Ethiopia is one of the African countries that boasts of rich cuisine among many around the world. Its culinary art is special; so unique that it stands out from the crowd. Many Ethiopian dishes are perfectly spiced to add flavor. Among wide range of dishes, we present to you Kitfo, one of the treasured Ethiopian delicacies.

Ethiopian Kitfo literally melts in your mouth. Usually, it’s prepared with beef and traditional spices, but it’s also enjoyed while raw. Its preparation is straightforward and does not take much of your time. In case you do not have the time, you can enjoy it in your nearest restaurant.

For those who would love to enjoy this special meal at home, our recipe will unveil all the mystery of preparing a mouthwatering Kitfo treat. But first, let us look at the Ethiopian dining culture.  

Dining culture

For centuries, Ethiopia has managed to maintain its culture and tradition, and dining etiquette is not an exception. Its cuisine is gaining more popularity across the globe.

One of the most observed customs is when enjoying ethnic food. A ritual has to be done which involves breaking Injera. Food is shared from one big communal bowl. Sorry if you are lefty because eating is only done with the right hand.

Ethiopians are very welcoming and loving. Before entering the house, you must leave your shoes outside. Punctuality is not given much attention, but lateness or failing to show up is not acceptable.  

In Ethiopia, entering the house with shoes is not accepted. As a tradition, everyone is expected to leave shoes outside as a sign of respect to the hosts Click To Tweet

When enjoying meals, traditions must be followed where the eldest in the group should be the first to have a bite of the food. Elders are given due respect, and this applies not only when dining but also during introductions. When an elder is introduced to you, you should bow as a sign of respect.

In Ethiopia, you are expected to boow when an older person is introduced to you as a sign of respect Click To Tweet

Meals start with washing hands and breaking Injera, and dining is concluded with hand washing and coffee. Drinking coffee is one of the most celebrated repertoire in Ethiopia; its duration can take at least an hour.

Now that you’ve got an idea or two about the Ethiopian dining etiquette, let’s hop into our Kitfo recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh beef
  • 1 finely cut onion
  • 2 lemons (large)
  • 3 & ½ tsp cayenne pepper (MItmIta*)
  • 3 cloves garlic (zested)
  • 6tbsp spiced butter (Nitir Kibe)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Guide

  1. Chop your beef into small pieces while getting rid of all seams and fat
  2. Sprinkle your cayenne powder on top and mix it with your hands making sure it is consistent
  3. Put a small quantity in a food processor and grind until its finely chopped
  4. Empty the meat on a large bowl and repeat the process for the remaining meat
  5. In a saucepan, add your butter and let it melt under low heat. Add your onions, black pepper, garlic, and salt. Stir and remove from heat
  6. Mix your flavored butter with your meat and mix it with a spoon and folk. Avoid using your hands as the hot butter may burn you
  7. Serve your Kitfo with flatbread or Injera. If you have any issue taking it raw, you can sauté the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes 
  8. Squeeze the lemon juice on your Kitfo to enhance its flavor

Kitfo is one of the tasty dishes treasured not only in Ethiopia but also across the globe. Its flavor makes it an excellent family treat. Why not try it out and share this cooking guide with a friend who may need it.

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