top of page

What did the Sahabah eat during the Habesha migration?

Subhanallah, if you are wondering what the Sahabah (companions of Prophet Muhammed ﷺ) were eating when they migrated twice to Al-Habashah (Ethiopia/Eriteria) and remained there for 13 years, it was this dish I'm eating called Injera!

Injera is a special type of fermented, soft, spongy, and bubbly sour bread that has been eaten in that region since 4600 years before Islam!! It is made from a special flour called Teff, which is the smallest grain in the world, and is extremely rich in iron and gluten-free. Today, Injera is also part of the cuisine of neighboring Somalia as well. Since Teff is hard to find outside Ethiopia, sometimes it is mixed with wheat to keep the cost reasonable. It takes almost 3 days to make this special bread in order for the yeast to cause the bubbles and fermented taste!

It is often served with a mix of different curries of chicken, meat, many vegetables (especially lentil, beans, spinach, etc), where you just shape the injera like a spoon and scoop your food straight to the mouth without any utensils!

The secret and killer ingredient though that makes this dish ultra addictive, is a special type of East African spice called "Berbere," made from chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, fenugreek and a dozen other spices! The spices arrived there 770 years before Islam through the ancient silk road and sea route.

To be honest with you, for someone who has tried most cuisines on this planet from the East and West, even the so called gourmet French kitchen, this dish must be the most delicious I've ever tasted! It is so dangerous that I find myself not able to stop eating even when full lol (thanks to the secret berbere spices), but I cannot feel guilty because of how healthy it is! :)

So where can you try it? If you go to Umrah today insha'Allah, you can find many Ethiopian restaurants in both Jeddah and Makkah, as people from Habesha have migrated there by sea and made it their home centuries ago. Otherwise you can find it in many Western countries and sometimes in Somali restaurants too (I'm eating this in Norway!!!), even in the heart of Istanbul! Take my word and try it yourself to experience what the Sahabah may have eaten during their honourable migration! P.S. If you would like to learn more about the Sahabah peace be upon them, why not try to read the story of Abu Ayub Al-Ansari's attempted conquest of Istanbul in this ebook "Lost Ottoman Treasures"? You could download this beautiful Turkey travel guide and history for free here:

bottom of page