While growing up, did your parents ever say, “Don’t eat with your hands!” to you? Ours certainly did. We decided to go against the grain and try out Lalibela in Mt. Kisco, NY (Westchester), an Ethiopian restaurant, where eating with your hands is not only allowed, but encouraged and expected. In Ethiopian culture, food is served on one big platter where you share with others at the table and eat with your hands. Enough about etiquette, here is what we ate.
We started with Lentil Sambusas and a spicy dipping sauce. They were AMAZING! Tender, flavorful and the perfect size to whet our appetites. We thought about ordering the beef ones, but Lalibela was out of them for the evening, which turned out to be a great thing for us since we loved the lentil ones so much.
For our main course, we shared a Taste of Lalibela, which included a variety of vegetarian and meat stews. Like the sambusas, it was absolutely delicious. We couldn’t get enough of the injera (flat bread) to go along with our meal; it’s texture is similar to a crepe and the flavor has a “yeast-y” edge. We loved dipping it into all the stews, especially the Gomen and Misir wat.
Although we almost left without dessert, we couldn’t stop ourselves from ordering a piece of baklava for dessert. The baklava was served warm, which we weren’t expecting but thoroughly enjoyed nonetheless.
Besides the freedom of eating with our hands, what we enjoy most about Ethiopian food are the different spices and flavors. It’s also the perfect type of cuisine for a group meal, especially if the party includes both vegetarians and meat eaters. Lalibela will definitely be our go-to spot in Westchester for Ethiopian fare.
Have you tried Ethiopian food? If so, share your experience with us!