Ethiopian fasting cuisine on its way to all season dishes
During lent, followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church fast for almost two months. One of the ways they observe the lent is abstaining from animal protein. Hence they stick to other typical dish including vegetables.
Ethiopia is well known for its variety of traditional dish. As it is home to highly religious people, food stuff is among the major ways of observing spiritual orders.
Accordingly among followers of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the food varieties are mainly classified into fasting and nonfasting food. The non-fasting foods mainly contain animal protein. These foods are not recommended for daily dishes to keep our healthy life.
Ethiopian Christians use different verities of fasting foods in the fasting seasons, especially during the 55 days long fasting season called Lent which precedes Ethiopian Easter Holiday. On this fasting season people are strictly advised to eat vegetables and dishes made up of different kinds of legumes, Suff Fitfit crumbled pieces of Injera with unfiltered safflower seed milk.
‘Misir Wat’ lentils, a mixture of spices (Berbere) onion and garlic Ethiopian salad , fasting ‘fitfit’ one of the most delicious fasting vegan food which includes every dish that we mentioned in the above is called ‘Beyaynetu’ a colorful vegetable dish arranged on a round of injera. All those fasting foods are rich in vitamin and protein. Everyone loves those Ethiopian healthy fasting dishes specially vegans and vegetarians.
Kuriftu Diplomat restaurant general manager Addis Getachew said “In our restaurant we offer different kinds of dishes like fasting and non-fasting. Whether during fasting or non-fasting season there is salad bar in our
restaurant, that contain different salad and fruits buffet, the customer’s use that like as a starter also like main dish. Unlike the previous Ethiopians prefer fasting foods in all seasons. Even youngsters prefer this healthy food for a daily life.
Our foreigner customers like these fasting dishes because some of them are vegetarians while others enjoy the taste of our cultural fasting food. They also need it for their healthy life. As a result majority of the foreigners prefer to eat ‘Beyeaynet’, an all in one kind of dish, because they can get different taste and different vegetables, while vegans prefer to eat ‘Shero’.
Medical Doctor at Yekatit 12 Hospital Alazar Setotaw said the main causes of diabetes, heart disease, kidney stone, stroke, blood pressure and other diseases are unhealthy eating system, alcohol and sedentary lifestyle. “We recommended those kinds of patients to eat healthy foods like vegetables and fruits not only in the fasting season but always as it can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer lower risk of eye and digestive system problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.
Mamas Kitchen Supervisor Abebech Aklilu said most of our customers are from France and Italy and they prefer fasting foods than the non-fasting. During fasting season we offer different types of dishes which they eat happily. Unlike many people here, they choose those food varieties for their health.
Price is also a factor in people’s choice of food. We eat those foods mainly in the fasting season but it depends on the person’s financial capacity. If the capacity of the person is higher most of the time they eat meat and unhealthy foods because those fasting food are cheaper than the nonfasting foods. Eating non fasting food is also taken as a sign of being wealthy which is a stereotype.
In many developed societies rich people are mostly skinny as protect their health by eating vegetables and they do exercises and the poor eat junk foods because they can get easily in a cheap price.
Source: The Ethiopian Herald