Eritrean Hot Bean Dip (Shiro)

This is a hot bean spread, made from a mix of ground chickpea flour and spices. It works well scooped up with injera (Eritrean sourdough flatbread), or pita works well also.

I have also used this spread instead of tomato sauce on greek pita or afghani flatbread with grated cheese, to make a kind of Eritrean Pizza.

Other optional vegetables

Mix the dried ingredients. This can be made in advance; it keeps indefinitely.

To reconstitute the mix, add approximately equal amounts of boiling water to the mix and stir, until you have a paste like very thick pancake batter. Let it sit around 15 minutes.

Heat the oil and butter. Add garlic and ginger and cook a few minutes, then add the onions, other vegetables and spices, and cook until the onions soften.

Add the bean mix and stir. Add and adjust salt. Turn the flame down and cook until heated through, probably about 5-10 minutes. (Letting it cook longer will smooth out the flavor.) Add more water if the mix gets too dry, or let cook a bit longer if it feels too soupy.

Variation - instead of the cayenne, try using a ground mexican chili - I have used guajillo and new mexico chiles. If you try it this way, it works well to make the mix with water and let it sit for a day to let the chili taste mature.