The first time we went for Ethiopian several years ago, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s a damn shame that Ethiopian food/culture/music doesn’t get more visibility because it’s all so awesome! The food has quickly become one of my favourites and I’m super pleased that I was able to help my friend Kittee from Cake Maker to the Stars test recipes during the creation of her new book, Teff Love. It’s been released now; mine just came in the mail on Friday and I’m already digging in.
We are fortunate that the closest restaurant to us—literally, like a 2 minute walk—is an Ethiopian place. We go there for their DELICIOUS vegan platter (suuuper cheap too) often, and they sell injera (the spongy, sourdough flatbread that you scoop up your food with) by the bag. So, it’s ridiculously easy for us to buy a bag and whip up a spontaneous Ethiopian feast. Lucky, I know. It’s a part of why I’m so attached to living in our neighbourhood!
Clockwise, we’ve got ye’tikil gomen be’karot (ginger-garlic cabbage and carrots), ye’kaysir atakilt (beet salad), ye’dubba alicha (roasted butternut in a spicy sauce) and ye’misser wot be’timatim (red lentils).
Bonus: these recipes utilize super cheap ingredients (lentils, cabbage, beets, squash!) and make a tonne so we have meals for days.
This weekend we found ourselves at the end of a grocery cycle, with plenty of carrots and cabbage, and very little of anything else. We thought “What better way to use up a surplus of farmer’s market cabbage and carrots than to make a spicy Ethiopian dish!?”
I sent Crystal off downtown to find us some injera (Ethiopian fermented flat bread with a sort of spongy texture…it’s so good) while I prepared this. Its a simple recipe which takes about 40 minutes to prepare, and most of that time you’ll just be reading or hovering by the stove while the cabbage and potatoes cook.
It turned out amazing and we ended up with enough leftovers for a full meal the next day.
3 tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon berbere
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
+ A few pieces of Injera (we buy ours at a local Ethio restaurant, but you could make your own
All you need to do is heat your oil in a pot over medium heat, and then toss in the onion and carrot. Once that has cooked for a few minutes you can add the cabbage, garlic, ginger, and spices. Stir it up well and let the cabbage cook down for about 10 minutes. If you want you can add a bit of water to keep the spices from burning at the bottom while the cabbage cooks. Next you’ll want to add in the potatoes and sweet potatoes, cover the pot and let it cook on low heat until the potatoes are done.
Next, lay a piece of injera flat on a bit plate, and scoop a shareable sized portion on top. Have a stack of more injera handy, as it will be your “utensils” – you’ll scoop up the stew with pieces of it. Once you’re all done, eat your plate injera, it’s good.
Have fun and stay in school.