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Sunday, 4 September 2011

A whiff of Eritrea in Auckland



The very first time I had African food was during a trip to Vancouver and I fell in love with the flavour, texture and the smell of my fingers after the meal. I was hooked. Since I am back in Auckland, I kept googling and finally found an Eritrean lunch outing through a food tour organiser, Finding Flavours.
This is not just a lunch outing, we are going to be served a meal cooked by an Eritrean family and followed by a coffee ceremony. There were about a dozen other foodies on the day and we were warmly welcomed by Aklilu and his sisters Rahel and Tsehaines in their family home. The smell of the food was making me hungry.After an introduction to the family and Eritrean food and culture, the dishes were presented to us on a table and we were encouraged by the family to eat as much as we like.




The meal starts with injera, a flat bread made from fermented rice flour is the base of a meal much like rice or pasta. The fermentation process created the airy soft texture of the injera.

Derho is a chicken and hard-boiled eggs in curry. The chicken was so tender, it fell off the bones.It was not very spicy, just a little hint of chilli with a nice gingery aftertaste.


Zigni is a lamb curry cooked with the family made from scratch curry paste. Very good too.



Alicha : stir-fried carrots, beans, potatoes ,garlic and onion with spices. It was so delicious that I ate almost half the bowl. No kidding.

Ades is a spicy lentil dish that goes really well with the injera.
Our lovely foodie, oops! I mean guide Lynn from Finding Flavours

Tsehaines & Aklilu generously shared their food and culture with us

Aklilu presented us Hmbasa bread to go with the coffee. Popcorn was also served and it's a common practice to have it before coffee is served.

Freshly baked Hambasa bread to go with the aromatic coffee

Green coffee beans are roasted over charcoal fire by Rahel


The roasted coffee grinds are then transferred to be boiled



If only I can have this coffee every morning..strong but not overpowering with a nice cardamon flavour lingering in your mouth.

We've spent almost 3 hours in the family home and it was one of the warmest occasions that was motivated by food but continued by sharing some of the families' stories in a group of like-minded, well-traveled foodies. I personally think it's a true privilege to share an amazing meal cooked by the people who eat it everyday at home themselves. Nothing can get as authentic as this. The experience was really memorable and kudos to Lynn from Finding Flavours for organising such a special occasion and am looking forward for more to come.

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6 comments:

gigivieve said...

Wow. The food looked absolutely amazing! And love the whole concept of Finding Flavours. I've never heard of them but will definitely check out their website now.

Her Worldly Pleasures said...

Yeah I love the concept too and they have lots of tours coming up that looks very interesting.

Alem said...

Hey thanks for this post! :) I was looking for some good images of Habesha food, and yours were the best. :) I used them here: http://jclass.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=105&pid=506#pid506

Alem said...

Thanks for this post. :) I was looking for some high quality images to show some friends Habeshe food, and your were the best. :)
I used them here: jclass.icyboards.net/showthread.php?tid=105&pid=506#pid506

ObsidianJaguar said...

Hi ,
THNAK you for this post ... I am a foodie and been searching high and low for Eritrea, eithepoian .. type food so this is great .. now for a time machine so I could have gone with you :)

Her Worldly Pleasures said...

Hi Obsidian, I'm glad that you've enjoyed this post. Yes, Erithrean/Ethiopian cuisine is incredibly enjoyable.Do look out for the annual Auckland International Food Festival in March/April as this family will share their home-cooked food with the public.