Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine offers traditional food served in individual-sized portions or on family platters. Everyone is welcome to use injera to eat or the restaurant’s forks, knives and spoons.
In March, Mulunesh Belay of Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine in Bellingham Public Market, 1530 Cornwall Ave., published “Ethiopian Feast: The Crown Jewel of African Cuisine,” a hardcover cookbook that includes nearly 80 of her original recipes. The book includes detailed recipes and full-color pictures, but it is more than a collection of recipes; it tells the story of the evolution of Mulu (the name she goes by) as a chef, from helping her mother as a 5-year-old by cooking and fetching water and firewood, to her life in South Africa and finally here in Bellingham.
After nine years of running her popular food stand at Bellingham Farmers Market, Belay opened her restaurant in November 2014.
Like all chefs, she draws on the bounty of her surroundings and, in addition to the many classic, traditional Ethiopian dishes there are some Northwest fusion style offerings as well. The book also includes Belay’s personal, full-proof recipe for what she calls the holy grail of Ethiopian cooking: injera.
Traditionally, an Ethiopian family sits around a large platter on which there is a huge round of sourdough flatbread, on top of which are heaped fragrant mounds of spiced meats and vegetables. Rather than using utensils, diners tear off pieces of the injera and use them to scoop up the delicious morsels of food. At Ambo Ethiopian Cuisine, Mulu offers traditional food served in individual-sized portions or on family platters. Everyone is welcome to use the injera to eat or the restaurant’s forks, knives and spoons.
One of the most popular dishes she serves at her cafe is a chicken stew, known as doro wot.