Ethiopian raw beef dish what doctor ordered if you’re low on iron

The New Zealand Herald
Lincoln Tan
January 19, 2015

Get healthy in 2015 with recipes considered to be power foods by different ethnic communities.

Kitfo is a traditional Ethiopian dish that consists of marinated minced raw beef and is usually eaten with a sourdough-risen flatbread called injera.
Kitfo is a traditional Ethiopian dish that consists of marinated minced raw beef and is usually eaten with a sourdough-risen flatbread called injera.

When Ethiopians need an iron health boost, they don’t turn to supplements – they eat kitfo, says Bebeta Asfaw.

Kitfo is a traditional Ethiopian dish that consists of marinated minced raw beef and is usually eaten with a sourdough-risen flatbread called injera.

Ms Asfaw, who owns and operates Cafe Abyssinia in Mt Roskill, said kitfo was also somewhat like “a happy meal” in Ethiopia.

“It’s something we eat at every celebration and festival, from birthdays, weddings and many family events,” said Ms Asfaw.

“Many people in Ethiopia are poor, but we will save and make sure we have this dish at any big function.”

She said the dish was considered to be healthy because both the beef and flatbread had a high iron content.

Teff, a valued iron-rich grain, is mixed with water and left to ferment for several days to make injera.

Ms Asfaw said injera was the staple bread for Ethiopians, much like roti is in India.

“We will always make our children eat kitfo because we think the beef is good for them and will make them strong and give lots of energy,” she said.

At her cafe, Ms Asfaw serves kitfo either completely raw or slightly cooked with injera on the side.

To eat kitfo, spoonfuls of raw beef can be placed into a piece of injera or you can use your fingers to tear off bits of the flatbread and dig into the beef.

Ms Asfaw said injera could also be replaced with standard sliced bread.

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