Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nashif: An Ethiopian Breakfast (Kind Of)

After living in Ethiopia for two years, I saw this food only twice--at two restaurants on opposite sides of the country. I never saw anybody eating it at home, nor have I seen or heard of it anywhere else, including online. So I have no clue whether this is a legitimately common food someplace, or if a couple random restaurant owners are the only ones who offer it as a way to offload old bread. One thing I am sure of, however, is that this is a freaking amazingly delicious breakfast. It's kind of a stove-top savory bread pudding. And it will completely cure any hangover. Think of it as the African equivalent of chilaquiles. And there's really no reason this needs to be a breakfast food; you can really serve it for any meal.

Prep time: 2 cups of coffee

6 slices sandwich bread, left out overnight (preferably whole wheat)
1 small onion, minced finely, divided
3 TBSP butter
4 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp salt
2 jalepenos or fresno chilies, minced
1 TBSP berbere
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
Plain yogurt, lowfat or full-fat only (no nonfat)
A handful of chopped tomato

Cut the dry bread into 1-inch cubes and set aside.

Put a dry saucepan over medium heat and add all but a handful of the onions. Stir the onions frequently until they become fairly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until it's melted, then add garlic, salt, and chilies. Saute for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add the berbere and saute another couple minutes. Next add the water and stir in the bread. Stir really well until the bread is nice and evenly coated with the spices and all the water is absorbed. You want the bread to soften up, but not be totally mushy; it should still have a bit of texture to it, so add a bit more water if necessary and salt to taste.

Remove the bread mixture from heat and cover. On the same burner increase to medium-high and heat a bit of butter or oil in a frying pan and scramble the eggs.

Now dish it up by scooping the bread mixture onto two plates and topping with the remaining onion, eggs, tomato, and a few generous dollops of yogurt. Shit, that's good!

1 comment:

  1. I'm Canadian but my parents are Ethiopian and I can say nashif is blesssssssed, we eat it for breakfast every once in a while. Its not that common though amongst Ethiopians and my parents came from families that owned restaurants so maybe thats why we had it at home...either way its sick