The first time I went to an Ethiopian restaurant, I was convinced that the plate of injera a few tables away from us was actually a stack of neatly folded napkins. Injera is actually a tangy, spongy flatbread that we used to scoop up the interesting bean and vegetable dishes that were part of the vegan platter.
It is interesting to try to understand how the geographic location, history, culture and religion contribute to a country’s cuisine. I was surprised at the variety of vegan dishes Ethiopian cuisine has and how similar the spices are to Indian cuisine. From what I have read, many Ethiopians are Orthodox Christians who have strict vegan fasting rules for a large part of the year. As a result, just like Indians, they have developed some really healthy vegan options.
Don’t worry about not having injera, tikel gomen goes well with a scoop of well cooked basmati rice.