African Cooking: Ethiopia & Beyond - A Night with Chef Diane Manteca

Posted by Kim Wieczner on Fri, Aug 01, 2014

Last week, I got the chance to attend one of longtime BCAE Chef Diane's classes. Of the 20 years of BCAE classes she has taught, this was her first focused on Ethopian cooking! The idea came about when a student requested the class about a year ago, and Diane has since set about the task of learning as much as possible about the cuisine and how to prepare it.

Diane prepping

All I can say is that I was impressed by how much we were able to cook (and eat!) within a quick 3 hour class. We made three main dishes, the Ethipoian flat bread, Injera, as well as Nit'r Qibe, the traditional spiced butter. We even got to dip into the plethora of spices Diane had brought with her to create our own "berbere" spice pack to take home!


We started with the teff stew, chopping onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, sauteeing them all in a large wok with a variety of spices.

Sweet potatoes in pan

We then added vegetable stock, lentils, and teff (Fun fact from Diane: teff is the smallest grain in the world!), covered the pan and let it all simmer. We finished it off with lemon juice, garnished with cilantro, and we had a thick and hearty vegetarian stew packed with flavor!

Teff Stew

Next up: Doro Wat, spicy chicken stew. Here we got to cook chicken thighs with the iconic berbere spice mix (check out that red color below), ginger, and garlic to infuse the chicken with all of that spicy goodness.

Doro Wat

Traditionally, hard boiled eggs are added into the pot with the chicken, but this time we left them as garnish.

Doro Wat plated

Our next task was the African curry. While this can be done with a variety of proteins, we used shrimp. Curry powder, tumeric, and coconut cream gave this dish that gorgeous yellow color and creamy consistency.

Chef Diane finishes shrimp

Finished with fresh bananas and shredded coconut, this dish was my personal favorite!

Shrimp Curry

We each got to fry up our own individual injera (like pancakes!) And my plate full of injera, chicken, and curry (I ate the teff stew earlier) was perfection.

Plate of African food

Diane is an absolute delight to take a class with, and there are many more opportunities to join her in the kitchen through the end of summer and into fall!


Cooking for One or Two: Greek Edition 
Sensational Summer Sides: Cooking outSIDE the box!    
Dreamy Dolce: Italian Desserts  
Lunch Break: Pestos, Vinaigrettes & Salads     
Sauces of the World     
Down & Dirty Food and Booze

September & October
Cooking with Wines
Pizza and Calzones    
Fresh Fish Made Fabulous 
The Art of Pasta Making    
How to Navigate & Cook the Farmers Market
Mediterranean Mezze: Food & Wine Pairing
It's Raining Meatballs: Beef, Turkey, and Tofu  
Eat Your Way Through Tuscany   
Autumn Soups    
A Moroccan Dinner

Topics: BCAE, BCAE classes, BCAE cooking classes, Boston cooking class, Diane Manteca, Ethiopian food