21 Dec 2020

With parts of the UK now under tougher COVID-19 restrictions, we have come up with some ideas to keep you busy and make the most of the ‘stay at home’ order… from cooking to virtual marathons and new books, we have you covered.

Cook Ethiopian

Cooking is wonderfully therapeutic. Take your culinary prowess up a level by learning how to cook Ethiopian food. Not only is Ethiopian food delicious, it is also unique!

In her stunning debut e-cookbook, Helen Mebrate (@ethiopianfoodie) shares a fully plant-based and gluten-free selection of Ethiopian recipes. The eBook, Ethiopian Home Cooking: Quick and Easy Homemade Vegan Recipes, covers the full range of Ethiopian dishes to help you create the perfect vegan beyaynetu (a mix of vegan dishes) served on a plate of injera.

There are recipes for injera, Shiro Tegabino (roasted chickpea flour stew), Firfir be’Gomen (torn injera soaked in a tomato and kale sauce), Ye’Metbesha miser (red lentil stew), and much more.

To celebrate the launch of her eBook, Helen has shared one of her recipes from the book. For more information about the book, visit www.ethiopianfoodie.co.uk.

Ye’Duba Wot

Oven-roasted squash stew

Serves: 4

This recipe is Helen’s take on a traditional squash wot, locally known as Duba Wot. Traditionally, the squash is cooked in the sauce until it is fork-tender.

For this recipe, Helen roasted the squash in the oven first and only added it at the rest of the dish at the end. The texture as well as the taste is slightly different.


  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons of salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil + 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic & ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of berbere
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary & thyme each
  • 1 cup of diced cherry or plum tomatoes
  • 1 small sized squash peeled and diced
  • 2 – 3 cups of water 


  • Tikur qimmem, Abish, Korerima, Mekelesha
  • Qibbeh

Note: The squash can easily be substituted with sweet potatoes or even cauliflower.


Season the diced squash with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes in a 180C preheated oven.

To a medium-sized pot, add diced onions, salt & oil and cook until onions are browned. Add the garlic & ginger paste, followed by the tomato paste, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the berbere, all or any of the optional spices except mekelesha, and cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Add a splash of water to prevent sticking and allow the flavour to develop. ⠀⠀

Add the fresh thyme & rosemary leaves, the diced or cherry tomatoes, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add mekelesha, a tablespoon of qibbeh, the roasted squash, and toss gently until all the pieces are covered in the sauce. Lower the heat and finish cooking the squash until it is fork-tender without adding any water. This will allow the flavours to penetrate the squash. Stir frequently and gently to avoid burning.

Serve with injera or any other flatbread or grain of your choice.


Read a new book

Reading is on the top of many people’s lists, as we look into more productive ways to spend time at home. Reading has many benefits and has been proven to help reduce stress and boost wellbeing.

Out Of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia

If you cannot take part in the Great Ethiopian Virtual Run, you can at least read about running!

Since Abebe Bikila’s heroic barefoot victory in the marathon at the Rome Olympics in 1960 – the first gold medal won by a sub-Saharan African – running has been part of the Ethiopian psyche and a huge source of national pride. In spite of this, the Western world knows very little about the lives of those for whom ‘running is life.’ High-performance sport is increasingly about measuring, calculating limits, and disenchantment. In Ethiopia, though, runners believe that mysterious, incalculable forces have a huge part to play in their success.

Michael Crawley spent fifteen months in Ethiopia training alongside (and sometimes a fair way behind) runners at all levels of the sport, from night watchmen hoping to change their lives to world-class marathon runners, in order to answer these questions.

By immersing himself in the culture of Ethiopian running, learning Amharic, and following in the footsteps of runners as they zig zag through the high-altitude forests of Addis Ababa, Bekoji, and Gondar, Michael Crawley has written the beautiful Out of Thin Air taking you on a search for ‘special’ air, on midnight runs through the city, and into encounters with hyenas and witchcraft.

Why does it make sense to Ethiopian runners to get up at 3 am to run up and down a hill? Who would choose to train on almost impossibly steep and rocky terrain, in hyena territory? And how come Ethiopian men hold six of the top ten fastest marathon times ever? Follow Michael on his journey into the forest as he attempts to keep up and get to the heart of their success.

Michael Crawley is a 2.20 marathon runner who has competed internationally for Scotland and Great Britain. He is Assistant Professor in Social Anthropology at Durham University. Out of Thin Air is his first book and can be purchased on: Amazon,  Bloomsbury and Waterstones

Keep fit at home

Staying at home is the best way to stop Coronavirus spreading and keeping your physical and mental fitness levels up has never been more important!

Great Ethiopian Run virtual 10k

The 20th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run is set to take place in Addis Ababa on 10th January 2021.

File Photo

However, due to challenges of international travel caused by COVID-19 as well as limits to the number of people who can take part,  the Great Ethiopian Run will also be offering international participants the chance to take part in the run virtually.

The deadline for registering is Wednesday 6th January 2021.  All finishers will receive a race t-shirt and race medal sent directly to their home.

For further information, visit the event website at www.ethiopianrun.org/en/international or contact Richard Nerurkar on richard@ethiopianrun.org.

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