I loved just about every single dish I tasted in Ethiopia, one of them, gomen be siga.
Gomen is collard greens, a widely consumed leafy vegetable in Ethiopian cuisine. Siga is the word for beef, so gomen be siga is collard greens with beef.
I ate gomen be siga a number of times, and one of the best versions I enjoyed was from the Seven Olives Hotel in Lalibela.
Though it’s not always served in an elevated-charcoal-clay-pan (the way derek tibs is served), it was at the Seven Olives, keeping the beef and collard greens hot and sizzling away throughout my entire meal.
The recipe is not actually that complicated, and nor is it an intensely spicy concoction that will excite your taste buds (like much of the food I really enjoy is).
But I think what makes gomen be siga such a wonderful Ethiopian dish, is just good fresh solid ingredients, lots of onions and garlic, and a thick dab of Ethiopian butter used for sautéing.
Gome be siga, like everything else in the country, is eaten along with injera, the spongy pancake staple, which I happen to really love.
You can either grab a piece of injera and dig straight in to the top of the dish, or you can take the spoon and scoop out bites onto your injera before devouring.
Both methods are equally effective.
This gomen be siga was also loaded with sliced jalapenos, giving each bite of beef and greens a pleasant kick.
The bottom started getting a little greasy as the Ethiopian butter accumulated, but it was still delightfully tasty.
(Watch the video on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/CMEcsOX_6wk)
When you travel to Ethiopia, be sure to eat gomen besiga, one of the many excellent dishes!