Mitmita is a beautiful and spicy spice blend from Ethiopia that is core to the cuisine. It is made up of cloves, cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and bird's eye chilli, see the recipe below. It is used as a rub for grilled meats, as a topping on quick sautèed vegetables, and as the main flavour in this deep stew.
This is a lovely stew, the meat is fork-tender and the slow-cooking process allows the mitmita spice blend to season the sauce and meat well. The stew is bold, spicy and aromatic from the warming North African spices. In a few recipes, you can add potatoes in the last 20 minutes of the cooking but I chose to leave them out. You can serve it on injera bread, or if you are lazy, like me, on set dosas. The dosas absorb the stew and flavours and are perfect for this dish.
This Ethiopian cookbook is filled with traditional recipes that delight the palate. Yohanis Gebreyesus has trained in some of the best French culinary schools in the world and after working in California moved back to his home country to start his restaurant. His mission is to bring the cuisine of Ethiopia to the world, and this book is just that. It is filled with the standard traditional recipes, and also some newer recipes from his family. This is a wonderful cookbook for those who want to experience and learn about Ethiopian cuisine at home.
For more recipes from the lovely cookbook, click here.
Thank you Julie Katgi for the amazing photograph.
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon mitmita spice blend
1 lb stewing beef or mutton
Water, as needed
2 lb collard greens, stemmed and chopped
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoon niter kibbeh
Heat a large pot with the oil and add the onions and garlic. Sautè on low heat till the onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not let the onions colour.
Add the ginger and cook till aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the mitmita spice blend and toss the contents well. Add the meat and cook on low heat for 4 minutes till the meat is cooked through. If the spices are scorching, add 1/2 cup water.
Add the collards and salt and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 45 more minutes. Taste the dish for salt and make sure the meat is fork-tender. If not, cook for an additional 15 minutes topping up with water as needed. The dish should be a thick curry with the sauce clinging to the meat heavily.
To serve, heat well and serve in a bowl topped with a tablespoon of niter kibbeh on top.
NOTE: It is hard to find mitmita in India so here is the recipe. It is a relatively easy recipe to make.
Mitmita spice blend (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 oz. dried bird's eye chilli
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ajwain seeds
1/4 teaspoon nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Lightly toast the chillies, cumin, ajwain, and nigella seeds on a dry frying pan individually. Cool. Mix all the ingredients and grind to a fine powder in a spice blender. Store in a sealed container.