Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dabo Kolo (Ethiopian snacks)

I love bread. I love sliced, fresh bagels at breakfast. I love chocolate croissants as an afternoon snack. I love a toasted baguette with dinner. So when I found these little Ethiopian bread sticks, I just couldn't resist. They're easy to make, and they've got just a hint of Ethiopian spice blended in them.

In Ethiopian, dabo means "bread" and kolo means "roasted barley." These dabo kolo sticks make a great appetizer because you can make them in advance, and then dip them in butter or oil as you chat.

I made the initial sticks far too wide and cooked them for far too long. They were almost inedible. After rolling the second batch much thinner, they cooked up quickly. They're a nice, simple start to an Ethiopian dinner party.

Dabo Kolo
from Fuss Free Cooking

This makes 20 to 24 little sticks. I made them a few hours ahead, covered them with saran wrap, and let them sit until the party.

1 cup white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon berbere paste (or cayenne pepper) (I would add a teaspoon or more next time!)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Water (I used 1/4 cup)
Nit'ir qibe (or melted butter or olive oil) for dipping

Prepare the Dough: Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, adding water and stirring until a stiff dough is formed. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured countertop, and knead it for about 5 minutes.

Shape the Snacks: Tear off a walnut-sized piece of dough. Press it out on a lightly floured surface, rolling it with the palm of your hand to make a long strip about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the strip into pieces of your desired size. You could make smaller pieces (about 1/2 inch) or larger pieces (I made mine about 4 inches). Set aside. Repeat with the other dough strips. Before placing them into the skillet, roll them between your hands quickly to make them a little thinner.

Cook the Snacks: Put the snacks into a preheated skillet or frying pan with no oil over medium heat. Leave a little space between them. Cook the snacks over heat, turning them occasionally, until they are golden brown. Set them aside to cool slightly.

Serve: Serve the snacks either plain or with melted nit'ir qibe, butter or olive oil. I served this on the side, in a little bowl to dip the snacks in.


  1. Oh, and now we have many things did you make for this party???? Loving it...and if you are wondering, I will be making one recipe at a You are a star in the dinner party arena!

  2. Kayte, I have no clue how many dishes I made. I just know I made TOO MANY. I'm working on an Ethiopian food wrap-up post (once I get the last three recipes posed!), and then I'll really be able to count. I'm going to remember to take it a little easier at the next dinner party.