Gourmet Traveller

SABA’S FEAST

The foundations of Ethiopian cuisine are onion, garlic and Ethiopian chilli (also known as berbere), says Saba Alemayoh, owner of Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant in Fitzroy, Melbourne. “But Ethiopian chilli is not just ground-up chilli – it’s an intricate mix of spices passed from mother to daughter. Depending on who is making it, it can have anywhere from 15 to 50 different spices,” she adds.

Ethiopian chilli, which is more of an aromatic than a hot spice, is used generously in the Ethiopian feast Alemayoh has shared with us for this month’s issue. The dishes are inspired by the menu at her restaurant, which is created and cooked by Alemayoh’s mother, head chef Tekebash Gebre.

Getting Gebre’s recipes down on paper required some careful observation. “Like all great cooks, my mother follows no recipes but is a slave to her taste buds for measurements and adjustments,” says Alemayoh. “I

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