Fluffy and spicy, here is a recipe of another popular Ethiopian food, Quanta Firfir. It is a type of breakfast that can keep you full. You can eat in small amounts if you want a lighter dish. It is the perfect brunch and can also be for lunch. Like most Ethiopian foods, it is eaten with bread or Injera. You can also eat it with a spoon. If you cook your Injera, don’t use it as just baked for Firfir recipes. It should be stored for at least 12 hours, and the longer, the better.
- Preparation time: 10mins
- Cooking time: 35mins
- Total time: 45mins
- Yield: 6 servings (easily adjustable)
Related topic: Injera – Ethiopian Flat Bread | Recipe & How to Eat
What is Quanta? Is It Different From Beef?
Quanta is air-dried meat. This is how we traditionally preserve meat in Ethiopia. It can be made with either sheep\goat\cow meat. It is comparable with beef jerky.
How is Quanta Made?
Cut red meat longitudinally in a zigzag. You can use any amount of meat. When it dries, it shrinks and gets smaller.
- Thoroughly massage the meat with salt and mitmita\berbere\paprika by using your gloved hand. Salt preserves the meat, and you should use an ample amount. It should lightly coat the whole beef.
- Hang it on a rope in a place where it can get plenty of air.
- Let it dry. It usually takes a week. When ready, it should be crispy.
Made this way, quanta can be eaten as a snack. It can also be used in different recipes, including quanta Firfir. It can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Ideally, it should be kept in a glass container. You can microwave or heat it on a pan before using stored quanta.
Quicker Ways to Make Quanta
The following is not the proper method of making quanta but it definitely is the fastest way. You don’t need salt and berbere\paprika. It will not taste the same and cannot be stored at room temperature. However, you can use it for immediate need for quanta Firfir. It is better to use beef for quick recipes.
- Method 1: Chop the beef as you like and deep fry in oil. It should be crisp and brown.
- Method 2: Cut the beef longitudinally and put it in the oven for 3-4 hours at 200 degrees on a cooking rack. You can also use an air fryer.
Once the quanta beef is ready, let’s make the quanta Firfir. You will need the following ingredients to procced.
Ingredients You Need to Make Quanta Firfir
- 1\2 Kg chopped quata
- Three tablespoons vegetable oil (preferably sunflower)
- Three tablespoons kibe (Ethiopian spiced butter)
- 1 cup diced red onion
- Three tablespoons tomato paste or two medium-sized chopped tomatoes (This optional and will make it less spicy)
- Three tablespoons Shiro powder (optional) will give it a bit of Shiro Wot taste.
- Two tablespoons berbere\Ethiopian chilli powder (This is the ideal amount you should use. You can adjust it depending on how spicy you want your Firfir and desired colour)
- Two teaspoons minced garlic
- One teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- Two teaspoons salt
- 3 cups boiled water
- Three chopped Injera (Roll the Injera and chop it in thick circles)
- Three sliced long green pepper for topping (optional)
- Sliced boiled egg for topping (optional)
- Sliced bread or additional Injera (for serving)
Directions You Need to Make Quanta Firfir
1. Make the sauce
- Pre heats the oil in a pot or large-sized pan.
- Add the onion and stir fry until golden brown (cook on low heat after stirring for 2 minutes).
- Bring the heat up. Add tomatoes and let it cook for 3 minutes. (Optional)
- Add berbere\paprika and mix.
- Then add some water and let it boil for 2 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and black pepper powder. Frequently stir for three more minutes by adding small amounts of water.
- Add Shiro Power and mix. (optional)
- Add kibe and quanta.
- Let it cook for 15 more minutes by frequently stirring and adding small amounts of water.
- Add salt and 1.5 cups (375ml) of water. Bring it to boil for 2 minutes. You can adjust the amount of salt to your liking. Keep in mind that Injera is not salted.
2. Mix the sauce with chopped Injera in a bowl. You can do this in the proportion you prefer. If you have some sauce left, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
3. Top with the egg and peppers. Serve with bread\Injera and dig in.
A tip: If you don’t have enough time in the morning to make quanta Firfir, you can make the sauce the night before and keep it in the fridge. Heat it in the morning and add Injera. Ready in 5 minutes!
Did you make this recipe? Which method did you use, and how did it turn out for you? Please let us know in the comment section.