The 10 Ethiopian Cookbooks to Consider Adding to Your Kitchen Library πŸ“š

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Hi, I am Chef Zara. This post will guide you through the Ethiopian Cookbooks.

I love discovering new food and cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.

Traditional Ethiopian Food

Ethiopian food is unique and wonderful, as it embodies a magnificent country with a cultural legacy distinct from the rest of Africa. While Ethiopian food is increasingly gaining popularity, it is fair to say that it is still one of the culinary world’s mysteries.

Eating Ethiopian-style requires reconsidering many preconceptions about dinnertime; for most of us, this means foregoing silverware and being prepared to use our bare hands. That’s because the great majority of Ethiopian meals are built around injera, a large piece of bread eaten, with a dazzling range of dishes ranging from bold and robust, servings of hot meaty stews, vegetable curries, and chunks of uncooked meat–but Ethiopian cuisine is so much more than that. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Ethiopian cookbooks to get you acquainted with this beautiful cuisine that will have your tastebuds doing somersaults, as fondly described by CNN

Here are the 10 Best Ethiopian Cookbooks for you! πŸ‘‡

1. Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa

Why We Love It β€οΈ

This award-winning Ethiopian cookbook will not disappoint. Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa will transport you to Ethiopia.

The way the recipes, historical facts, and beautiful photography were intertwined is impressive. It’s no surprise that this cookbook has won a James Beard Award and been named National Geographic Traveller’s Best New Cookbook in 2019, among its many accolades. You must have this book if you want to learn more about Ethiopian cuisine and culture.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“I’m incredibly glad an Ethiopian decided to collect our recipes and tell our tradition using our voice. As a diaspora, I’ve always struggled with keeping track of my grandmother and mother’s ways in the kitchenβ€”from translating the names of many spices into English and remembering their directions for making iconic dishes. This book is truly a gift. A beautiful way to preserve our culture for the generations born and raised abroad, and a beautiful visual journey for those unfamiliar with our nation’s cultural and culinary richness.” -Nene Lekes

Review πŸ“–

This Ethiopian cookbook is one of the country’s gourmet guru Yohanis Gebreyesus’s initiatives to endear the world to his homeland’s cuisine.

He used his skills to boost what his native country had to offer after working as a chef worldwide.

The mouthwatering dishes featured here include Doro Wat, chicken stewed with berbere spice, Siga Tibs, flash-fried beef, and Asa Shorba, a hearty spiced fish soup, as well as vegetarian options like Gomen, collard greens with ginger and garlic, Azifa, green lentil salad, and Dinich Alicha, potatoes and carrots in an onion-turmeric sauce. Aside from the recipes, this book shows, through photos of Ethiopia’s stunning landscapes and vibrant artisans, as well as insightful cultural and historical details, why Ethiopian food should be considered one of the world’s most captivating cuisines.

2. Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking

Why We Love It β€οΈ

Another award-winning entry on our list of the Best Ethiopian Cookbooks. Hailed as one of the best cookbooks by VegNews, a magazine, and authority in the vegan Ethiopian community, this cookbook is one of the reasons why now is a better time to be a vegan than ever before.

Kittee Berns, the author, does an excellent job of exposing readers to Ethiopia’s complex but beautiful cuisine through easy-to-understand steps, cooking and equipment tips and tricks, time-saving techniques, and menu choices.

Teff Love’s easygoing and encouraging approach has made it possible to savor authentic Ethiopian cuisine in the comforts of your own home.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“We’ve had this book a while now and I cannot get enough of it. I’d never eaten Ethiopian food but had heard wonderful things about it, and the instructions are clear and the dishes just taste out of this world. A definite success with all the family! You’ll be wanting to eat injera every day all day after buying this.” -Sophia

Review πŸ“–

​​​​​​​​Author Kittee Berns’ book Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking explains this cuisine and provides simple-to-follow recipes to enjoy authentic Ethiopian food without ever leaving your house. Learn where to find and how to use the flavorful ingredients and lip-smacking seasonings that are the basis of these special dishes.

The author introduces the holy trinity of Ethiopian cuisine: a berbere spice mixture, injera, a fermented sourdough staple, and ye qimem zeyet, a vegan clarified butter.

With these basics, you’ll be prepared to impress your loved ones. Fans of this cuisine will be delighted by the saucy wots, fiery stews, and succulent stir-fries, as well as the traditional injera-based dishes and fusion foods that incorporate these distinctive seasonings into a variety of household favorites. The recipes are almost entirely gluten-and soy-free or can be easily adapted.

3. Ethiopian Feast: The Crown Jewel of African Cuisine

Why We Love It β€οΈ

This Ethiopian cookbook will surely bring fun times in the kitchen as you prepare the recipes and share feasts with friends. It’s not just the incredible food waiting but the experience of making them and the tales behind each. This cookbook, however, is not like most cookbooks because it demands dedication because there is quite a bit of preparation required before you can begin cooking a handful of dishes in the book. For example, spices that might be uncommon in other parts of the world are frequently used in Ethiopian cookery.

Nonetheless, the thoughtful author provided a clear list of the rare ingredients and reliable information on where to buy them. If you approach this book with a sense of curiosity, excitement, and a bit of patience, you will be able to prepare traditional Ethiopian feasts with ease.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“I love this cookbook and have had a lot of fun making the recipes and sharing Ethiopian feasts with friends. I have made many recipes (bread, veggies, meats, lentils, tea, etc.) and have enjoyed them. I also enjoyed reading the author’s comments and her personal story. While I am not an expert on Ethiopian food, a friend who lived in Ethiopia thought the meal she came to that I cooked from this cookbook seemed very authentic.” -Vive

Review πŸ“–

Mulunesh Belay, author, chef, instructor, and restaurateur, unveils her secrets in 78 original, step-by-step recipes in Ethiopian Feast. This Ethiopian cookbook teaches readers how to cook the country’s iconic foods, including a reliable method for preparing the flatbread known as injera, using techniques modified for the modern kitchen. Ethiopian Feast is the first fully comprehensive guide to cooking authentic Ethiopian food in the contemporary kitchen, with easy-to-follow recipes and beautiful images of each dish.

The author is a vibrant and inviting guide to efficiently replicating Ethiopian cuisine in your kitchen, whether you are a foodie, a vegan, a vegetarian, someone eating gluten-free, or an Ethiopian away from home.

4. Ethiopian Cookbook: Traditional Ethiopian Recipes Made Easy

Why We Love It β€οΈ

This Ethiopian cookbook offers a variety of totally authentic and practical recipes made with healthy, fresh ingredients. It has fascinating ideas and combinations that result in delicious dishes. The recipes are spelled out clearly and in larger print than usual. This book includes almost everything you’ll need to know about Ethiopian cooking and is an excellent place to start for anyone interested in learning more about the cuisine. What a fantastic addition to your cooking library!

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“This cookbook has a wide variety of truly authentic and doable recipes using healthy fresh ingredients.” -Susan Kylber

Review πŸ“–

The Ethiopian Cookbook: Traditional Ethiopian Food Made Easy includes some of the world’s most culturally diverse cuisines. Ethiopian cuisine is spicy, aromatic, and healthy, and you can now prepare it at home with the help of this book. This Ethiopian cookbook is jam-packed with simple recipes for amateur and professional cooks.

This book includes recipes for hearty breakfasts, vibrant appetizers, beautiful dinners, and decadent desserts. Ethiopian cuisine is making a name for itself worldwide, so why not start by purchasing a copy of this cookbook and introducing it to your friends and family?

5. Auntie Tsehai Cooks: A Comprehensive Guide to Making Ethiopian and Eritrean Food

Why We Love It β€οΈ

A great starting point for learning about African food (check out our guide on the Best African Cookbooks) is Auntie Tsehai Cooks: A Comprehensive Guide to Making Ethiopian and Eritrean Food. There are numerous recipes to pick from, including classics and the more common ones. This two-in-one Eritrean and Ethiopian cookbook includes step-by-step instructions for making all the sauces and pastes necessary to cook the dishes. It also includes detailed images of each step to ensure that your time in the kitchen preparing food is efficient and simple.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“If you are serious about learning to prepare this wonderful cuisine, then you should invest in this book!” -D. Agnew

Review πŸ“–

This cookbook provides a step-by-step guide to preparing traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean food. Come along with co-authors Auntie Tsehai and Erin on a gastronomic trip as they introduce you to iconic East African dishes.

Learn how to prepare injera (sourdough flatbread) and tasty vegetarian and meat stews. Many dishes can be frozen, gluten-free, easy to prepare, and vegetarian. Auntie Tsehai, a long-time cook, provides her culinary knowledge, highlighting the best practices she has developed and polished, preparation tips, and insights into producing authentic Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.

Come along with co-author Erin as she learns from Auntie Tsehai. Erin deconstructs Auntie Tsehai’s cooking ability into clear and concise stages, emphasizing time-saving tricks and capturing the beauty of the food.

6. The Ultimate Ethiopian Cookbook

Why We Love It β€οΈ

This could be the answer if you want to add something unexpected to your culinary arsenal. This Ethiopian cookbook contains over 100 hearty meals made with complex spices and flavors but effectively laid out in a way that is accessible and approachable to those new to the cuisine. There are also recipes for various bases, which are necessary for preparing the rest of the recipes in the book.

Come on and get a copy; you just might surprise yourself and your loved ones with the range of new meals you’ll be able to cook thanks to this book.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“An excellent cookbook! Many diverse recipes for dishes with complex spices and flavors but presented in a way that is most accessible and do-able for non-Ethiopians.” -Jennifer M. Lehmann

Review πŸ“–

This Ethiopian cookbook has everything you’ll need to start the kitchen. The 111 substantial and robust recipes will elevate your ordinary home meals as you explore and attempt to duplicate some of Ethiopia’s best dishes. This book contains recipes for soups, desserts, drinks, main courses, and salads. This book will give you the inspiration and instructions to make the best recipes for yourself and your loved ones. It will undoubtedly delight the palate. This cookbook is designed for novice and experienced cooks, ensuring you achieve delicious results every time. Every recipe has been written in such a way that’s easy to understand, so readers can conveniently prepare the dishes at home.

7. Exotic Ethiopian Cooking: Society, Culture, and Hospitality Tradition in Ethiopia

Why We Love It β€οΈ

This cookbook may be an oldie compared to the other books listed in this line-up of Best Ethiopian Cookbooks, but it is still a goodie. It’s a good book to have as a starting point in your journey to learn Ethiopian cooking. The recipes you’ll find have been passed on from generation to generation, some even dating back to ancient times. This book also discusses making bases from scratch, which many find convenient.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“I love this cookbook! It is where I have learned to cook Ethiopian food.” -Phyland

Review πŸ“–

Exotic Ethiopian Cooking: Society, Culture, Hospitality, and Traditions is a collection of 178 tried-and-true recipes. A few of the dishes stretch back to the reign of Sheba.

The cookbook includes measures, but this Ethiopian cookbook encourages that cooking will eventually come by instinct. The cuisine is altogether spicy, delicate, peppery, and unforgettable.

Aside from recipes for main meals, bread, drinks, alcoholic beverages, yogurt, breakfast, and soups, the book also includes information on how to properly store food, basic ingredient preparation, spices, measurement tables, and a helpful glossary and index of essential terms.

8. Quick and Simple: Eritrean and Ethiopian Recipes

Why We Love It β€οΈ

This book is about keeping things simple, uncomplicated, and reassuring. Mama Ami, the author, wonderfully encapsulates these East African cuisines with straightforward, easy-to-follow instructions and complementing pictures. She also includes portions of her life experiences and culinary journey in this book, a personal touch that undoubtedly adds meaning to each recipe. This is the cookbook for you if you want an Eritrean and Ethiopian cookbook that isn’t intimidating yet doesn’t compromise on the quality of the recipes. 

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“I love the simplicity and deliciousness in these recipes. These recipes hit the spot! My favorite is the Timatim Salata.” -Vailala S.

Review πŸ“–

Quick and Simple: Eritrean and Ethiopian Recipes (Includes Vegan and Gluten-Free Dishes), you can bring Ethiopia and Eritrea’s warm, vivid flavors to your table! This 2-in-1 Eritrean and Ethiopian cookbook contain the most well-known Ethiopian and Eritrean recipes that are quick and easy to prepare. These East African meals are full of warmth, love, and unique flavors that will make you the star of your next family dinner! Mama Ami, the author, has over 50 years of cooking experience. Through this book, she will surely take you on an East African cuisine adventure through photographs of exquisite meals and anecdotes.

You can expect to see staple dishes such as spicy lamb, chicken stew, curry rice, grain bowl, sauteed potatoes, green beans, and chickpeas. Also look forward to seeing dishes that classically pair perfectly with injera–Tsebhi Derho and Doro Wot (chicken stew), Tesga Qulwa and Awaze Tibs (beef), and Yebeg Tibs (lamb). 

9. Ethiopian Cookbook: A Beginner’s Guide

Why We Love It β€οΈ

The title says it all: this is a beginner’s handbook to Ethiopian cooking. You won’t find professionally staged photographs or personal anecdotes covering the fundamental and classic dishes and the essential ingredients needed in cooking them. This is a good place to start if you’re searching for a quick and easy reference to Ethiopian cookery. Aside from being a recipe, this book intends to better the lives of marginalized African communities, so it’s a terrific pick all around. 

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“This cookbook is a good start for those looking to add Ethiopian cooking to their culinary toolbox. Very easy directions to follow and a good selection of Wat (stews) to choose from. I love that they included recipes for Berbere and Niter Kibbeh. I would give it a fifth star if it had more recipes, but as I said, a good foundational book.” -C.W. Jerome

Review πŸ“–

Ethiopian Cookbook: A Beginner’s Guide was written to help millions of Africans in need. The proceeds from the sale of this book will aid in the transformation of impoverished African communities. The Ethiopian Cookbook has been invited to compete in the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Madrid, Spain (check out our guide on the Best Spanish Cookbooks), by the President of Gourmand International and the Paris Cookbook Fair. Delicious and delightfulβ€”Ethiopia’s flavors are just beautiful, and with the aid of this book, having the Ethiopian dinner experience in the comforts of your own home is now made possible. You’ll discover a little about everything in this book, from Ethiopia’s geography and traditions to spices to plating techniques. You might even pick up a few Amharic phrases while you’re at it. 

10. Ethiopian Cuisine: A Complete Cookbook of Colorful, Exotic Dishes

Why We Love It β€οΈ

Ethiopian Cuisine: A Complete Cookbook of Colorful, Exotic Dishes has 30 recipes that include a wonderful mix of classic and simple dishes you may make at home. The major ingredients used in Ethiopian cuisine are adequately explained and illustrated. Each recipe appears to be as simple as it can be, with step-by-step instructions. This book is simple enough for a home cook, with approachable and clear explanations. It also has a fair share of recipes for those with dietary restrictions, which is a plus. 

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“I liked that the recipes seemed simple enough to be done at home.” -Mary R. Fowler

Review πŸ“–

The fantastic rainbow of colors is the first thing you notice when eating Ethiopian food. From the deep crimson color of a berbere spice blend to bright orange carrots, green cabbage, and purple beetroot, this food is as gorgeous as it is delicious. Learn how to make a variety of interesting and delectable dishes. This Ethiopian cookbook features traditional and simple recipes. The recipes in this Ethiopian cookbook are designed in such a way that they are easily adaptable and tweaked to meet the demands of your family. Recipes can be made spicy or mild, and this book includes delicious recipes for vegetarian dishes, lactose-free, and gluten-free diets.

Final Thoughts

Ethiopian cuisine is deep, rich, colorful, and complex. Its recipes are a harmonious blend of freshness and flavor and have a rich and beautiful history. It’s worth looking into, adding to your library, and expanding your cooking repertoire. Surprise yourself and your loved one the next time you make a special meal in the kitchen.

About Ethiopian Cooking

As early as the 1400s, the region around modern-day Ethiopia was exposed to exotic spices from India, chile peppers from Portugal, and ginger from East Asian countries. Grains native to Ethiopia, such as sorghum, millet, teff, and wheat, thrive in the temperate climate and are utilized in various Ethiopian recipes. Ethiopian cuisine nowadays is a fusion of imported spices and foods with indigenous grains and proteins. With this wide range of ingredients and influences, it’s no wonder this fascinating cuisine has become a fast favorite of those who encounter it. May our selection of the best Ethiopian cookbooks above make you fall in love with this remarkable cuisine. 

Ethiopian Cuisine

Ethiopian cuisine has distinct flavors. It combines earthy, spicy, tangy, sour, and bold flavors. Berbere is an important base ingredient to keep in mind. It’s used in a variety of savory Ethiopian dishes. It’s a unique combination of chili peppers, fenugreek, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and coriander. It is, without a doubt, a must-have in every Ethiopian household’s pantry. Injera is another important staple. It is a large-sized flatbread made from teff flour traditionally broken into pieces with one’s bare hands. It goes well with everything in Ethiopian cuisine, particularly stews and curries.

Ethiopian food is well-known for its hearty meat dishes, but did you know that the East African country has many tasty vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free options as well? Ethiopian food is adaptable to so many different diets, partly because there is always something for everyone. Many Ethiopians are Orthodox Christians who fast on Wednesdays, Fridays, and other holy days. Aside from substantial and meaty dishes, Ethiopian cuisine offers wonderful dishes for vegetarians. Injera, Tibs (lamb or beef with garlic and onion), Kifto (similar to steak tartare), Beyainatu (injera topped with vegetables, potatoes, curries, lentil stew, and more), and Fuul (fava beans), as recommended by BuzzFeed News. 

10/05/2022 09:41 pm GMT

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Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. She loves bringing smiles to people with the delicious visuals, smells, and tastes of food. Chef Zara's passion for baking started at a very young age, and she has never looked back since. She enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When she’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world. Chef Zara holds a Associate of Arts and Sciences from Kendall College and is a sought after private chef. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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