We first met Tinsae a few years ago at a local multicultural food event. She was serving coffee at her signature Djebana Coffee stall behind an eye catching display of African baskets and ornate coffee pots. Tinsae offered us a cup of her fair trade Ethiopian coffee and some popcorn to nibble on. This kind gesture was our introduction to Ethiopian food culture. We now know that when Tinsea isn't roasting coffee beans, her passion is cooking, especially the food of her original homeland, Ethiopia. Tinsae shares her love of Ethiopian cuisine via her cooking classes at the Auburn Community Centre. However, just recently she decided to branch out and offer food lovers an alternative way to explore the lively flavours of Ethiopia, at a secret Dinner With Tinsae.

Djebana Coffee

Dinner with Tinsae offers diners a culinary journey into Ethiopia through the cosy environment of in home dining. To sample this, we recently attended a secret dinner for eight which Tinsae hosted in her own home at Winmalee. We were welcomed inside by the warm inviting aromas of Ethiopian home cooking which filled the air with fragrant notes of garlic, ginger and vibrant spices. Our six fellow diners were also food lovers from various walks of life who were keen for a new dining experience. We all took a seat around Tinsae's beautifully decorated table and introduced ourselves over welcome drinks. It didn't take long before we were chit chatting about the trending subjects of the day while Tinsae prepared a five course Ethiopian dinner  just metres away in her kitchen.

Dinner With Tinsae

Our first course was Shorba, a thick lentil soup spiced with garlic, ginger and turmeric which gave this soup a bright golden hue. Just before serving, Tinsae sprinkled on some toasty home made croutons which added some crunch to this soulful starter. We mopped up the plate with warm soft bread because we wanted to enjoy every last drop.

Dinner with Tinsae

The second course gave us our first taste of Ethiopia's national dish, Injera Bread. There's no other bread quite like Injera. It looks and feels like a spongy thin pancake but has a pleasant light sourdough flavour.

Injera Bread

The injera was served topped with a Lamb Shank and Chinese Broccoli Stew. The tender lamb was shredded in rich warm gravy which soaked into the soft injera making this bread a great alternative to rice. 

Dinner With Tinsae  Djebana Coffee

The next dish was a deep red Shiro Wat, a chickpea stew served between layers of injera. The beautiful presentation of this dish made us all ooh and aah in appreciation. The Shiro was served with some earthy roasted beetroot on the side which added a touch of freshness to the plate.

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The final savoury course was a celebration banquet of Dora Wat and Atkilt Alicha. In Ethiopia this meal is saved for special occasions. Tinsae's Dora Wat (chicken stew) was cooked over many hours until the chicken became so tender that it melted in our mouth. The chicken was served beside a bowl of Akilt Alicha a colourful vegetable stew which added vibrance to this celebration banquet. These two main dishes were complimented with a variety of condiments including coriander, fresh cheese and a spicy egg curry.

Dinner with Tinsae

We enjoyed eating this spread in the traditional Ethiopian way, with our hands.The easiest way is to lay out a piece of  injera and dot it with small amounts of each dish. It's eaten by tearing off a little of the bread from the side to pick up the food before popping it straight into the mouth. No cutlery required!

Dinner With Tinsae  Dinner With Tinsae

To cap off the evening we were treated to a sweet Orange Crostini with creamy vanilla ice cream over a few cups of freshly brewed Ethiopian coffee. Coffee is the social heart of Ethiopia and respectfully served to guests as a Coffee Ceremony.

Dinner with Tinsae

The ritual begins with the roasting of green coffee beans so everyone can experience their indulgent awakening aromas. Following this, the beans are ground and brewed in a special tall jebana coffee pot.

Djebana Coffee

When the coffee is ready it's served in small cups much like an expresso and enjoyed over social banter, laughter and the latest gossip. Tinsae's coffee ceremony was a wonderful finish to her secret Ethiopian dinner and a nice pep up before our late night drive home.

Dinner with Tinsae  Djebana Coffee   

Dinner with Tinsae is the best way to discover the exciting wats, bread, coffee and hospitality unique to Ethiopian cuisine. The delicious food, friendly company and our amazing hosts made this a night to remember.

Dinner with Tinsae

More information about upcoming secret dinners can be found on the Dinner With Tinsae webpage :



The Western Sydney Food Blog dined as guests of Dinner With Tinsae