Koch-Kocha Sauce

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Koch-kocha is a traditional sauce prepared in Oromia region of Ethiopia. The name Koch–kocha is in the Afan Oromo language and means “spicy pounded and moistened green pepper.” The national name in Amharic is linkit. Koch-kocha is traditionally prepared by women who grind green peppers on a flat, wet grinding stone. The powdered, green pepper is then mixed with spices such as ginger, onion and salt, and distilled butter to create the final product.  

For storage Koch-kocha is kept in a container made from a halved, boiled anchote (a type of gourd). It is used as a sauce for many kinds of foods, including anchote, cheeses, flatbreads and meat. It is also served with maro (a kind of bread made of fresh corn) and dimina (raw meat). Koch-kocha with anchote is often served for religious observances. The sauce is also part of meals for the festivity of Ayyana Fano Oromo, which is held one week after the first appearance of the moon in the month of September that signals the end of summer work and the start of a new year. Furthermore, for the occasion of dabo, it is consumed with cabbage. Dabo is the collaboration between farmers sharing work with one another. Koch-kocha is also served to welcome houseguests.  

Production of koch-kocha is not consistent and fluctuates according to demand. More commercial, industrial or semi-industrially produced versions can also now be found on the market, but it is traditionally made for home consumption. The way of hand-making koch-kocha is being threatened by the rise of industrial production and different tools. One variation now includes grinding dry peppers in a machine, instead of stone-grinding fresh peppers. In addition, many producers are chosing to sell their green peppers on the market, instead of processing them into koch-kocha for sale, and so the tradition is being lost among younger generations. 

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Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Indigenous community:Oromo