Friday, October 11, 2013

Recipes: Shai and Dabo

Further to a few requests, here are the recipes I used for our Ethiopian tea time yesterday (I've included the links, though I've altered things a wee bit on both recipes).  They really were both delicious, in fact, that I made the shai again this morning and we sipped on cups of it while eating our peanut butter toast!

I've also included the blog post that encompassed the tea recipe..enjoy!  I have included, in brackets, the quantities that I used, where a range is offered.  I also varied the method just slightly from what the blog/recipe author suggests, and I have included that below her method.

Recipe for Traditional Ethiopian Tea

One of the many benefits of adopting children from a foreign country, has been the blessing of discovering culture through our taste buds.  With two beautiful Ethiopian daughters (age 3 and 14), we have thankfully been led into Ethiopian foods and drink. I think having a 14 year old who grew up within the culture has helped us retain many of the traditions within the Ethiopian daily life.

It wasn't until I pushed my buna (coffee) cup away-that I learned to love Ethiopian tea.  Now I don't know how they prepare this in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa I only experienced a real buna ceremony. But in my Ethiopian church, this tea is served during fellowship time at gatherings close. 

All of us look forward to a cup, each of my kids always line up to get handed their own cup of tea, including our 3 year old.  They normally pair it with Ethiopian bread, which is a yummy partnership: caffeine and carbohydrates-in my book you can't go wrong there! 

What you will need:

4-5 black tea bags  (I used 4 decaff English Breakfast, naturally-decaffeinated tea bags)
(my Ethiopian friends like the Lipton variety) 

8-15 whole cloves (I used 12)

5-8 cardamom (the green whole variety) (I used 8)

one cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long)

fresh cold water to fill the kettle with (I used 4 cups)

sugar to taste 
(my Ethiopian friends aren't afraid of sugar, enough said).

I (Ruth) also added:

2 cups of organic, 1% milk
2 small chunks of fresh ginger
2 Tbsp honey

Put all ingredients (except for sugar) into the kettle/pot.  Bring to a boil.  Let sit for 3 minutes (note: I/Ruth, let it simmer for about 12-15 minutes, and this really drew out the flavours), fish out tea bags (which if you were smart, you let those cute little strings hang out over the edge of the kettle and secure them with the lid).

Pour into cups, add sugar while hot.

You can reuse the spices and tea bags for another round,
often I reuse mine for several days before discarding them.
They sit their waiting, patiently waiting for some fresh water, so they can get to business!

To change it up once in a while (hey, a girl has to have change, right?) I sometimes throw in some fresh ginger, a big hunk with the rest of the spices before brewing occurs.

Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian spiced honey bread)
Servings:  1 large loaf

1 pkg yeast, active dry
1/4 cup water, lukewarm

1 cup milk, lukewarm
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp ground cloves

1                      egg, slightly beaten

1 tsp         salt
4-5 cups         flour, all purpose

In a bowl, put the warm water and yeast; stir, then let sit 5-10 minutes, until foamy on top.

In the meantime, in a saucepan, warm the milk, honey, butter, coriander, and cloves.  Add to the yeast mixture.

Mix flour and salt together in the mixer.

Add the yeast mixture and the egg to the flour.

Mix well, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add flour if needed to make a soft dough; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes.

Place into greased bowl; cover; let rise until doubled (approx. 45-60 minutes).

Shape into loaf.

Allow more rising time, until doubled in size (approx. 45 minutes).  

Bake at 400, about 25 minutes, until dark golden brown.


  1. Thanks for the recipes, Ruth! (and this reminds me that we've made and enjoyed your hamburger soup several times now - another good thing to dip bread in!)
    My three year old Ethiopian son is a big fan of dipping bread - we often do make tea in the mornings for dipping, but it had never occured to me to spice it before. I am going to work up my nerve to try making the bread later this week - I never seem to have much luck with yeast, but they tell me it comes with practice.
    Anyway, thanks again, and I'm so glad for you that you were able to bring those memories and traditions back to your family (and make new ones too!)
    Happy belated Thanksgiving!

  2. Hey Sonja! You're welcome for the recipes, and thanks for the reminder of that Hamburger soup...we haven't had it for a while and I think it's time it made another appearance!
    I so hope the bread works out for you...let me know how it goes. I'm not a fancy bread maker, either, but I have definitely gotten better with practice over the years. This is a yummy, dense, heavy, slightly-sweet loaf and I hope your boy likes it as much as mine did!

    Have a wonderful week...and let me know how the bread thing goes!!


  3. Just saw that you post them here (after I had already commented on the other post)---thank you so much!