Raw meat with a carving fork on a slab of wood
Tere Siga Is An Ethiopian Delicacy With An Important Cultural History
If you enjoy dishes like steak tartare or carpaccio, you may like tere siga, a delicacy of Ethiopia made of raw meat served with spices, sauce, and flatbread.
Tere siga, which translates to "raw meat," is estimated to be centuries old. It’s a popular communal dish meant to be shared by two to three people, and usually uses raw beef.
The meat is typically served with bread or a traditional Ethiopian flatbread called injera, along with a spice blend called mitmita and a mustard sauce called senafinch.
Unlike many other Ethiopian dishes which are eaten with your hands, tere siga requires a knife to cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, a ceremonial process called "q’wirt."
In Ethiopia, tera siga is traditionally served at a "siga bet," meaning "meat house," where butchers will prepare the meat according to diners’ specifications.
Ethiopia has a long history of eating raw meat, supposedly originating during the Abyssinian-Adal war as a way to avoid drawing the attention of enemies with flame and smoke.
You can go to restaurants like Merkato in Los Angeles to try tere siga. If you’re worried about raw meat, you can have it cooked, transforming it into a different dish called tibs.