COOKBOOK REVIEW: TEKEBASH & SABA – RECIPES FROM THE HORN OF AFRICA by SABA ALEMAYOH

COOKBOOK REVIEW: TEKEBASH & SABA – RECIPES FROM THE HORN OF AFRICA by SABA ALEMAYOH
Murdoch Books
March 2023
Hardcover, Rrp $45.00
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
85%

Named after the author’s mother, Tekebasha, and herself, Saba Alemayoh’s book is part food memoir, part tribute to her mother and the cuisine of Tigray (in northwestern Ethiopia) and its surrounds.

Tekebasha was born in Tigray, lived under the rule of the last Ethiopian emperor and the first communist regime, then fled to Sudan, where Saba was born. From there they moved around, eventually landing in Melbourne where Saba first joined the army, then opened her own restaurant, also named Saba. She now lives in Lagos and works in music and the arts.

Tigray’s cuisine, says Saba, starts with Injera, a fermented flatbread that accompanies all meals and doubles as a utensil to sop up food with in lieu of a spoon. Berbere or Dilik – ground chilli and spices, and chilli paste, respectively – and Tesmi, spiced butter, are the other essential recipes that serve as “building blocks” for most Tingray recipes.

And what recipes there are to explore!

Abesh (Chickpea stew), Bamya (a tomato based lamb & okra stew), Keyih Sebhi (red lamb stew), Kulwa Be Merek (Beef stir fry), Qanta (dried beef, similar to beef jerky), Tamia (Falafel), Semek (fried tilapia fillets), Keysir Salata (beetroot & bacon salad), Mes (home-fermented honey wine), and Himbasha (Focaccia) are all simply explained, lovingly and colourfully photographed, and get the appetite going, whilst the story of the region and her family interspersed with the recipes is sure to tug at the heartstrings.

https://100percentrock.com/2023/12/cookbook-review-tekebash-saba-recipes-from-the-horn-of-africa-by-saba-alemayoh/

 

Shane Pinnegar
Shane Pinnegar is an author, chef and music/pop culture writer who lives in Western Australia. He has a lovely wife, two rambunctious dogs with no respect for personal space, especially on the sofa or bed, twenty-something koi, a flock of itinerate galahs who visit regularly, and a never-comprehensive-enough rock n' roll record collection.

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