RELIGION

Delicious Foods For Ethiopians' January Christmas Celebrations

**FOR USE WITH AP LIFESTYLES**    Doro Wat Chicken is seen in this Sunday, May 11, 2008 photo.  Doro Wat Chicken, an Ethiopia
**FOR USE WITH AP LIFESTYLES** Doro Wat Chicken is seen in this Sunday, May 11, 2008 photo. Doro Wat Chicken, an Ethiopian dish, is a good opportunity to get out of the spice rut you may be in. Cooking with turmeric, cardamom and fenugreek, among other spices, will give the evening dinner a new and adventurous flavor. Serve with flatbread and plain yogurt. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

An Ethiopian kitchen can be a place of both succulence and self-denial.

In the kitchen of Abyssinia, a popular Ethiopian eatery in Nairobi, the owner, Abebe, demonstrates how his cook prepares the dish called kitfo. It's raw minced beef whipped together with cardamom and chili and a spicy butter, with a texture and taste closer to delicate cheese than to steak tartar.

Kitfo is actually Abebe's favorite food, but it's one he hasn't been allowed to eat for the past month. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, one of the world's oldest, observes Christmas on Jan. 7, following a calendar similar to the Coptic Church. The 40 days prior to Christmas (including Dec. 25) are observed with a vegan fast.

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Orthodox Christmas and Epiphany