Chicago is a culinary destination, and Safari Lounge will soon add an adventure of flavor to the Windy City.  During a recent kitchen chat,  Chef Tigist Reda, shared a peek into the menu and decor at the soon-to-open Safari Lounge.  This exotic venue will feature a fusion of “Ethiopia meets Caribbean” menu, all served in the setting and design of “into the wild.”  This lounge will feature “Best of the Bar Food” along with the largest selection of African beer in Chicago.  Chef Tigist adds that diners will still enjoy the exotic spices they love from her Ethiopian restaurant, Demera.  “Balancing the spices.  It’s the backbone of our restaurant,” she explains.  Safari Lounge’s menu will serve dishes that make you roar, including fish cakes and awaze wings.  Chef Tigist says that the Nigerian beer, Orijin has so much flavor of the native Nigerian plants.  Guests can sip and savor at the long red bar at Safari Lounge.

The red bar at Safari Lounge

The red bar at Safari Lounge

And here is the exciting news!  Safari Lounge will have a three day Grand Opening Fest & Feast from June 3-June 5th with an extravaganza of music, special menu offerings, signature cocktails and more . Chef Tigist has generously offered Kitchen Chat listeners a 20% discount on your Safari Lounge tab during the month of June.   Just mention Kitchen Chat.

A safari of taste!

A safari of taste!

Enjoy these Ethiopian recipes by Chef Tigist.  Savor the day!

Ye-Misir Wat
Ingredients:
½ lb. red lentil (washed)
3 cup chopped onion
½ cup oil (olive oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil)
4 tsp minced garlic and fresh ginger mix  (3 tsp garlic and 1 tsp ginger)
1 tsp mekelesha (Ethiopian spice mix, optional)
1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
½ cup tomato sauce (optional)
½ cup berbere (spice mix)
1 tsp ground cardamom
Directions:
Place onion in a pot and steam it for about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of oil. Add 2 tsp of garlic ginger mix. Cook for about 15 minutes until it gets light golden color. Add 1/2 cup of berbere. Add 1/2 tomato sauce (optional, tomato sauce helps with the reduce to medium spiciness). Cook it for about 15 minutes. Add 2 tsp of garlic ginger mix. Add 1 tsp of salt. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add red lentil. Add 1 tsp of mekelesha  (optional). Cook for about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups of water. Cook lentils for about 10 minutes while straining in between. Finish with 1 tsp ground cardamom.
*drop a water in between cooking as needed.
Kik Alicha
Ingredients:
1/2 lb. yellow split pea washed and cooked until tender (15 to 20 minutes)
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup oil (olive oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil)
1 1/2 tsp garlic and ginger mix (1 tsp garlic and 1/2 tsp ginger minced together)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 Jalapeno, sliced
Directions:
In a pot steam 1 cup chopped onion for about 3 minutes. Add 1/3 oil. Add 1/2 garlic ginger mix. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric. Cook for about a 1 minute. Add yellow split peas, 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper. Add 1 tsp garlic and ginger mix. Cook for about 1 minute.     Add 1 cup of water. Cook for about 5 minutes. Drop 1/2 of Jalapeno for flavoring. Then finish it 1/2 ground cardamom.
Teff Crepe
Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 cup Teff Flour
2 eggs
2 Tbs sugar
1 pinch salt
Directions:
Place milk in bowl, using wire whisk add flour and mix thoroughly. Add egg, and mixing thoroughly. Add sugar and salt, mix thoroughly. Heat pan in medium heat and use a pam spray or any other preferred. Use 3 oz. ladle to measure crepe mix. Ladle mix into medium heat pan. Turn the pan to coat the entire pan and  return any excess into the mixture (forming a thin pancake coating in the pan). Peel the crepe from the pan when the edge begin to turn a little brown

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