Ethiopian cuisine characteristically consists of spicy vegetable and meat dishes, usually in the form of wat (or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrees and side dishes. Utensils are rarely used with Ethiopian cuisine. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church prescribes a number of fasting periods, including Wednesdays, Fridays, and the entire Lenten season, so Ethiopian cuisine contains many dishes that are vegan. This has also led Ethiopian cooks to develop a rich array of cooking oil sources: besides sesame and safflower, Ethiopian cuisine also uses nug (also spelled noog, known also as niger seed). Ethiopian cuisine mostly consists of breads, stews (known as Wat), grains, and spices.
Contributions by Gyrofrog, Northamerica1000, and Halaqah.