Abyssinian,The First exclusive Ethiopian cuisine restaurant in Chennai !
Abyssinia ,a former name for Ethiopia, is known for their rich history and culture.
According to the history, centuries ago,India and Ethiopia had a strong trade and culture ties due to which Ethiopians got used to the Indian spices. ( Who doesn’t love Indian spices,huh ?) Now the Ethiopians have familiar Indian taste in their cuisine.😋
Some of we foodies were invited here after few days of their launch.😇
Adding up to the already existing exclusive cuisine restaurant,Abyssinian shares its space with Meena Tai’s(Maharashtrian cuisine) and Batlivala & Khanabhoy(Parsi cuisine).
As we entered,We felt the culture of Ethiopia.To my surprise,Everything in the room was imported from Ethiopia itself. Right from the chairs & stools to the antique materials.They had the wall paintings that depicted the history of Ethiopia,their linguals,historical instruments hung on the wall and everything there gives you an authentic feel about Ethiopia.
As we got prepared for food,We started off with their national drink,”Thej”,which is a mixture of honey and alcohol and fermented for 4 days but since THIS IS INDIA, Water was used instead of alcohol. It had intense flavors and very much exotic in taste.
Then came in the complementary starter,bonda like dish which was served with a chilly coriander paste which had intense flavors and the chutney was firey hot..
Followed by the starter we had,”Doro Shorba”,Chicken based soup made with butterbeans flavoured with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, rosemary and Ethiopian spiced butter.Tasted more like what mom makes at home.Loved it.😋
After a lil wait,we saw a huge plate called as a Messob approaching us.As the Messob opened up,we found the plate filled with Millet injera and few rolled injeras on side.
Injera is an Ethiopian dosa-like dish made of teff flour often served with Wot,Tibs and salads.The huge plate signifies their culture of sharing the food from the same plate which helps build their bond of friendship.
The gravies for the injera were placed on top of it,
DORO WOT | DORO TIBS | YEBEGE ALICHA |YEBEG BOZENA SHIRO | MISIR BERAY WOT | KEY WOT| ASA GOULASH | YEDUBA WOT | FOSOLIA
• DORO WOT is a chicken based gravy which is Ethiopia’s National dish.It’s cooked with Chicken leg along with boiled egg in a paste of onion,red chilli,gingerand garlic.It instantly became one of my favourite.
•DORO TIBS resembled more of chicken popcorn.Made of Diced Chicken tossed in olive oil along with spices and flavouredbutter.Good snack types.
There were two varieties of beef and lamb,All of them were perfectly cooked and flavoured.Loved each and every bite of it.
•YEBEGE ALICHA,a Lamb based curry that had more of fatty pieces cooked along with turmeric and onion paste.
• MISIR BERAY WOT,Beef based dish containing minced beef cooked with red lentils and added flavors.
• KEY WOT, Tenderloin cubes simmered in a rich berbere and onion stew with spices and Ethiopian butter.
There was also an fish variety,
ASA GOULASH,Fish cubes cooked with spiced butter and other flavours.Went on well with Injera.
On the veg section,We got our hands on a pumpkin based curry,YEDUBA WOT,which was not up to my liking as the non vegies were already ruling my taste buds.
Most of the Dishes had a spl ingredient called Berbere which adds flavours to every dish.
Injeras with these sides was one the most satisfying meal I’ve ever had yet.😇
Dessert is not a mainstay of Ethiopian cooking,They are very much limited.We got to try their ,NECH AZMUD CAKE,which is a muffin made with olive oil,flavored with ajwain and served with drizzled honey.I felt it was very much normal and could have been better with more amount of honey.
We ended our meal in an authentic Ethopian style with a Coffee.Coffee is a huge part of Ethiopia’s culture and economy.We tried the Ethiopian Coffee with spiced butter. It was a lactos-free black coffee served along with Butter popcorn.Coffee is supposed to be stirred with the spiced butter and it is advisable to add sugar and salt.This might turn out to be too strong for your liking or you’d love it to the extreme.Coffee lovers must try.
On the whole I loved each and every bit of food and the way they presented Ethiopian culture.
To those who love exploring something new,this place must be added to your list.
But,presenting this high authentic culture and cuisine comes with high price tag too.. but it will make it worth every penny.