በራሕለ ዓድኹም ወሰን ባሕሪ
ብርኩታ ቀለብኩም ተረፍ ጓህሪ
Birkuta (ብርኩታ in Tigrigna) is a fried cowboy or salt merchants food in Tigrai, prepare with wheat, sorghum or other cereals flour kneaded to a semi-solid state and covered into a previously heated round stone and baked on a wild campfire. It is served with milk or any related stew or soup. Once baked perfectly, Birkuta can stay longer without expiring.
As a young cowboy living away from home, eating your mother’s fresh food is a mere wish you can only tell to the shooting stars.
But like a fireman trains his kids innately how to survive, the cowboy takes survival lessons from his seniours of all the hunger and beasts.
Taking up all the courage and determination emanated from the harsh life of the wild jungle, I found myself perfect in preparing Birkuta (ብርኩታ). I use to believe Birkuta was unique among the lowlands of Adiabo in particular and western Tigrai in general.
Later on in life, when I joined Kellamino, I learnt about the life of Arho’s (ኣርሆቶት). They live a very difficult life like us, the cowboys in my area, but at the other side of Tigrai and for a completely different purpose.
Note: Video below shows how ‘Birkuta’ is prepared among Dea’a residents.
You may wonder why Birkuta is related to travel. Easy. Birkuta has longer expire date, and is simple to pack (handle). This is due to its making. It takes too much fire and heat, both from in and outside, to prepare, making it a concrete of foodstuff.
Birkuta is best taken with milk. Growing up eating Birkuta, you’ve too much energy for wrestling and surviving all the hostility in the wild. That’s another reason why wrestling is common among the cowboys and Arho’s.