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Cooking with an Eritrean Grandmother and Tsebhi Dorho Recipe

We were recently blessed with an opportunity to get into the kitchen of an authentic Eritrean grandmother, to learn one of her favorite recipe preparations, Tsebhi Dorho, aka (Spicy Eritrean Chicken Stew).  The wisdom of ancient cultures is often found within the dishes that have been passed down for in some cases centuries.  The reason these recipes have survived the test of time, is that they are not only always delicious, but often times also demonstrate an ancient food wisdom, incorporating synergistic ingredient combinations that are proven to benefit our health.  We need to look no further than our past to re-discover the ancient food wisdom passed down by generations to correct many of the common ailments suffered in modern times.

As Hippocrates once said, “Let thy medicine be thy food, and thy food be thy medicine.” Though Hippocrates lives some 2400 years ago, one can still benefit from his wise words, which still ring true today.  The prevalence of the Standard American Diet (SAD diet), is a root cause of many of our health issues, especially a variety of autoimmune diseases, which cause the body’s immune system to go haywire and essentially attack its own cells as if they were a foreign invader.  Autoimmune issues are more common amongst the young that the average person may realize. According to the National Institutes of Health, in 2017, up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune disease and the prevalence is rising, and in especially alarming rates among young women.  One of the best things to combat these autoimmune ailments is to take control over your diet and to prepare your meals at home.  A endless variety of flavor culture is easily within your reach, and by preparing your dishes at home you can ensure only the highest quality ingredients are used but the flavors created are exactly to your liking.

Tsebhi Dorho (Spicy Eritrean Chicken Stew)

4 Chicken Legs (Skinned, Legs and Thighs Separated)

8 Eggs (Hardboiled)

2 Cups Chicken Stock

2 Cups Canned Tomatoes (Diced)

1 Large Onion (Diced)

2 Serrano Peppers (Minced)

1 Birds Eye Pepper (Minced)

1/2 Cup Berbere Seasoning Blend

1 Tbsp. Ground Turmeric Powder

1/2 Tbsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

2 Tbsp. Ground Coriander

2 Tbsp. Ground Cardamom

1 Tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. ground mustard

1 tsp. Cinnamon Power

1 Tbsp. Sea Salt or to taste

In a cast iron large frying pan sear each side of the chicken, until they develop a bit of color.  Set chicken Aside.

Hard-boil eggs and set aside.

Add the onions into the frying pan and sauté until they start to turn translucent.  Add the turmeric, black pepper, and half of the berbere seasoning.  Make sure to get all the chicken bits off the pan and into the onions.  Remove the seeds of the peppers to reduce the heat.  Add a bit of cayenne if you want even more spice.

In a large pressure cooker or soup pot, combine the seared chicken, sauteed onions, tomatoes, chicken stock, serrano peppers, birds eye pepper, coriander, mustard, cinnamon, and remaining berbere seasoning.

Cook in your pressure cooker on high pressure for 30 minutes, or if using a soup pot simmer covered for 3-4 hours.  If using a pressure cooker, after the 30 minutes under pressure, the stew will need to slow cook while for an hour or so to reduce to the proper thickness.

Peel and cut hard-boiled egg longitudinally in half and add one egg to each serving.

Serve hot over injera and accompanied by sautéed greens.

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