FETIRA: Harar’s Breakfast Bliss


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To take the local flavor in, there is nothing like having breakfast at one of the eateries where locals patronize. Obviously, it is not the kind of buffet breakfast waiting for you down stairs at the hotel; rather it is more like a breakfast that takes strolling through the interesting Harar’s alleyways in the morning to discover the little coffee shop where the typical Harar’s breakfast is being prepared every morning for the locals by the locals… and most of all it is a particular place where I would really love to take the world with me through this virtual tour in honoring an ordinary everyday life.

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What makes worth waking up early in the morning in Harar and walking through the alleyways is the fact that it provides its very own unique scene of the old walled town (Jegol). There is no doubt, that the street breakfast delights are also one of the interesting scenes that curious travelers could discover while heading to one of the little local coffee shops hidden somewhere along the alleyways.

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Jegol’s street breakfast delights ranges from little fried foods made of chickpeas flour, little breakfast delights with eggs to simply boiled potatoes and accompanied with vacuum bottled hot drinks for a guzzled cup of home prepared strong Harar’s coffee or tea in honoring mornings on the move. I must say, seeing locals’ having street breakfast delights in the morning along the alleyways is one of the most mesmerizing experiences of Jegol (Harar’s old walled town).

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Fetira is the typical breakfast of Harar. Fetira is just simply fried filo dough cooked with egg, cut into little square pieces and served with Honey for a perfect combination of savory and sweet.

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The one interesting fact worth mentioning here is that there are slightly different versions of Fetira. Even though the main ingredients are wheat flour, egg and honey, at some eateries minced onion, green pepper and tomato are added into the mixture along with the well beaten eggs and fortunately this is the kind of Fetira which I came across at one of the local eateries in Harar and loved it.

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Fetira is also one of Addis Ababa Café’s breakfast sensations but you don’t usually get opportunities like Harar to see how this simple breakfast bliss is being prepared or to really see what’s in your breakfast so maybe this is one of the reasons why I really enjoyed my Harar Fetira experience so much besides the simply authentic palate of Fetira.

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This particular local eatery epitomizes the essence of Harar in so many and in its very own unique ways. The coffee shop is known for preparing the breakfast dish Fetira and serving it to its local customers so lovingly inside its two shambolic rooms. The one very thing which I found so enthralling is the huge frying pan that sits up on the long barrel filled with charcoal inside its top section.

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Harar is known for its affectionate and charismatic people and this is exactly what I experienced at this particular coffee shop where the locals come in have their Fetira for breakfast along with their well-known and strong Harar’s coffee or tea, chatting with the local chef who prepare Fetira so passionately and live every morning.

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This zealous, charming and Harar’s very own local chef kindly allowed me to capture this simple, mundane but precious Harar’s everyday life moments.

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Hara’s people knows how to entertain their guests in general so the chef and the rest of the staff of this particular coffee shop are also pros on keeping the conversation going till the food is ready… and learned from the best, I want to keep you busy while sharing few interesting details about this particular Harar’s breakfast dish so please stay with me.

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Eating Fetira is more like enjoying the crunchiness of the thin layer fried dough from the top and being rewarded by the savory and juicy taste of the egg and other ingredients that it accompanied with.

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If you really want to experience the perfect combination of sweet and savory and then eating Fetira with organic honey which usually comes along with it is the best way to go. In this case there is no doubt in enjoying the sweetness of the honey along with the crunchiness of the fried dough followed by the savory taste of the egg mixture from the inside which is simply delightful.

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You can eat Fetira with a fork piece by piece as it is usually comes into small square pieces or if you want to get intimate with your food like Ethiopians you can pick little piece of Fetira by hand and dip in the dollop of  honey … I assure you the return on your investment of inquisitiveness will be Scrumptious!

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And really, it was all about a matter of hands. Hands that played with the dough, beat the eggs, cut the vegetables, and bring out the plate out to the table and I call this serving up…

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… LOVE for breakfast.

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About Sara Genene

I am Sara from Ethiopia. I live in Addis Ababa City. I am an aspiring Travel Blogger who is passionate about giving homage to ordinary and everyday life. I'm on a journey of rediscovering my home town (Addis Ababa) and want to share it with the world. Contact information: aboutaddisababa@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Breakfast, culture, Ethiopia, Food, Food Travel, Harar, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to FETIRA: Harar’s Breakfast Bliss

  1. Karl Drobnic says:

    Another very enjoyable photo-tour, Sara. I remember Harar very fondly from a visit there almost 50 years ago. It looks like it has kept its romantic, exotic past alive and well.

  2. Great post! I find breakfast fascinating! So different from to place!

    • Sara Genene says:

      Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and maybe that is one of the reasons why I wanted to create this particular post in the first place and I am glad you like it. Thank you so much for kind comment.

  3. Fetira looks very similar to the roti, eaten in parts of South East Asia and India – delicious! This is one of my favourite posts that you’ve done…breakfast and a walk through a fascinating city. Awesome!

  4. I had to read this post after eating dinner because my meal was rather sad compared to the deliciousness that you described. I really must visit Ethiopia soon! I love you cuisine so much!

  5. lorenwolf says:

    Once again you gave us such a wonderful, sensual journey about a fetira. i can almost smell the morning cook fires.

  6. Hi Sara one royal breakfast it look so family like morning.In Baghdad we used to have the same traditional breakfast ,bread with honey and heavy cream. Best regards.Jalal

  7. dadirri7 says:

    so delicious and colourful, I wish I could taste it!

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