Ethopian yeshimbra asa (pea flour fish)

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
½ cup Onions or shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons Cayenne
½ teaspoon Salt
⅓ cup Oil
⅓ cup Berbere
2 cups Chick pea flour*
\N \N Oil for frying

In a dry, heavy pot, stir the onions over low heat until browned. Add ⅓ c water along with the cayenne, salt & oil. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes & then add another ⅔ c water & the berbere. Bring to a boil, cover & reduce heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, add just enough water to the pea flour to make a thick dough similar to that for rolled cookies. Try using ½ c water & add extra a teaspoonful at a time until the mixture adheres to itself to form a ball. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of a ¼" & cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.

Ethiopians make fish shapes & decorate them with all sorts of designs.

Fry the pieces in moderately hot oil in a heavy skillet for 3 to 4 minutes, turning several times. When they are crisp & brown, cautiously spoon them into the sauce in the pot. Simmer gently for 5 or 6 minutes, being careful not to break the shapes. Lift pieces out with a slotted spoon & drain on cloths. Serve with the sauce.

* Also called gram or garbanzo flour, it is easily found in Asian foodstores.

The Ethiopian Coptic Church still uses the ancient fish sign as a symbol for Chrisitanity. These flour fish are traditional during Lent when fasting rules require no animal products maybe consumed.

"The Africa News Cookbook"

Submitted By MARK SATTERLY On 10-27-94

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