Melkam Addis Amet – Ethiopian New Year

written by Cynthia Nyabola 10th September 2014

Melkam Addis Amet! In celebration of the Ethiopian New year, we are giving you a little insight into their rich heritage.There’s so much more to it than long distance running, a unique calendar, and 70% of Africas mountains.

Ethiopia enjoys an all encompassing culture that trickles right down to their way of dress, with probably the most distinctive feature of Ethiopian culture being the food. Authentic Ethiopian cuisine is extremely popular and Ethiopian restaurants are found in almost every major city in the world.

At an Ethiopian restaurant, you are likely to experience, some form of decor, be it the national colours, artwork or hostesses in traditional attire. Diners may be seated on Mesabs (low sitting traditional tables) and stools, with the style of service being what can only be described as Africa’s take on platter service and meals eaten family style.

Authentic table sitting at Dashen restaurant

Authentic table sitting at Dashen restaurant.

Ethiopian meals are usually communal, and diners usually being politely presented with a warm moist towel to clean their hands with.

A must have on any Ethiopian menu is Injera, a flat bread made of teff , (smallest grain in the world) typically accompanied by a variety of dishes with wot being the most popular: a thick traditional stew, garnished with boiled eggs, and eaten wrapped by the Injera.

From Sega wot (a spicy beef stew),  to the Misir wot (yellow lentil stew), the Kik wot (red lentil stew) and Doro wot (chicken stew) nobody misses out, it’s not unheard of to have sauteed vegetables or a salad accompanying your platter.

Most dishes are seasoned with the popular Ethiopian spice Berbere, which gives that distinctive aroma and flavour to Ethiopian food,  Alicha Sega Wot is a mild beef stew, an option for those who don’t want too much heat on their palette.

Ethiopian food platter

Ethiopian food platter at Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant Gigiri.


Ethiopian rosemary Beef

Traditional Ethiopian Beef dish from Hebesha, Gigiri.

Adventurous diners can have Kifto (a steak tartar)  ground beef, a fresh and unique blend of spices including cardamom, black pepper, salt and clarified butter this is a true Ethiopian delicacy, and a must try for anybody keen on a truly unique experience.

Traditional Ethiopian meals don’t include dessert, but some restaurants may have conventional dessert menus. However, to maintain the authenticity diners may request anything from Tej (Ethiopian Wine) Tella bet (Ethiopian beer) and of course Bunna (freshly ground and roasted coffee).

Demera restaurant

Damera  Restaurant The Green House, Ngong Rd, Nairobi.

We have an amazing listing of Ethiopian restaurants that you can try anytime a craving hits you.



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