Thursday, September 16, 2010
Ethiopian Cabbage Stew and the Finnish Yoga Bears
With a lingering cold and the rainy and fall-like weather, all I've been craving has been spicy comfort food.

This recipe is one of my favorites, and we make it quite often. I first tasted this dish in a cozy, small Ethiopian restaurant we often visited - and that sadly no longer exists. The recipe below is my own version with some modifications to the typical Ethiopian recipe - but it is still quite similar to the traditional one. I have added chickpeas for some protein, as we often eat this as a main dish; but if you serve this as a side dish instead, feel free to leave them out.

Ethiopian Cabbage Stew
  • 1,5 tbsp vegan margarine (you can use olive oil)
  • 1 yellow or red onion, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head of small cabbage, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • pinch curry powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c cooked chickpeas
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped into small pieces
  • salt, pepper and soy sauce (optional; to taste)
Cook the onion in a small amount of water until transculent - do not let it brown. Add the margarine, garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder (if using), salt and carrots. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage plus a little water, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and some more water (if necessary) and cook, covered, for about 20-30 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Stir often, and add more water as needed (you don't want it to have any liquid in the end, so just use enough water to prevent drying and sticking to the pan). Add the chickpeas during the last few minutes of cooking, so they heat through. Mix in the chilies just before serving, and taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with soy sauce, if desired (the soy sauce is certainly anything but authentic Ethiopian, but my boyfriend - the Ethiopian ;) - claims that it makes it taste more authentic! Go figure...).

The days are getting shorter here in the North, and I seldom manage to take dinner pictures with natural light these days. My picture doesn't do justice to this tasty dish - but at least it gives you an idea of the lovely color it gets from the turmeric.

This is a perfect dish on a cold day - and very easy to make, too. Tomorrow, I have another cake recipe to share. I know I said no more cakes for a while, but my friend requested one - and what can you do? ;)


Tonight, I leave you with these flexible Yoga Bears from Finland. I have always been fascinated by bears and think they are extremely interesting and intelligent animals; and for this reason, I usually find it deeply saddening to see them in a zoo (not to mention as dancing bears, in bear farms or dog fights!!!). I specially remember visiting the zoo in Washington DC when I was very young, and the image of the naturally curious and intelligent sloth bear walking apathetically back and forth in his tiny, extremely depressing living area still haunts me. I haven't visited that zoo for years, and I hope it was just a temporary cage. Unfortunately, I can't say that the bears in the Copenhagen Zoo seem to have much better living spaces; but some zoos I have visited in Finland and Sweden - outside the capital cities - thankfully seem to have slightly larger and more natural habitants for their animals.

Sad thoughts aside, these bears truly seem to know their yoga poses! :) Apparently, it was an old female bear, Santra, who invented the stretching ritual years ago, and has since then taught the poses to her cubs - and now their cubs! See the other pictures here.

 [image source]

[image source]

I hope that if nothing else, this kind of pictures work as a way to make people see the intelligent, humane side of these great mammals.
posted by Seglare at Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Permalink |


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