One of my favorite ethnic cuisines is Ethiopian. I love the simplicity of the wots, or stews, that come in an array of vegan, vegetarian, and meat options; I love the injera, which tastes a bit like a spongy sourdough; and I love the fact that everything is eaten by hand, using torn pieces of injera to pick up morsels of stew before popping the whole thing into your mouth.
Because I am an absolute novice when it comes to Ethiopian food, I typically let the waitress guide our order. At Demera Ethiopian Restaurant in Uptown, this resulted in six different stews served over the injera (along with serving as fork and knife, injera is also used as a kind of tablecloth). My favorites were the ye-shimbra assa, a spicy chickpea stew with chunks of chickpea patties, the mild ye-beg alicha, with its tender bits of lamb, and the doro wot, a chicken stew served with a drumstick, whole egg, and a feta like cheese.
Because of its emphasis on vegetables and beans, and the relatively small amount of oils used in typical recipes, it is actually quite easy to eat well and eat healthy when at an Ethiopian restaurant. As always, beware of fried food and watch your portions (perhaps the most challenging part of eating at Demera – there’s so much food and it is all so good). As they say in Amharic, the official working language of Ethiopia, melkam megeb (bon appetite)!
Try Demera Ethiopian Restaurant at 4801 N. Broadway.