if i’m aware of the moment, and not lost in the alluring past/future, i smell the air when i am around 9th st nw, little ethiopia… the spicy air, you see, is unmistakably linked to those unctuous stews that — over the last 9 years — have become my idea of comfort food. maybe someday all of this will change and then i will be able to remember what it smelled like when i lived in shaw in 2012
about a year ago i bought a container of berbere at dukem’s incense-saturated take out market. i think i paid $9 for it, semi begrudgingly… but you know what they say, how spices lose flavor, must buy new spices all the time? it’s still damn good.
some time later, i found myself at whole foods market, luxuriously browsing the spice aisle. perhaps you remember my post about disliking “smoked” items - smoked tofu, namely… well i definitely don’t hate pimenton de la vera, smoked spanish paprika. it came in this appealing little tin and i decided to give it a try.
and lately i’ve been combining those two spices (berbere is a spice mix, actually) in delightful ways
good with those grotesque black lentils
good for cooking with onions and chickpeas mixed into leftover rice (+ a splash of imperial ipa, beer is so great for making things more saucy and not watery) from my delightful meal at himalayan heritage thursday evening (they like black lentils too) (if you haven’t been to that restaurant you really ought to go! kind people and out of control veggie momo)
the combination of these international flavors brings a spicy, smoky, intensity to anything you make. highly recommended!