Most Delicious African Cuisine

This is strictly my opinion. I have tried Moroccan, Sudanese, Egyptian, Kenyan and other few African cuisines but Ethiopian is my ultimate favourite and I’m sure a lot of people will agree.

My first Ethiopian experience was at home in UAE. Our helper was from Ethiopia and one time we went to her local restaurant and bought Injara (Ethiopian Bread) and she cooked a spicy potato stew and I immediately fell in love with Ethiopian cuisine. The first time, Tim and I had Ethiopian food was at Harlem in New York City with my friend, Marwah. Tim really enjoyed it so we tried several restaurants in U.A.E and his favourite thing about their cuisine is their famous coffee. One of the best coffees around the world.

When we had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia, the first thing that crossed our mind was OMG!!!! We are going to have authentic Ethiopian cuisine’.

Ethiopian_Food03
Ethiopian Coffee

Our first day in Addis Ababa, we learnt that Ethiopian Christians fast on Wednesdays and Fridays which means they only have vegan food on those days and avoid meat. I LOVED it because I really enjoy vegan food. My favourite dish is called ‘Shiro’, it is a stew made out of chickpeas. Our first meal was ‘Wat’ which is a spread of the injera bread with lots of stews for everyone to share. Since we landed on a Friday, we had vegetarian stew and their cooked spinach was soo…. delicious.

Ethiopian_Food06
Shiru
Ethiopian_Food08
Wat

Tim is a meat lover and especially a red meat lover. At the age of 14 years old, I decided to become ‘pollo-pescatarian’. A person who eats only white meat. That’s why I married a white man LOL. Just Kidding. It was for health reasons and also I was never a fan of red meat anyway. When I married Tim, I tried some steaks from his plate but honestly, I couldn’t have more than a bite except in Tokyo; he begged me to eat a whole Wagyu Steak and once his step-mum cooked steak at home which I ate and it was good too but that did not convince me to like red meat. After turning 30, I decided that I want to cut down my meat intake so I starting having vegetarian or meatless meals on weekdays and eat fish or chicken on a Saturday. My family and friends found it weird but I feel happy so when I knew that Ethiopia had a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, I was so pleased.

Ok meat lovers, I won’t bore you. Tim’s favourite dish was ‘tibs’, meat mixed with vegetables and our tour guide told us that the meat are all organic and that I should give it a try. I had a piece and honestly, it didn’t taste fatty at all and really had a fresh taste to it. Tim also liked ‘Gored Gored’ which is a beef stew.

Ethiopian_Food09

Ethiopian_Food05

For breakfast, we had ‘Fir Fir’ which is Ethiopian and Eritrean meal. It is basically made out of shredded bread, butter and Berber spice. Berber spice is the most famous spice in Ethiopia. Another breakfast meal is ‘Kinche’ similar to an oatmeal.

EFood01
Fermented Banana Bread. Technically it’s scrapped from ‘fake’ banana trees. It a tree that looks like a banana tree that does not grow bananas.

When it comes to Ethiopian beverages, all we think about is their coffee and yes, their coffee is extremely delicious. They also have a coffee ceremony.

Another famous drinks are their honey wine called ‘tej’. Ethiopia has a variety of beverages and dishes but this is what I encountered during our trip and I love it and I highly recommend it.

Let me know your favourite Ethiopian dishes.

 

 

Advertisements

5 Days and 4 Nights in Ethiopia

*Not a sponsored post

Tim and I visited Ethiopia from the 29th of November 2019 till the 3rd of December 2019 with our best friend, MIMI. The weather was perfect. It was a short trip and was booked last minute but we managed to do a lot. Thanks to KimKim for arranging our accommodation, our ticket and the tour.

Ethiopia03

Here is a tip: When travelling internationally to Ethiopia, use Ethiopian Airlines. We booked our trip with Emirates Airlines and did not manage to get a discount on the domestic flights. If you book through Ethiopian Airlines, you can then get the discount by providing your booking reference number.

This blog post is our itinerary around Ethiopia. Honestly, I wish we did stay longer and explored more. Hopefully, another time. I would say Ethiopia is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve visited and would rank it on my TOP 5 favourite destinations.

DAY 1:

We flew from Dubai to Addis Abba and landed in the afternoon. Our amazing tour guide, Mahi took us for lunch at an amazing restaurant called Kategna.

Ethiopia01

We then went to our hotel to check-in and to drop our luggage. We stayed at a very cozy hotel in the city called ‘Caravan Hotel‘. We became friends with the staff and learned Ethiopian time which I will talk about on a different post. We then explored our area and decided to check out a local cafe which serves coffee and sandwiches but we just went for the coffee and met locals and had a lovely evening.

Ethiopia02

DAY 2:

We checked out early in the morning right after having breakfast and drove to the domestic airport to catch our flight to Arba Minch.

Ethiopia05

First stop was at a local restaurant and they are known for their famous grilled Tilapia. Our tour guide recommended to explore the villages before it got dark then would take us to our hotel to check-in and relax.

Ethiopia07
Grilled Tilapia
Ethiopia06
Lunch at a Garden Restaurant in Arba Minch

As soon as we were done with lunch we headed straight to Gamo Gofa. They are famous for their vegetable and fruit market. We walked around, met locals and just enjoyed the nature.

Ethiopia13

Ethiopia11

Ethiopia09

Later, we visited the Dorze Village. Their houses look like the Elephants head. Our tour guide, introduced us to the prince of the village and he showed us around and invited us to his place. I will write a separate food post about what we ate at the village and generally Ethiopian food.

Ethiopia16

Ethiopia15

Ethiopia14

As it got darker, our tour guide suggested that we should head to the hotel to check-in, relax and have dinner. We stayed at Haile Resort. The hotel is owned by the famous runner Haile Gebrselassie.

Ethiopia12

Day 3:

We woke up really early in the morning for a long drive to visit the Konso Village, we walked around the village and bought a tiny mask from there. The site is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The Konso people are known for cotton weaving and agriculture. Their religion tradition is called Waga/ Waga Sculpture.

Ethiopia19

Ethiopia18

Ethiopia17

Afterwards, we walked around the Sunflower fields and made a stop at the Konso Lodge to have lunch. Since we had some extra time for one more activity, we decided to go hiking at the National Park.

Ethiopia20

Ethiopia22

Ethiopia21

Day 4:

Right after breakfast, our tour guide wanted to take us to Lake Abaya but unfortunately, our boat didn’t work. We waited for hours to get it fixed but we all agreed, it was not meant to be. So instead, we decided to visit the Crocodile Farm before heading to the airport.

Ethiopia23

Ethiopia24

Ethiopia26

I slept the whole flight and when we landed at Addis Ababa. The first thing we did was SHOPPING. We wanted to buy souvenirs for our family and friends and of course US. Tim and I bought a painting, a wooden mask and clothes. We later went and bought coffee beans to take back home. OH MY GOD! Ethiopian coffee is the best.

At night, Mahi took us to an amazing restaurant with live performance called Yod Abyssinia Traditional Food. The food was very delicious and we had such a fun night. The performance was insanely good and they even made us dance.

Ethiopia25

Day 5:

Our day started at the Book Store, where I wanted to buy books for my brothers and myself. Our next stop was the National Museum of Ethiopia to meet Lucy, female of the hominin species.

Lucy01

Before heading to the airport, we did a quick stop to have a good-bye lunch together at a really old house that is now famous restaurant and is also a hotel. The place is called Taitu Hotel.

AddisAbaba01

We were later dropped to the airport and flew back to Dubai ­čÖü

The Big 5 Animals of Africa

There are 5 big animals also known as ‘the big five games’ of Africa. Those animals are

Lions

IMG_7188-01.jpg

Leopards

IMG_7476-01.jpg

Rhinoceros

IMG_7427-01.jpg

Elephants

IMG_7164-01.jpg

Buffalo

IMG_7142-01.jpg

They are referred to as the Big Five because they are the most difficult animals to hunt on foot. They can easily kill you and crush you.

According to our tour guide, he said it’s extremely difficult to find Leopards and Rhinoceros but we were so lucky that we managed to see all 5.

 

72 Hours in Kenya

We booked our flights 2 weeks before the trip and had to visit the travel clinic in Dubai to get vaccinated against yellow fever.

20171130_093200-01

20171130_101105-01

20171130_143710-01

I’d say Kenya was one of the most amazing trips of our lives. As soon as we landed in Nairobi, we took a van and drove to Masai Mara. We stopped at 2 provinces on our way. It is a 5 hours drive from Nairobi to Masai Mara.

As soon as we arrived, we had lunch and went on a safari. We met Timon and Pumba LOL and saw giraffes and lions. We went back to the resort before it got dark. We had dinner that night and enjoyed a presentation by the Masai Tribe.

20171201_140335-02

20171201_143433-01

20171201_162910-01

The next day, we woke up REALLY EARLY in the morning and we didn’t have enough sleep of the hyenas. YESSS!!! HYENAS!!! We later continued our safari trip to meet the big 5 animals of Africa and had lunch in the middle of the jungle overlooking the crocodiles and hippos. Our tour guide explained the migration process which we missed by a month. We drove to the Masai Village to meet the people and they performed a wedding ceremony. They taught us how they build their homes and their lifestyle. They also showed us how a man would propose to a woman and I pretended to be a potential pride. Basically, the man who wants to marry her has to jump really high, if he can’t he has to provide 10 cows as dowry but if he manages to, he then can offer 6 cows instead. Tim jumped really high that the chief of the village joked and said sorry Nissreen you don’t get any cows LOL. We bought lots of items from the village because everything they offered was made by hand was beautiful.

20171130_171703-01

Our final day in Kenya, we drove back to Nairobi and had dinner at a province. We also stopped at a souvenir store to purchase a painting of the Masai Tribe. We were so upset that it was our last day in Kenya because we really fell in love with that place.

IMG_20180321_113204_138-01.jpg

Here is a fantastic article written by my close and good friend Christina Voskou. The article is called ‘Safari Holiday – Jumbo Kenya’.

20171201_154215-01.jpg

Morocco – Climbing the Atlas Mountain

The owner of the Riad ‘Rashid’ was kind enough to take us to the Atlas Mountains. Before heading there, we stopped at an outdoor local market where the natives were getting ready for the Eid festival.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Rashid explained the culture and the lifestyle of the Moroccans in Marrakesh and outside the red city. We continued our journey to the Atlas Mountain and enjoyed the view. When we arrived at our destination, Rashid advised us what direction to climb so we can reach the Ouzoud Waterfalls. It was quite an adventure and it was worth  seeing the waterfalls.

Post-34-BT-05

We got down the mountain and walked to a restaurant to have lunch/ dinner before heading back to the city. The journey was spectacular, the view, the scenery was very unique. I can’t think of any other place that can be comparable to Morocco. We highly recommend hiking at the Atlas Mountain and the effort to reach the waterfall is totally worth it.

Post-34-BT-01

 

Morocco – Tim’s 26th Moroccan Birthday

At┬áthat time, I just started dating Tim and thought why not plan his birthday since we will be spending it together in Morocco. So I went on tripadvisor and searched ‘places with belly dancers’ and booked us a table at ‘Comptoir Darna’. I arranged a surprise cake and belly dancers.

When we got there, Tim requested no big surprises so I told the waitress to just bring the cake without the drummers but instead got 7 ladies to sing to him and made him dance with a belly dancer.

Earlier that day, we went quad biking. Instead of renting my own, I just rode behind my knight and shining armor LOL and we drove across the sahara desert of Marrakesh following the instructor and a German couple that rented a duke buddy.

Post-22-BT-02.jpg

Morocco -Goats Grow on Argan Trees

The Riad organised a personal tour to take Tim and I to Essaouria. On our way to the city, we saw Goats on Trees. NO! NO! NO! I wasn’t high or anything, I’ve got a picture to prove it.

I yelled ‘STOP THE CAR!!!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??!!!! GOATS GROW ON TREES???!!!! TIM TAKE OUT THE CAMERA LETS TAKE PICTURES THIS IS INSANE!!!!!’. So we went all paparazzi on the goats and we were just amazed with that kind of scenery.

Post-21-BT-02.jpg

Later, we stopped at a mini workshop on how to extract oil from the Argan Tree; the ladies who worked there only spoke French and Arabic so I took the role of being a tour guide and translated the method. Tim and I bought lots of souvenirs for our families. Afterwards we said our goodbyes and continued our journey to Essaouria.

Post-21-BT-03.jpg

Post-21-BT-04.jpg

 

Morocco – Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle (Majorelle Garden) the unique blue house located in the red city of Marrakesh. The house was bought by Yves Laurent in 1980 and the house was open to the public either late 1940s or early 1950s.

When we decided to visit the place, I purposely wore my blue skirt. I know, I’m such a loser LOL. The place is beautifully designed and I wish I could just sit there and sketch. There’s something about that place that brings out the artistic side of a person. The garden, the surrounding colours and of course the simplicity of the place. It is a beautiful hidden colourful gem in the red city of Marrakesh.

Post-19-BT-02.jpg