It is nearly impossible for me to tire of Ethopian food. I only provide that "nearly" because I think it might theroetically be possible, but I haven't been able to put it to the test and eat Ethopian food exclusively for, say, a few months.
When I heard that Beck's and Posh were hosting a vegan IMBB, the first thing that came to mind was Indian food and something with tomotoes. I've got buckets of them sitting in my kitchen fresh from my garden. (I really need to learn how to can food.) But though I love Indian food, I wasn't feeling inspired.
The second thing that came to mind was shiro.
Ethopian meat dishes are made with clarified butter, but the vegetable dishes are made with vegetable oil. Shiro vies with collard greens for being my favorite Ethopian dish. Shiro is powdered beans (usually chickpeas and spices) cooked with spices and onion in some vegetable oil. You can find some shiro recipes on the web, but the amounts seem a bit suspicious. (1 1/2 C of oil???) As for the powder itself, you can buy pre-made shiro powder at Ethoipian groceries, or you can find recipes on the web or in Ethopican cookbooks. I'm lazy. I buy my powder when I have the opportunity.
My untutored rendition of shiro...
Shiro for Two
1/2 C shiro powder
some chopped onion (say 1/4 cup, or more if you really like onions)
some chopped tomato (about two small-ish medium tomatoes. I skin them first) or use tomato paste
a few Tbs of vegetable oil
1-2 C. of water
salt to taste
extra berbere powder if you like it spicier
Injera for serving
Puree the onion in a food processor. Heat some oil in a pan and saute the onion until soft and just starting to brown. Puree the tomato in a food processor. Add it to the onion and saute a bit. Add the shiro powder and 1 cup of water. Stir to mix. Cook for a bit and salt and spice to taste. The shiro will thicken. Turn off heat.
Now, the shiro I've had in restaurants has always been quite runny. So, after I've made injera, which because I'm not very good at it take a while, the shiro becomes rather stiff and thick. I turn the heat back on and add additional water until it reaches a consistency that I like.
Line a platter with injera. Pour the shiro over it and serve with extra injera.
To eat: tear off pieces of injera and use it to scoop shiro.
Faux Injera for Two
Real injera is made with teff. It ferments over a long period of time. My sister-in-law claims that it's really not that hard to make, but I haven't tried it yet. So I make fake injera. It lacks the slightly sour edge of real injera, but it provides a workable substitute when the real thing is not to be had.
2 C white flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
(or substite the above with 2 C self-rising flour)
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C. soda water
2 C water
Sift the flour, add the soda water and regular water. Stir. You should have a thin batter.
Heat a griddle or wide pan with some vegetable oil until it's hot enough that a drop of water dances on it.
Pour a ladle (amount should be adjusted for the size of your pan) of batter in the center and swirl it around. You may need to "push" the batter out with the back of a spoon. It should make a thin crepe-like layer.
Cook over fairly high heat. The top will bubble as it sets. If I think the bottom will brown too much but the top isn't setting, I put a lid on the pan for 5-10 seconds to trap the heat to help the top set. I use a thin metal spatula to loosen it from the pan and then slide it out on to a platter. Roll the injera cigar-like and set aside. Wipe the pan with a paper towel with some oil on it and start the next one.
If your injera is sticking to the pan too much, it's possible that your griddle is not hot enough.
You can use your "mistakes" to line the serving plate for the shiro.
I suck at making crepe-like things. I usually ruin the first 1/4 of them before I get it right. Then after a few good ones, the pan cools too much and they start gluing themselves to the pan and it takes me several more to figure out what's happening. Injera shouldn't brown, but I've found that for this fake recipe it helps if the bottom gets just a touch brown. It firms the crepe up enough to not become too mushy and tear and fall apart when removing it from the pan.