about the blog

I grew up eating amazing Eritrean food, thanks to my very talented mother and plenty of other great cooks in my family and community.  As a DC native, I also watched the rest of the city fall in love with Eritrean and Ethiopian food and regularly visit restaurants to get their fix.

Despite my love for our food, I never got around to figuring out how to make it. I wasn’t that daughter at my mom’s side, dutifully helping and learning – I was the kid at the table ready to eat. And I (wrongly) convinced myself that preparing it was an arduous process, requiring years of practice. 

I realized that I had to get over it and learn. My mom doesn’t speak in recipes though, so I decided to cook with her and other great home cooks and put together easy-to-follow recipes.

But I always knew that were others, many others, as hungry and confused as I was. Plenty of my friends and colleagues complained about how hard it was to get information about how to prepare their restaurant favorites at home.

So I decided to start a blog to share the recipes I was compiling with people who want to learn how to make Eritrean food. The blog is called "qemem", which means spice in Tigrinya. Besides posting the recipes, I also post videos of the preparation so that readers can see what the food should look like at each stage, improving their chances of getting it right. I'm working on improving the video quality so please have patience with me! And please support the blog by telling your friends about it and subscribing to it and my Vimeo or Youtube channels (links below).

To make a long story short, I have learned that if you can chop, stir, and buy spices, you can cook Eritrean food. It’s not hard – I promise.  So get to the recipes and go for it already!