I now needed a sauce. I was so bent on making the chapos I hadn’t thought everything else through. I knew I wanted to make shiro (Ethiopian chickpea sauce) but suddenly it didn’t seem like it would be enough. I looked in the fridge and AHA!! The chicken breast meat I put aside a couple of days ago was still there! And it’s already pre-boiled so it won’t take long to cook.
5 garlic cloves grated
3 heaped tablespoons of shiro flour
1 onion diced small
1 table spoon butter (not melted, just at room temperature)
We frequently go to Ethiopian restaurant, Their food is amazing. One thing we never miss in our orders is shiro. A lovely sauce made from chickpeas. About two month ago we went camping with some friends. Along with us were Yoyo and Hermon from Eritrea. I was meeting them for the first time. Awesome peoples. I couldn’t resist asking how to make shiro. I have tried before. I thought it was just chickpeas, stewed with some spices and then blended.
Turns out there’s a special shiro flour, made from ground chickpeas and spices. They told me where to get it in Nairobi but I wasn’t familiar with the area they were referring to so they said they’d send me some. Four weeks later I had my Shiro flour! Yaaay! It goes very well with injera. But making injera takes a week! I’m not ready for that yet. Chapos would have to do.
When they told me how to make the shiro it sounded so simple I didn’t write it down. So this I did from memory. I made up most of it. Heat up the garlic and onion in some oil and low heat till they’re cooked. In a cup, mix the shiro flour with some water, make sure there are no lumps. Add the mix to the garlic and onions while stirring, turn up the heat to high. When it starts bubbling cover. Check and stir once in a while. It will start to reduce and thicken.
At this point I tasted it and found that the spices were really sharp! And it needed something to smoothen the texture. We eat enough ethiopian so I know they use a lot of butter in their dishes. I don’t remember if Yoyo and Hermon mentioned butter but this is when I decided to add it. Figured it would help with the texture. Then I put in the milk to reduce the sharpness of the spices (the change was very minimal though, maybe heavy cream next time).
When you taste it, you can tell when the shiro flour is cooked, it doesn’t taste powdery. After that you can just wait till you get your desired thickness, or add water if it’s too thick.
The Chicken is straight forward.
2 garlic cloves grated
1 onion diced
2 chicken breasts (pre boiled and cut to small pieces)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon corn flour (to thicken the sauce)
Fry the garlic and onions, when ready add the chicken pieces, black pepper, sage and nutmeg. In a cup, mix the corn flour with a little bit of water (again, make sure there’s no lumps) then add to the chicken slowly while stirring (it helps to make the sauce thick).
Let it simmer for a bit and then it’s done. I didn’t want to do too much to the chicken because the shiro already had a very strong flavor. But I didn’t want the chicken to be dull either. I think this was enough.
By the time we ate it was 10:30 pm! I was so tired!
Yoyo and Hermon, thank you so much for the shiro flour! (^_^)