Archive for the ‘spices’ Tag

Ethiopian Cuisine in Old Colorado City   Leave a comment

ethiopia

Under the right circumstances, even a restaurant in a strip mall can feel like home. It may have nothing to do with the food, but everything to do with the friendliness of the staff. In the case of Uchenna, an Ethiopian restaurant, very little on the menu was familiar. Yet, the owner made my companion and me feel as if we were long lost family members. Actually, she did this to everyone who walked in.

We were treated to small cups of tea with rose water and lemonade. Neither one appealed to me, although my friend particularly enjoyed the tea.

Having no real clue what to order, the combination plate seemed like a great way to sample several different tastes. It featured red lentils in a mild spice mix, and green lentils in a traditional berbere sauce, which is a blend of garlic, red pepper, cardamom, coriander and other spices. Also on the plate were green beans and carrots in a spicy tomato sauce along with cabbage in a briny garlic and onion sauce. Everything was served over injera, the traditional Ethiopian thin, sponge-like bread. Rolls of injera lined the plate.

ethiop

The owner instructed me to push up my sleeves, tear off a piece of bread to use as a scoop. She suggested trying each item separately to get a sense of each flavor.

Eating without silverware slows down the process resulting in an experience more than a meal. It was far from what I knew, but surprisingly close to my heart.

ethiopianmenu
Uchenna

Four Plates
2501 W. Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Ugly Food But Great Personality   1 comment

curry

The food at The Curry Leaf Restaurant, says a friend, is the ugliest she’s ever seen. That is no exaggeration. However, she quickly adds that it’s delicious; she’s right on both counts.

Also, the restaurant smells great, although the owner said she can no longer detect it. In fact, the pungent aroma of curry, the blend of multiple spices, welcomes diners; those same flavors of cumin, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and at least a dozen others, along with coconut milk, provide the distinct dishes, typical of Sri Lanka served at The Curry Leaf.

Two in our group ordered the Chicken Curry, identified on the menu as the House Special. This prompted our server to ask if anyone was going to try the Dahl, cooked lentils in a coconut milk and curry sauce. We did – along with the Eggplant Curry, which I think is the real house specialty. I’ve never had anything like it: tender pieces of eggplant that taste as if they’ve been stewed in the creamy coconut milk sauce, but in fact were fried first. It was a combination of savory and slightly sweet flavors. We also tried the Coconut Sambol, a salad, which must be an acquired taste. The texture of freshly grated coconut, chile and curry spices was interesting, but not something I’d have again.

The Curry Leaf has been part of the dining scene in Colorado Springs for several years in a small, out of the way location. Since moving in January, its new digs are much larger and easier to find: downtown.

Four Plates
The Curry Leaf Restaurant
321 N. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, Colo.