How Can I Identify Ingredients At the Ethiopian Market?

Good Questions

Q: I love browsing the Ethiopian grocery stores near my house but I often come away empty handed or with a random tub of lentils, dried beans, or a little berbere. All of them have bulk items in tubs with labels only in Amharic and the grocers don't know the translations into English.

I don't mind experimenting with things but it would be nice to know what I'm buying and what I'm missing. Is there a website or book where I can find pictures of ingredients? If there is one with lists of ingredients by region or specific type of ethnic cuisine that would be even better. — Sent by Kerry

Editor: Kerry, we don't know specifically of a book with a guide to Ethiopian or East African ingredients -- surely there is something like that out there though! This book looked interesting and perhaps helpful:

Exotic Ethiopian Cooking : Sociey, Culture, Hospitality, and Traditions

Also, check out Sarah Rae's great ideas for learning how to shop in unfamiliar ethnic markets. We would also suggest seeing if you can set up a market tour with an Ethiopian friend or acquaintance; that's really the best way to learn!

Readers, do you know of any good guides or resources for Ethiopian cooking?

Related: 5 Tips On Finding The Best Products At Ethnic Markets

(Image: Steenburgs Organic)