The northeastern African country of Ethiopia hosts a population of around 108,386,391 inhabitants. Ethiopia is home to people belonging to a great diversity of ethnic groups like the Oromo (34.4%), Amara (27%), Somali (6.2%), Tigray (6.1%), and others. Amharic is Ethiopia’s official national language. Oromo, Somali and Tigrinya are the official working languages of the Ethiopian states of Oromiya, Sumale, and Tigray, respectively. Christianity is the religion of the majority in Ethiopia. 43.5% of the population adheres to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity while 18.5% of the Ethiopians are Protestant Christians. A significant section of Ethiopia’s population (33.9%) adhere to Islam. Catholics account for only 0.7% of the population. 2.7% of the country’s residents follow their indigenous traditional religions.
Ethiopian cuisine is influenced by the cuisines of its various ethnic cultures and that of the country’s neighbors. The most common meal is the wat served with injera. The wat is a thick, spicy stew prepared with vegetables or meat. The Doro wat is another variant of the wat made with chicken and served with hard-boiled eggs. The injera is a large sourdough flatbread that is made out of fermented teff flour. Pieces of the injera are held in the right hand to scoop up the side dishes and entrees. Pork and seafood (with the exception of fish) are usually left out of Ethiopian cuisine due to the religious beliefs prevalent in the country. Several days of fasting are observed by the Orthodox Ethiopians Christians. During such days, meat and dairy are left out of food. The berbere, a spicy mix of powdered chili pepper and other spices, is often added to the Ethiopian dishes. The niter kibbeh, a type of clarified butter, is also commonly used. A popular Ethiopian breakfast dish is the Kinche which is made from cracked wheat, barley, oats, or a mixture of these ingredients that are boiled in water or milk. Spiced butter is added to the dish for flavoring. Atmet, an oat and barley-flour based drink with sugar, water, and clarified butter is a popular non-alcoholic beverage consumed in Ethiopia. Coffee and tea are also consumed widely. Some of the alcoholic drinks include tella (a homebrewed beer) and tej (a honey wine).