Ethiopian Vegetarian Recipes

Yemiser W'et (spicy lentil stew)

Categories: Vegetarian, Ethiopian, Sundays, Moosewood, Stew

Servings: 8

  • 1 c Dried brown lentils
  • 1 c Onion; finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic; minced
  • 1/4 c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 tsp Berbere
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds; ground
  • 1 tsp Paprika; sweet Hungarian
  • 2 c Tomato; finely chopped
  • 1/2 c Tomato paste
  • 1 c Vegetable stock or water
  • 1 c Green peas; fresh or frozen
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper; fresh, to tst
  • 3 Batches Injera bread
  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Rinse and cook the lentils.

    Meanwhile saute the onions and garlic in the niter kebbeh, until the onions are just translucent. Add the berbere, cumin, and paprika and saute for a few minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock or water and continue simmering.

    When the lentils are cooked, drain them and mix them into the saute. Add the green peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

    To serve Yemiser W'et, spread layers of injera on individual plates. Place some yogurt or cottage cheese alongside a serving of w'et on the injera and pass more injera at the table. To eat, tear off pieces of injera, fold it around bits of stew, and, yes, eat it with your fingers.

    Yetakelt W'et (spicy mixed vegetable stew)

    Categories: Vegetarian, Ethiopian, Sundays, Moosewood, Stew

    Servings: 6

  • 1 c Onions; finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 tb Berbere
  • 1 tb Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/4 c Niter Kebbeh
  • 1 c Green beans; cut into thirds
  • 1 c Carrots; chopped
  • 1 c Potatoes; cubed
  • 1 c Tomatoes; chopped
  • 1/4 c Tomato paste
  • 2 c Vegetable stock
  • Salt and black pepper to tst
  • 1/4 c Parsley; fresh, chopped
  • 2 Batches Injera
  • Plain yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Note: Try making this dish and Yemiser W'et for the same meal. In Ethiopia, it is customary to offer several stews at one time, and people eat some of each kind.

    Saute the onions, garlic, berbere, and paprika in the Niter Kebbeh for 2 minutes. Add the beans, carrots, and potatoes and continue to saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.

    Add salt and pepper to taset and mix in the parsley.

    Serve with injera and yogurt or cottage cheese following the same serving and eating procedure as for Yemiser W'et.

    Injera (Ethiopian Flat Bread)

    Categories: Vegetarian, Ethiopian, Sundays, Moosewood, Bread

    Servings: 1

  • 1 3/4 c Flour; unbleached white
  • 1/2 c Self-rising flour
  • 1/4 c Whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 pk Dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 c Water; warm
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Combine the flours and yeast in a ceramic or glass bowl. Add the warm water and mix into a fairly thin, smooth batter. Let the mixture sit for three full days at room temperature. Stir the mixture once a day. It will bubble and rise.

    When you are ready to make the injera, add the baking soda and salt and let the batter sit for 10-15 minutes.

    Heat a small, nonstick 9-inch skillet. When a drop of water bounces on the pan's surface, take about 1/3 cup of the batter and pour it in the skillet quickly, all at once. Swirl the pan so that the entire bottom is evenly coated, then return to heat.

    The injera is cooked only on one side and the bottom should not brown. When the moisture has evaporated and lots of "eyes" appear on the surface, remove the injera. Let each injera cool and then stack them as you go along.

    If the first injera is undercooked, try using less of the mixture, perhaps 1/4 cup, and maybe cook it a bit longer. Be sure not to overcook it. Injera should be soft and pliable so that it can be rolled or folded, like a crepe.

    INJERA (Flat bread)

    Here is an alternative to the _Sundays At Moosewood_ recipe for injera. It's quicker and much less complicated.

    Categories: Ethiopian, African, Bread

    Servings: 8

  • 4 c Self-rising flour
  • 1 c Whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 c Club soda
  • Combine flours and baking powder in a bowl. Add club soda plus about 4 cups water. Mix into a smooth, fairly thin batter. Heat a large, non-stick skillet. When a drop of water bounces on the pan's surface, dip enough batter from the bowl tocover the bottom of the skillet, and pour it in quickly, all at once. Swirl the pan so that the entire bottom is evenly coated, then set it back on the heat.

    When the moisture has evaporated and small holes appear on the surface, remove the injera. It should be cooken only on one side, and not too browned. If your first one is a little pasty and undercooked, you may need to cook a little longer or to makethe next one thinner. But, as with French crepes, be careful not to cook them too long, or you'll have a crisp bread that may be tasty but won't fold around bits of stew. Stack the injera one on top of the other as you cook, covering with a clean cloth to prevent their drying out.


    Categories: Vegetarian, Ethiopian, Sunday, Moosewood, Spice

    Servings: 1

  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 4 Whole cloves
  • 3/4 tsp Cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp Whole allspice
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 8 To 10 small dried red chiles
  • 1/2 tsp Grated fresh ginger root OR
  • (1 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 tb Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground cloves
  • In a small frying pan, on medium-low heat, toast the cumin, whole cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, allspice, fenugreek, and coriander for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.

    Discard the stems from the chiles. In a spice grinder or with a morter and pestle, finely grind together the toasted spices and the chiles. Mix in the remaining ingredients.

    Store Berebere refrigerated in a well-sealed jar or a tightly closed plastic bag.

    Niter Kebbeh

    Categories: Vegetarian, Ethiopian, Sundays, Moosewood, Seasoning

    Servings: 1

  • 1 lb butter; unsalted
  • 1/4 c onions; chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 2 tsp Ginger; grated, peeled, fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 4 Cardamom seeds; crushed
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Cloves; whole
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tb Basil; fresh OR (1 tsp dried)
  • In a small saucepan, gradually melt the butter and bring it to bubbling. When the top is covered with foam, add the other ingredients and reduce the heat to a simmer. Gently simmer, uncovered, on low heat. After about 45 to 60 minutes, when the surface becomes transparent and the milk solids are on the bottom, pour the liquid through a cheesecloth into a heat-resistant container. Discard the spices and solids.

    Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, Niter Kebbeh will keep for up to 2 months.

    Note: A good quality olive or other oil may be substituted for the butter.

    See also

    How you can present an Ethiopian dinner

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