Giveaway: Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food (And So Do We!)


Yes! It’s contest time! Let me give you a bit of back story on my experience with Ethiopian food. When I say ‘experience’, it really is what I mean. We were in Washington D.C., and had an Ethiopian taxi driver. We’d wanted to try Ethiopian food for a long time and were chatting with our driver about the best local restaurants. With our communication challenges, he never got the vegan thing, but he did suggest 2 of the restaurants that were on our ‘vegan-friendly’ list. We opted for Meskerem in the Adams Morgan area. Walking into the restaurant was like walking through a portal. The first thing to hit you is the aroma. It was enticing. Our server carefully ran through the menu with us and we opted for a platter. After two bites, we were hooked. As a plus, eating with you hands has never tasted so good.

And didn’t have Ethiopian food again until this last spring. We were vacationing in Vermont with our dear friends, Liz and Matthew. Liz managed to find a restaurant that served Ethiopian food on Tuesday nights. The food was just as wonderful as our first time, and we were even more fascinated than before.

Then came Kittee Berns’ incredible zine, Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian. I’ve been a fan of Kittee’s for a long time, and if you’re not already, you will be soon. This zine is packed with all the flavor you’d hope from Ethiopian cuisine and a big surprise: it’s gluten-free!
We started with the Ethiopian version of Mac ‘n’ Cheesie. Since we’re not gluten-free, I used regular pasta, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. And loved it. Following Kittee’s suggestion, we served it with ye’abesha gomen, made with chard. I have 3 words for you: best greens ever.


From there, we went for a platter-style meal. Since I didn’t have the urad dal for the injera fake-outs, I made my own from a combo of online recipes. Most importantly, it used some sourdough starter and fermented for 3 days. So we started off with a great base, in spite of the fact that many of them tore because I had stacked them. We had the Best Greens Ever (of course), red lentils in a spicy gravy (p. 55), mushroom tibs (p. 47), and my own version of salata (from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.). We loved this dinner and it hit all the same notes that dining out had. Kittee really worked some magic into this zine. I could go on and on, but this is already a long post. This is a gem that is packed full of info as well as incredible recipes.

Let me give you a couple of tips, if you happen to have this zine or are the lucky winner.

1. Make the full recipe of the nitter kibbeh. You’ll use it.
2. Kittee says it, but I’m saying it, too. Know your berebere whether it’s homemade or store-bought.

Here’s your chance! Comment on this post telling me one of your favorite Ethnic dishes. Since we’re talking world food, international entries are welcome. Next week, I’ll use random.com to pick one winner. Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian could be yours! Good luck!

12/22/11 – the winner is Ashley, #22! Congratulations. I will email you so I can pop this in the mail to you.

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80 Comments

  1. Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I do love Ethiopian food, and am so happy that there is a vegetarian Ethiopian resturant in LA, a mere three hour drive…
    My fav ethnic dish however is a basic one, Hot and Sour soup. Could eat this daily.
    Thanks for the awesome contest.

  2. Lee Ann
    Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Falafel is one of my favorites.
    I’ve only had Ethiopian food once, but it was sooo good.

  3. Liza
    Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Does Gumbo count? I’m gonna say gumbo.

  4. Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I really do think I could live on veggie sushi. :)

  5. Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    This cookbook has been making the rounds on vegan food blogs for awhile now and I keep meaning to get a copy! I suppose trying to win one would accomplish that, haha. Thanks for this awesome contest! :)

  6. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    We first had Ethiopian food in Raleigh, NC but have gotten very chummy with various regional Indian recipes for at-home cooking. I think my husband’s chana masala is as good as any we’ve had in a restaurant – and it’s tweaked to meet our tastes. We have also had the pleasure of growing our own bindi (okra) for bindi masala – MY favorite dish!

  7. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Ooh yum. My favorite ethnic food is onigiri. Simple but satisfying.

  8. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Indian, Ethiopian, Thai: I love it all. I’m sorry if this sounds wishy-washy but whatever I am craving at the time is my favorite. As long as it’s vegan and spicy, I am there. As someone who is gluten-free as well, Indian is probably the most friendly to my needs. But yum, I am lucky to live in a city with great vegan ethnic options, from Ethiopian to Costa Rican. Lucky lucky lucky! (Favorite Indian: Bengan bhartha. Favorite Thai: Pad sei eiw. Favorite Ethiopian: just get the vegan stuff in my mouth and I am happy!)

  9. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Avocado roll!

  10. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    oh this all looks so good! i only had ethiopian food once–it was in DC as well!–but I remember how yummy it was. my fave ethnic food changes all the time but right now it’s the tabbouleh from our fave restaurant down the street.

  11. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m crazy about dosa and sambar!

  12. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I love a Turkish spicy roasted red pepper dip called ezme.

  13. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s practically impossible to select a single favorite, but a few of those that I really love are hummus (especially my version with roasted red pepper) and tabouleh.

  14. Laura C.
    Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I could never pick a single ethnic food I love-they are all so different in such wonderful ways, it’s all about what I’m in the mood for at the time. But I do love me some ethiopian-greens, spicy lentils, injera-that cuisine is genius.

  15. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    i love moroccan b’stella! i used to live near a place that would make one with no animal products in it if we called ahead, and i’ve made my own a few times. it’s savory and warmly sweet at the same time and the textures are amazing. onion, garlic, protein (traditionally ‘meaty’(i.e. seitan-y, but it’s also great with chickpeas), almonds, warm spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves), fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley – all folded into a beautiful phyllo pie and then baked and served with powdered sugar and cinnamon dusted on top. *swoon*

  16. Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never really had Ethiopian food I don’t think but I’d love to try!

  17. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a coupon for an Ethiopian restaurant that I’m still waiting to use..

    My favorite as of late? Anything with eggplant in it from an Indian restaurant! Or black lentils… mmmmm..

  18. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a coupon for an Ethiopian restaurant that I’m still waiting to use..

    My favorite as of late? Anything with eggplant in it from an Indian restaurant! Or black lentils… mmmmm..

  19. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a coupon for an Ethiopian restaurant that I’m still waiting to use..

    My favorite as of late? Anything with eggplant in it from an Indian restaurant! Or black lentils… mmmmm..

  20. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a coupon for an Ethiopian restaurant that I’m still waiting to use..

    My favorite as of late? Anything with eggplant in it from an Indian restaurant! Or black lentils… mmmmm..

  21. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a coupon for an Ethiopian restaurant that I’m still waiting to use..

    My favorite as of late? Anything with eggplant in it from an Indian restaurant! Or black lentils… mmmmm..

  22. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this! My favorite ethnic dish is probably roti, stuffed with deliciousness. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at Ethiopian, but don’t even know where to start!

  23. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I love ethiopian as well and luckily, here in sacramento, we have a restaurant that serves a vegan buffet during the week and it is amazing, appealing to all non-vegans that I’ve brought here as well…falafel, baba ganoush, yum..anything thai (and vegan of course).

  24. notatwit
    Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    love all sorts of ethnic food – ethiopian, indonesian, thai, middle eastern, indian – if I didn’t run, I’d be sooooo fat.

  25. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I could never choose one ethnic food! Mmmm!

  26. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I have never had Ethiopian food in my life but I think I am going to look for a place to go to this weekend. Your post made me want to try Ethiopian Food

  27. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    LOVE Ethiopian food. Two of my favorite ethnic foods are injera (Ethiopian of course) and Moroccan Harira soup!! SO GOOD.

  28. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    My favorite meal of all time is kind of a mesh – an altered, slightly bastardized tandoori “chicken” (I use Tender Bits – love!), with Persian Rice and Potatoes – a super easy, simple steamed rice and potatoes recipe from my friend from Tehran. :)

  29. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Actually, Ethiopian food is my favourite ethnic food. And since the one Ethiopian restaurant in Scotland closed, the nearest Ethiopian restaurant is in London!

  30. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I love gnocchi if that counts, otherwise, falafel.

  31. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I love sambhar and dosa in any style! I could eat that all the time!

  32. Posted December 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Ever since my wife and I traveled to Ethiopia, Ethiopian food is definitely our favorite. The kitchen staff there was so excited when we asked for “fasting food” instead of the weird Ethiopian knock-offs of typical American fare; the staff kept coming by our table to make sure we were still enjoying it. Ah, amazing food.

  33. Posted December 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Gallo pinto, no doubt! My sister made it for the rest of the family after living in Costa Rica for 6 months. And we all loved it! I have now made it many times myself and could easily eat it every day. And I’m always quite generous with the salsa Lizano, yum!

  34. Posted December 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I love Kittee! She’s so cute! My favorite ethnic dish is Tom Kha soup with that creamy coconut broth… no fish sauce, of course. :-)

  35. Posted December 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Usually Falafel. But I had Vietnamese food last night and right now that’s on my mind!

  36. Posted December 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m very new to Ethiopian food, having been fortunate to enjoy a vegan meetup here in Barcelona at a fabulous Ethiopian place. I’m excited to be explore London’s ethiopian eateries when I get home now! It was amazing.
    As for my fave ethnic dish..I go in phases, currently I’m all about japanese. A warming miso soup with udon noodles, tofu and seaweed makes me v.happy:)

  37. Posted December 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Curried Mock Duck! Meaning the curried mock duck as served in Minnesota. Apparently a different dish with the same name is served in Vietnamese restaurants in other regions.

  38. Posted December 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    So mean to make me pick just one! Samosas, panang curry, naan, and I can’t forget my awesome Ethiopian food experience! I’ve only been once but it was amazing.

  39. Posted December 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    My favorite ethnic dish would have to be…vegan tamales. Stuffed with anything, I don’t care. Peas and peanut butter. I really don’t care. Ok, that sounds ew.

  40. Posted December 14, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    My favorite ethnic dish? General tsao’s tofu with extra sauce.

  41. Posted December 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had Ethiopian food! This is a crime, so I should probably win this giveaway.. ;)

  42. Posted December 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    oh my goodness. oh my goodness. oh my goodness. this can go on and on. i absolutely LOVEEEE ethiopian food, i tried it first when i became vegan last year August and there’s this ethiopian restaurant right near us that’s all vegan and they have the BEST food. it’s a drug.

  43. Posted December 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s hard to pick a favorite, but there is are two Indian places locally that I love. One has the best Dal Maharani and the other has an incredible Aloo Gobi. The latter is all vegetarian with lots of vegan options.

  44. Posted December 15, 2011 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love Ethiopian food! I’ve gone looking in the local library system for Ethiopian cookbooks and come up empty handed. What a fantastic zine idea!

  45. Posted December 15, 2011 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I am super partial to Thai, having lived there for a year a long time ago!
    As far as Ethiopian food – the beset I’ve ever had was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania!

  46. Posted December 15, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    No need to include me in the contest – I just bought it thanks to you.

    I love Ethiopian. Soul food is wonderful in the DC area as well. Did you guys get to go to The Yabba Pot in Baltimore? That was one of our faves, too.

    Anything Hungarian, so how about Cabbage Strudel?

  47. Posted December 15, 2011 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Ethiopian is a definite favorite and I have been to that exact restaurant in DC on a visit as well! I don’t know much about Ethiopian food (other than how delicious it is) so this zine would be a real education.

    As for my fave ethnic food, after a summer in south india I am completely hooked on idli in sambar. Idli are like the sourdough bread of south india so so good.

  48. Posted December 15, 2011 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Baked spring rolls…my new favorite!
    Cheers!

  49. Posted December 15, 2011 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    I have had very little experience with Ethiopian, but it always sounds so great.
    I don’t know if I could pick a favourite ethnic dish, I love many. But recently I have been loving donburi in various vegan forms.

  50. Posted December 15, 2011 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Vegan banx xeo- it’s a Vietnamese savory crepe filled with yellow mung bean, bean sprouts and various fillings ( I love crispy tempeh and a sauteed mixture of jicama, mushrooms & chayote squash).

  51. Posted December 15, 2011 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Heart Ethiopian, wish I lived closer to a big city. I love the basic lentil dish with injera you can get at Ethiopian restaurants.

  52. Posted December 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    upma – it’s like polenta, only so much more delicious…

  53. Posted December 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I love absolutely anything India. Especially Tikka Masala. So, so good.

  54. Posted December 16, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    I LOVE Ethiopian food; it’s my favorite ethnic cuisine! I’d say my favorite Ethiopian stew is a toss-up between Kik Alecha and Yemiser Wot. Thanks for the giveaway!

  55. Corrin Radd
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    I’d love that zine. I know you travel through Columbus occasionally, so you should visit the Blue Nile sometime–it’s got great food and is run by a really friendly, helpful family.

  56. Posted December 16, 2011 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    I love any spicy ethnic cuisine, the hotter the better! South Indian, Thai, Szechuan, oh my!

  57. Posted December 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Whenever I travel I look for Armenian restaurants. There aren’t many of them, but the vegetarian combo platter at Sayat Nova in Chicago is delicious, especially the plaki (mild white bean dish). I keep telling myself I have to figure out how to make it.

  58. megs
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Dosas or idli! Love me some south Indian xgfx spicy rice things!

  59. Posted December 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I love to make pickled veggie salads from my grandmother’s Swedish cookbooks.

  60. Posted December 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I love Lebanese food! Falafel and hummus every day!

  61. Val
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I am a huge fan of Ethiopian food! Your combo plate looks awesome! Favorite foods are always hard because I have so many and it changes week to week but right now after reading your review I am craving a veggie combo plate!

  62. Posted December 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I love tacos…and dosas…and dumplings…and many others.

  63. Posted December 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    My favorite ethnic food was my mother’s okra soup, a very savory dish filled with meat and (being a southern household) seasoned with salt, pepper and butter. It actually resembles more of a stew, then a soup. I have been meaning to recreate the dish into a healthy, vegan option, but I am a bit, anxious about what the fam would say.

  64. Posted December 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Nothing will ever taste as good as the Malai Kofta I ate at the Copper Chimney restaurant in Dar es Salaam. Malai Kofta is my favorite food in the world.

  65. Posted December 17, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Your pictures look delicious! Hard to pick a favorite food, but I really like vegan dal makahni and rice.

  66. Julie
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Lately I’m really into dahl and curries….and I really, really want this ‘zine!

  67. Posted December 18, 2011 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I love anything Indian, and of course Ethiopian, too! I’d say a good dal is one of my faves. :)

  68. Posted December 18, 2011 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I really really love Ethiopian food. I love the injera, the communal styles of eating, the spices, everything! Unfortunately there are no Ethiopian restaurants in the state I live in so I’ve been making Kittee’s Ethiopian recipes from the original Papa Tofu. They are all awesome and I assume these ones are just as good.

  69. Posted December 18, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I love all types of ethnic food, but especially Indian. One of my favorite Indian dishes would have to be Baingan Bartha. Thanks for the giveaway!

  70. Posted December 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I love a nice Japanese meal…miso soup, and some veggie rolls or soba noodles. It is so filling and tasty with a lot of wonderful nutrients and not much fat.

  71. Posted December 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I have wanted this zine for forever! I love Ethiopian food, but I think Indian food is my fave…dahl specifically. So good.

    Courtney

  72. Posted December 18, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I love Middle Eastern food. Hummus, falafel, etc. Oh, and Indian. Can’t beat a good dal.

  73. Posted December 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I love Indian and Middle Eastern foods. Dal, hummus, etc.

  74. Posted December 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    My favorite is dosa. Mmm. I also love Ethiopian food, but can only get it when I visit a big city, but maybe I should try making it myself. I love injera.

  75. Amy
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Thai yellow curry
    Or
    Tofu rancheros
    Or
    Spicy eggplant pita wrap
    Or
    General tso’s tofu
    Or
    Spinach Dahl

    I guess there are too many to chose from!
    What a wonderful probolem.

  76. Posted December 21, 2011 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    I thought that by the time I got through 71 comments, I’d have decided what my favourite ethnic food is, but no. On the other hand, I do eat a lot of chile sin carne. My cupboard is stuffed with dried chiles — so maybe I do have a favourite after all! I’ve never tasted Ethiopian food, so I look forward to trying it.

  77. Posted December 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Currently, my favorite is Spicy Sesame Tofu…would love to try Ethipian food!

  78. Posted December 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to try Ethiopian food. I need to fix that.

  79. Posted December 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I have favorites from every culture. From burritos to tofu tibs! I cannot pick one!

  80. Posted December 22, 2011 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    One of my favorites is kibbeh, but made vegan with tvp instead of lamb or whatever meat is supposed to be in it. That is what I am craving right now, but I love other foods from other parts of the world too!

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