At its heart, fata is a bread salad: a cousin, in some ways, to Italian panzanella (a comparison less unusual than it may sound, since Eritrea was once an Italian colony). The tomatoes are chopped so fine they become pulpy, a liquid mass of textural submission. This mass is added to a skillet where onions and garlic have sizzled in a good bit of oil, with water added to thin it out. And then there's berbere. The key spice mix in both Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines (the two countries used to be one), berbere is hard to come by in the U.S., so I use a combination of hot paprika, cayenne, and allspice instead. It's not a perfect stand-in, but it does just fine.