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Sharing Ethiopian Flavors

Haiget’s taste of togetherness



Haiget Yoseph (center) with her brother Joseph and mother Mulunesh Woldekiros

 


Haiget Yosef’s transition from home cooking to cooking for a living happened when she was a teenager in Nairobi, Kenya, but the process began with an American-sounding event: she made the school lunch lady angry. Growing up in a family of 12 meant that she learned to help with the cooking while very young.
 

“By the time I was in my teens, I was able to cook for my entire family,” she says. “In high school, my older brother helped finance my first small business, making lunch boxes for students.”

Haiget did well with the business – to the point that she repaid her brother quickly, and her lunches became so popular that the school lunch lady “got jealous” and shut down the budding business. That early success instilled in her a love of cooking that she brought with her to the U.S.

“My first job in America was in a restaurant,” she says. “It introduced me to a way of life and food here in Oklahoma, and I loved every bit of it.”

She opened a home catering business that grew popular enough to lead to a restaurant, Haiget’s, which serves traditional Ethiopian and Kenyan food. Ethiopian cuisine is based around injera (flat sourdough bread torn into pieces and used as a kind of edible spoon), and the focus is on the experience of dining, not just the food.

“Dining in our culture is festive,” Haiget says. “Growing up, we always had relatives living with us. After the day’s activities, we came together to eat, and the ceremonies made you not want to leave the dinner table.”

The dining process eventually led to the adoption of one of Haiget’s favorite traditions: gursha.

“Gursha means that someone at the table will feed you, and according to the custom, you cannot say no,” she explains.


The togetherness gave rise to the custom of enbla, as well. It is an Ethiopian word that means “let’s eat together,” Haiget says. She was surprised by the culinary customs she found in Oklahoma: the rushed meals, the microwaved food and especially eating alone.

“In our culture, if you are alone and about to dine, you would say to someone ‘enbla,’ and they would eat with you,” Haiget says. “When Ethiopians come to our restaurant now and I serve them, they say ‘enbla,’ or when I’m busy rushing around they offer me gursha. I love the customs because they show a sense of caring for your fellow humans.”

That care for fellow humans includes a concern for food preparation and healthy eating. Meat is not central to Ethiopian cuisine, so the vegetarian options are rich and flavorful.

“Ethiopian cuisine is healthy cuisine,” Haiget says. “When people hear ‘healthy,’ though, they assume it tastes like grass, and much of their experience of vegetarian food is under-seasoned dishes.”

For this recipe, however, Haiget is deferring to Oklahoma preferences, so she picked an “easy, fast, healthy and delicious” chicken dish. While it’s traditionally served with injera, it also works well with rice.

 


► How It's Done

1 chicken breast
Black pepper
Lemon pepper
Berbere
Garlic powder
Oil
½ onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
Jalapenos
Rosemary powder
Kibe

Cut single chicken breast into small cubes.

Marinate it with black pepper, lemon pepper, berbere (Ethiopian chili powder), garlic powder and a little bit of oil to help mix the spices according to your taste.

Place the chicken and half of a chopped onion into a sprayed pan, and sauté until the spices are all infused into the meat but not burned.

Add 2 tomatoes (chopped) and let cook 5-7 minutes with the juice of the tomatoes.

Once the chicken is cooked with almost all the liquid gone, but not dry, add julienne-cut jalapenos, ground rosemary powder and kibe (Ethiopian clarified butter).

Mix all for a minute or so for the flavors all to blend in, and then remove from heat.


► Haiget's

 

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Calendar

August 2017

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Cost: $75-$160

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Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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Cost: Free

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Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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Cost: $75-$160

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Telephone: 405.478.2250
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OKC Museum of Art
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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Cost: $5 for Non-Members, Free for Members

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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Sponsor: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
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View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
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Where:
Santa Fe Depot
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View map »


Telephone: 405.307.9320
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More information

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Where:
Chisholm Creek
13230 Pawnee
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Website »

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Telephone: 405.235.3700
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Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

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Jewel Box Theater
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Telephone: 405.218.1000
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300 Park Ave
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Cost: $10-12

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Cost: Free

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View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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More information

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Cost: $75-$160

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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Cost: Free

Where:
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
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Cost: $15

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Cost: $35

Where:
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Oklahoma City, OK  73109
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
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Cost: $25

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More information

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Where:
Chisholm Creek
13230 Pawnee
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View map »


Website »

More information

A suite of new works by local artist Dr. Jim Cobb fills the newly renovated and restored Depot in this colorful exhibition.

Where:
Santa Fe Depot
200 S Jones
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Telephone: 405.307.9320
Website »

More information

Married, divorced, remarried to other people ... now a pair of wealthy socialites are thrown into a new old affair in this Coward comedy.

Where:
Myriad Gardens
301 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.3700
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Omaha.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
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View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The downtown concert hall keeps pounding out the hits - they're on a country kick lately, but fans of these Texas travelers will hardly mind.

Where:
The Criterion
500 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.406.7484
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More information

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Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

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Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

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Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This summer, Oklahoma Contemporary is kicking off Showroom|Showcase, a series of installations by local artists in the Showroom, located at 11th and Broadway. Our first featured artist is Rachel...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Departs Exchange Landing | Saturdays (May  – August) | 11:40 am Experience history as you never have before. Colorful Oklahoma characters will reenact history through the eyes of...

Cost: $6-15

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
SW, over the bridge from Farmer's Market
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15 (free for kids 6 and under)

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Shake your groove thing! Rock the boat, but don’t tip the boat over! Disco atmosphere, party mix and adult beverages all are awaiting you - view the ferry schedule online for evening...

Cost: $15

Where:
All OK River Cruise Landings
Oklahoma City, OK  73109


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

TRC presents its 6th annual nighttime black-light race! On-site registration and vendor booths open at 6 p.m., so bring out your friends and family for a great event, with all proceeds going to The...

Cost: $20-$40

Where:
Mitch Park
1501 W Covell Rd
Edmond, OK  73003
View map »


Sponsor: The Recovery Center
Telephone: 405.525.2525
Contact Name: Ky Humble
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The City Cabaret OKC presents group numbers, trios and duets, oh my!

Cost: $25

Where:
The Paramount Theatre
11 N Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73108
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Rockin' vibes with Oklahoma's Adam Miller. NOIR serves craft cocktails, delish food, and brunch after 10:30 p.m. Smoke and Vape-free  

Cost: Free

Where:
Noir bistro & Bar
701 W Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73108
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Going up? This colorful event includes live music, carnival rides, pop-up shops and food, but the main draw is the phalanx of 40 beautiful hot-air balloons.

Where:
Chisholm Creek
13230 Pawnee
OKC, OK  73114
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Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Omaha.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.218.1000
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A trip to the amusement park becomes even more tempting with a set from the infectious boy band.

Where:
Frontier City
11501 N I-35 Service
OKC, OK  73131
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Telephone: 405.478.2140
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A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
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Telephone: 405.235.4458
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Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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Artists, crafters and musicians in multiple genres - all of them female - help demonstrate the crowd-pleasing and inspirational power of creativity, XX-style.

Where:
Automobile Alley
NW 9th and Broadway
OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.810.6977
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Family aid organization Parent Promise hosts its 21st annual fundraiser, offering auctions, music and fun in a Monopoly-themed evening.

Where:
OKC Golf & Country Club
7000 NW Grand
OKC, OK  73116
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Telephone: 405.232.2500
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Married, divorced, remarried to other people ... now a pair of wealthy socialites are thrown into a new old affair in this Coward comedy.

Where:
Myriad Gardens
301 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.235.3700
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Christopher Sergel's adaptation of the Harper Lee classic is an engrossing reminder of the importance of doing right in the face of whatever comes.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
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Telephone: 405.521.1786
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This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
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Telephone: 405.478.2250
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A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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