Ethiopian Food and Music

Some snippets from our Ethiopian culinary and cultural events

We’ve learned about  so many delicious Ethiopian meals–some spicy and some not so spicy: Doro Wat, Miser Wat, Kik Alicha, Kosta, Lemlem’s couscous salad and others.  Two  of they key ingredients that make Ethiopian food so delicious are  Berbere–the spice mixture  and Niter Kibbe–the spiced clarified butter that is simple to make and fills the  house with a delicious enticing aroma while it percolates. There are lots of recipes for  Berbere flying around the web;  but, if you live anywhere near an Ethiopian market or restaurant go there to buy it instead.    Once you start using it you will want to put it on everything!

Before going out to eat a spicy and delicious  Ethiopian dinner of Doro Wat with Injera, or while cooking the meal yourself,  one may want to listen to Ethiopian music. These artists are a great place to start, and  Doro Wat takes a few hours to cook so you have lots of time.

The first  song comes from the debut album“Twesta (Remembrance)” by the Addis Acoustic Project will help you enjoy every minute! The Addis Acoustic Project is an ensemble jazz band that calls up elements of the great jazz sounds of Ethiopian’s past– you can lose yourself in this music for hours upon hours.  My favorites are  YetintuTiz Alegn, Almaz YeHarrarwa and  Alemoush Mambo, but they are all great!

Here’s a write up about the band in the Washington Post Music blog…

Their albums can be purchased on Amazon and on ITunes. They also have a facebook page.

The other songs are by Ejigayehu Shibabaw  (Gigi), Aster Aweke, Temesgen Gebregziabeher, Mc Mike and Yoni Yoye and a beautiful religious song by an Ethiopian signer whose name I’m unsure of. Gigi  blends  traditional and modern jazz sounds to create a “groove” that rightly has made her successful around the world.  She’s worked with jazz legends in the United States and  some of the other musicians featured on this web site too, including Karsh Kale, one of the emerging producers in South Asian/American fusion music listed below and Bill Laswell (her producer/husband). Her music can be purchased on CD Baby  , Amazon and ITunes.

To quote from David Dye of NPR World Cafe “Gigi creates upbeat, hopeful music. Her range of styles and beautiful voice bring that sound to life.”

 The other singers are also well known within Ethiopia and the Ethiopian diaspora community and deserve to be known by so many others as well.:-)