A Dish From Ethiopia

Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

Tibs. I loved it as a child and I still do. In fact, there was a time when my father asked me what I wanted for my birthday and as a young girl, I responded in Amharic with sega, which translated to meat. Tibs is an Ethiopian dish prepared with meat. Either beef or lamb cubes are cooked with qibbeh (spiced butter), onion, berberé spice (red chilli powder), tomato and green jalapeño. It is eaten at several occasions including Easter, Christmas and New Year celebrations. In some households, it is eaten on a weekly-basis.

Growing up in Ethiopia, Tibs was present on our dining table at least once a week. My family and I would sit around the dining table and share this dish whilst also sharing thoughts about our day. My parents would also tell my brothers and I some stories from their childhood, which I can still recall now. One such story was about my father learning to ride a bicycle as a young boy and the person teaching him telling him to avoid a tree in his path. What followed was my father heading straight for the tree and crashing into it. Luckily it was not a bad crash, but it was quite funny. This story always made us laugh.

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