Where to get injera?
Went to one of my favorite restaurants recently, Ras Dashen, and was reflecting on how much I've grown to love injera. Does anyone know of a place that sells this? Or berbere spice? I am moving to Chicago soon, but currently live in Highland Park (northern suburbs), so something close to my current location would be much appreciated. Or if there are no specialty stores that sell the injera itself, where can I get the ingredients?
And on a similar note, I am absolutely obsessed with seaweed salad anytime I go to a Japanese restaurant. I usually can only find kombu or nori in stores, are there any that sell a lot of various types of seaweed so that I can make this at home? Or does it have to be fresh... any info would be helpful :)
Kukulu market at 6129 N. Broadway is an ethiopian grocery where I have purchased teff flour for making injera in the past. They would probably be the place to look for berbere as well. For seaweed, I would suggest looking at Super H Mart or Grand Mart in Niles. I have never looked for seaweed in particular, but I believe I have seen different varieties at both shops.
Kukulu not only has teff flour, but it also features (on a daily) basis injera consignments from 6-7 different women (identified by name on the saran wrap cover). How's that for bragging rights? Each injera is distinctly different: one sourer, or tangier, another with bigger (or finer) bubbles etc Injera is also sold in many of the Nigerian/Ghanaian stores in Uptown and Edgewater. I have even seen it at Shan's (the Pakistani cabdrivers' joint on Sheridan just north of Argyle). Kukulu also sells green coffee, roasted coffee, various spices, fresh loaves of dabo and bags of homemade munchies (dabo kolo) and Ethiopian music CDs!!!
Super-H is good. But closer to home, you could try any of the large Korean supermarkets. Any of the Asian markets on/around Argyle would have dried seaweeds like hijiki or wakame in addition to a surprising range of unusual Chinese seaweeds. Note that most of these aren't packaged for the foreign market so you either have to recognize the seaweed through the packaging, or know some kanji. For a truly lovely unusual seaweeds, try the famous lato AKA ararosip of the Philippines which is available vacuum-packaged at Tai Nam. This seaweed is exported from the Philippines to Japan and is much appreciated in sushi houses out there. Dress with a bit of sesame oil and toasted seasme seeds, or perhaps even experiment with olive oil and lemon, maybe a little shallots.
This post comes from the food blog of "foodfirst", who back in the old days of the Chowhound Chicago Board, did our city the great service of translating the so-called "secret-menu" of Spoon Thai and Yum Thai and by doing so, revolutionized our connoisseurship of Thai cuisine in this city.
The story is actually about Sabah (which shares many aspects of Filipino culinary culture). The picture of lato is towards the end of the story. See also my notes on lato in the comments section.