Scoop up some joy with this metro Atlanta dish

Dish of the Week: Fish tibs at Desta Ethiopian Kitchen

A bite of fish tibs at Desta brings bursts of heat, mellowed by bright, citrusy flavors.

Tibs are a hybrid of a stir fry and a stew, made from meat, fish or mushroom. I chose grouper. The hunks of fish were mixed with a blend of spices, onions, tomatoes, peppers and olive oil — seasonings that are the cornerstone of Ethiopian food. The fish was tender, flaky and golden.

But, another highlight was the vessel in which it was served. The heart of Ethiopian cuisine is injera — a spongy, fermented flatbread, like a cross between a pancake, a crepe, pita and sourdough. It’s made from teff, the world’s smallest grain, packed with protein and calcium, and gluten-free. Tear off a piece and scoop up fish and veggies. The injera sops up and tempers the spicy sauce, as well as adding its own wonderful tang.

Desta means “joy” in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. It’s easy to find joy eating a dish like this one.

Desta Ethiopian Kitchen. 2250 Marietta Blvd. NW and 3086 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta. 404-929-0011, destaethiopiankitchen.com