, but rice, cassava, plantains, guava, mangoes, and bananas have always been primary staples.
Mustard chicken is Gabon's signature must have dish. Of course, I thought why not tofu? Now I'm not the hugest mustard fan, only adding a tiny bit to mac n cheese or so. Nothing much else. The tangy mustard combined with garlic, lemon, and onions bring amazing flavor. Plus, one can sub out tofu for any of the delicious chik'in out in the market-- Beyond Meat or gardein.

Mustard Tofu Ingredients and Preparation

2 tablespoon olive oil
extra firm tofu
red or yellow onion
3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon cornmeal
2 tablespoon water (add more if thicker consistency desired)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small tomato
dried parsley

Whisk together Dijon mustard, cornmeal, water, garlic, turmeric, cumin, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
Cover tofu cutlets in the mustard sauce.
In a nonstick skillet, fry up onions until brown and add the marinated mustard tofu. Cook for several minutes on each side.

Top finished tofu with tomato slices and parsley.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 14: Cherry Date Filling

Well, there was this cherry date filling that worked out.
Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Nile Delta is Tunisia--formerly Ifriqiya (Africa). Tunisia is a place with beach tourist attractions, the World Heritage Site of the Ruins of Dougga, and some fifty art galleries. Tunisian diet is rich in Mediterranean flare. Ingredients such as olive oil, spices, and tomatoes are abundantly consumed. One dish that is well-known to the area is lablabi-- a chickpea and garlic stew bookmarked for the future. They love fire grilled vegetables, include black cumin in their harissa, and couscous is a primary staple. It is also number 42 (behind Morocco and Algeria) in worldwide cherry production.
Makroudh is a beloved pastry traditionally filled with dates or figs-- like a classic Fig Newton and glazed with honey and orange blossom water. I found this recipe with ingredients listed in grams and milliliters and significant errors (for example how much boiling water to add to flour and butter mixture) quite problematic. Plus, without pictorial aide, I was generally lost on accurate preparation. For one thing, the dough was too weak to roll the filling in and as end result tasted far too buttery. It obviously needed more flour.
Still, for all the effort, this refined sugar free cherry date filling is worth writing about. It is sweet and vibrant, smells heavenly (has anyone simmered cherries, dates, and spices before?), great for any successfully created makroudh or hand pie/pop tart.
I will attempt to make makroudh again (using a different recipe) and use the cherry date filling.

Cherry Date Filling Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup medjool dates
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup frozen cherries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)

Soak medjool dates for an hour or so.
Puree and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine cherries, cherry juice, cinnamon, and cardamom on low heat for about five to seven minutes.
Pour into date mixture. Blend this together and place contents into the same saucepan, adding the arrowroot to thicken.

Bubbling cherries for the cherry fiend.

Warm, thick filling.

These makroudh are not bad, but have the potential to be better. It was my first time working with semolina flour-- flour finer than whole wheat and all-purpose. 

There also wasn't enough filling in the centers. It made sense to spoon extra on top. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 13: Kulwha

Soy ground is seasoned to perfection next to lemon-garlic brown rice.
Eritrea is located in Northern Africa, with parts of its coast adjacent to the Red Sea-- coincidentally the ancient Greek definition of Eritrea. Although the country has no official language, Tigrinya is mostly spoken and written, seen as the de facto for national identity. Eritrea's cuisine has influences from Italy--their former conquerors-- for there is a tremendous penchant for tomatoes.
Also, I watched the delightful Life Is Fare at the Blackstar Film Festival this past summer-- it stars a first generation Eritrean, artist Sephora Woldu, who also wrote and directed.
Eritrea and Ethiopia (the Southern neighbor that has always had great plight) have quite similar cooking styles. For example, Kulwha (Eritrean stir fry) calls for berbere (Ethiopian spice) and nit'r kibbeh (spiced ghee very popular in Ethiopia). I made my own nit'r kibbeh using coconut oil as a basis as opposed to butter. Miyoko's Kitchen could have worked, but at the same time, I wanted a simple, cost effective solution. As for lamb (something that I never had), I always replace with soy ground. There are apparently vegan lamb varieties somewhere in existence as well as recipes for homemade seitan creations.
I quite enjoyed the process of making the nit'r kibbeh and prepping the overall meal. It is time consuming, a learning curve that ups the value of how we see our pantry ingredients (some of which we probably rarely use). Plus, it amazed me that one could get so much flavor into soy ground, enhance its properties into complex and intriguing to consume.

Kulwha Ingredients and Preparation

coconut nit'r kibbeh
1 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cardamom
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon fenugreek
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Lightlife Soy Ground
1/4 cup onion, sliced
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon coconut nit'r kibbeh
1 tablespoon berbere
1 teaspoon spice pulp*
pinch of salt

This coconut nit'r kibbeh is modeled after My Darling Gourmet's recipe with slight alterations to make less. 

Simmer coconut oil with ingredients for thirty minutes, stirring to keep from burning. Separate with sieve or strainer into an air-tight container, and place in refrigerator for four hours or longer until it becomes a golden yellow solid. Retain the spice pulp. But discard the cinnamon stick.

In a skillet, combine olive oil with soy ground, onions, coconut nit'r kibbeh, spice pulp, and salt.

Dinner is served.

Very tasty.