This time around is when people start planning for domestic or overseas trips. There are so many places I’m dying to visit in order to experience different cultures, coutures and cuisines around the world. However, lacking time and $$$, my wishes often stay on paper, hoping they will materialise one day. Perhaps during my retirement or a crazy decision to embark on an Eat, Pray, Love journey when facing mid-life crisis.
Until the day arrives, I’m sticking to books and television to see the world.
As I was scouting for books in the library, I have uncovered a hidden gem amongst the sea of cookery books – The World of Street Food by Troth Wells. I must say it is not common to find a cookery book that based solely on street food from various countries. Being a huge fan of street food, I was thrilled with my accidental find. After all, I am a Penangite (coloquial term for a person from Penang, Malaysia) who grew up savouring almost all street food available in my hometown. (FYI – Penang is known to be street food haven in Malaysia).
I can’t wait to cook some of the recipes from the book. One of the easier ones is this Ethiopian snacks called Dabo Kolo. Sounds exotic alright. “Dabo means bread, and kolo is the word for roasted barley, which is eaten as a snack, like popcorn. Dabo kolo are popular in Ethiopia, eaten between meals, with drinks, and are available from street vendors and smalls shops….” (extracted from The World of Street Food by Troth Wells)
When you go through the recipe below, you’ll find all the ingredients are just a pantry away.
Dabo Kolo (Ethiopian Fried Snacks)
(adapted from The World of Street Food)
Makes 20 -24 – as suggested in the book but I ended up with 12 sticks
1 cup / 100g flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 – 1/2 tsp berbere paste (Ethiopian spice paste) or cayenne pepper
2 tbps oil
Water (I’ve used about 1/4 cup)
A little melted butter / margarine (optional as per recipe which I’ve left it out completely)
1. Mix all the ingredients together, gradually adding a little water to form a stiff dough. Then knead for 5 minutes or so.
2. Shape the snacks (see methods below).
3. Put the snacks on a preheated skillet/griddle or into a frying pan, with no oil, leaving a little space between them.
4. Cook over heat, turning occassionally, until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly.
5. Serve plain or with melted margarine or butter pour over if liked. My personal choice is a very good extra virgin olive oil to replace butter/margarine; Contrary to what the book suggested, I serve the EVOO on the side.
To shape the snacks:
Based on The World of Street Food (end up with a flatter and more quantity of sticks) :-
1. Take up pieces of the dough (roughly the size of a walnut) and press each one out on a lightly floured surface. Using the palm of your hand, make a long strip about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.
2. Cut the strip into 1/2 inch (0.5 cm) pieces. Repeat with the other dough strips.
As I didn’t read the instructions carefully, this is how I made mine (end up with fatter and less sticks):-
1. Pull a small piece of dough.
2. Roll the pulled portion into a sausage (about 0.5 cm in diameter).
3. Using a kitchen scissor, cup the “sausage” into 4 inches (8cm) long (the length is up to you).