I made this recipe in honor of "Africa Day" designated for May 25th, 2010. I was inspired to put this post together by Casey Angelova over at "Eating, Gardening & Living in Bulgaria" who encouraged other foodies and bloggers to help recognize the diverse and often under-appreciated cuisine from the African Continent. At first I had no idea what to make because I don't have a lot of experience with African cuisine. The more I thought about it though, I knew I wanted to try and re-create an awesome potato dish I had at my Eritrean friend's house several months ago. So, I did a search for some recipes online and found something that sounded like what I remembered eating. Although it doesn't compare to the authentic Eritrean spicy potatoes my friend's mom made that day, it is pretty darn close.
When I originally tried to recreate this a few months ago, it didn't come out quite right--but that's because it was missing one key ingredient: Berbere. Berbere is a staple in Eritrean cuisine. It is a complex blend of chilis, peppercorns and lots of other spices that I don't normally use, such as fenugreek, cardamom, cloves and coriander ---I would liken it to a super hot Indian curry spice - but African style. It also includes the more familiar cinnamon and allspice. You can get the complete recipe for Eritrean Berbere here.Other than mixing and roasting the spices for the Berbere, the recipe itself was pretty easy (Note: If you do decide to make your own berbere, make sure you open a window! The aroma from roasting and stirring a bunch of chilis caused lots of whooping and coughing in my house! :). Overall, I was really pleased with how this came out. The dish is so simple, yet the flavors are so complex. Served along with some pita and yogurt (I used Turkish pide), this makes a great lunch entree or dinner side dish. I hope you'll give it a try.
D'Nish Zigni (Fiery Potato Stew)
(Recipe taken from recipeisland.com - which was adapted from Olivia Warren's "Taste of Eritrea.")
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion — Chopped
4 Teaspoons Berbere — Or Hot Sauce
6 Medium Potato — Cubed ( I peeled before cutting)
1 Can Tomato Paste
1 Teaspoon Salt
4 Cups Chicken Stock (I used vegetable broth)
Directions: Saute onion in oil for 5 minutes. Add berbere, and potatoes, saute for 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and salt, simmer for 10 more minutes (I simmered 25 minutes instead of 10). Serve with injera or pita bread.