Abiye Tsome - (Lent)
For observant Ethiopian Orthodox Christians over the age of seven, today is the beginning of the fasting period called “Abiye Tsome” which leads up to Easter. For those observing the fast, no animal products will be consumed for the next 55 days and meals should only be consumed after 3:30pm following the daily mass.
There are 180 fasting days throughout the year for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and perhaps because of this Ethiopian cuisine has developed many delicious vegetarian dishes.
In this photo of a “Beyaynetu” or “fasting food combination” you can see cabbage with potatoes; beets; gomen (similar to collard greens); lentils, spicy and non spicy; chick peas, spicy and non spicy; and shiro, a stew made of ground chick peas. All are served on “injera” a spongy bread made from the grain “tef.” You can try most of these tasty dishes throughout Ethiopia at any time of the year.