Kicha Fit Fit: How to make this dish of lightly fried, torn, buttery flatbread
For this recipe from In Bibi’s Kitchen, “the drier the bread, the more it soaks up the spices and butter”
This recipe for Kicha Fit Fit comes to us from In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean. In it authors Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen note that unleavened flatbreads like kicha “are a great introduction to making bread at home, since the dough doesn’t require any kneading or rising and you cook the breads quickly in a skillet — there’s no oven involved.” Whether you use store-bought injera or kicha, or make the kicha from scratch, once you’ve got your flatbread this recipe comes together in minutes — and looks like a very delicious way to start the day.
Kicha Fit Fit (Torn Flatbreads With Spiced Butter And Yogurt)
By Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen
Fit fit, broken pieces of flatbread cooked with fat and spices, is a typical dish throughout East Africa and is made with either Ethiopian-style injera (a flatbread made from fermented teff flour) or Eritrean kicha, like the one Ma Gehennet taught us how to make. It’s a wonderful way to use up leftover flatbread of any kind. You could even use leftover pita bread. The drier the bread, the more it soaks up the spices and butter. Serve with plain yogurt dolloped on top. This is wonderful for breakfast or as a snack.
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ cups warm water
- 2 tbsp canola oil
Berbere Spice Mix:
- One 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 6 cardamom pods
- 3 allspice berries
- 4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed and seeded
- ¼ cup dried onion flakes
- 3 tbsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Kicha Fit Fit:
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee
- 1 tbsp Berbere Spice Mix or store-bought berbere
- 1 batch Kicha torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt
Place the whole wheat and all-purpose flours and salt in a large bowl and whisk well to combine. Using your hands, mix in the water. The batter will be like a very thick pancake batter.
Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Set a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil, tilting the pan so the oil lightly greases the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add half the dough to the skillet and use wet fingertips to gently and carefully press the dough into a wide circle that covers the surface of the skillet. Cover the skillet and cook until the top of the dough is glossy and the underside is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the bread over, cover, and cook until the second side is browned, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the flatbread to the prepared plate, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, and repeat the process with the remaining dough. Serve immediately while the breads are warm, or let cool to room temperature to use for Kicha Fit Fit. Leftover breads can be stored in a plastic bag at room temperature for a day and rewarmed in a skillet over low heat.
Makes 4 servings of kicha.
Berbere Spice Mix:
Place the cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, peppercorns, cardamom, and allspice in a small heavy skillet set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the smell is very aromatic and the spices are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Transfer the mixture to a clean coffee grinder, add the chiles and onion flakes, and grind to a fine powder (or use a mortar and pestle and some elbow grease). Transfer the ground spices to a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and sift. Regrind whatever large pieces remain in the sieve and add them to the bowl with the ground spices. Add the paprika, ginger, and nutmeg. Whisk well to combine and transfer the mixture to an airtight jar. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.
Makes about ⅔ cup spice mix.
Kicha Fit Fit:
Place the butter in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the berbere and cook, stirring, until the spices sizzle and smell fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kicha pieces and sprinkle with the salt. Cook, stirring, until all the pieces of kicha are coated with the spiced butter and warmed through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a serving platter or individual bowls, top with the yogurt, and serve immediately.
Yield: Makes 4 servings of Kicha Fit Fit
Reprinted with permission from In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.