Friday 20 March 2020
Atakilt Wat (Ethiopian Cabbage, Potato & Carrot Dish)
Ethiopian cuisine has a lot of options for meat lovers and an equal amount of options of vegetarians. The meatless options in Ethiopian cuisine quite often feature legumes (lentils, split peas, chickpeas, etc...). My ex, who is allergic to them, and I used to frequent a couple of Ethiopian restaurants and had to avoid legumes in our vegetable dish choices. This is a dry stew of cabbage, potatoes, carrot, onion, garlic, chili and spices that was one of our favourites. It's simple in its concept and preparation but it's very tasty and satisfying. The feature of turmeric also gives it a bright yellow colour which adds visual flare when plated with other dishes. It has fantastic, toothsome textures and the balanced sweetness of the cabbage and carrot pairs well with the starchy, comforting potato.
I'm going to keep this recipe vegan, but if you like, you could use Niter Kibbeh instead of oil for added flavour and richness. If you are vegan, no worries, this dish already has plenty of flavour on its own. The veggies cook in their own moisture. If they start to stick in the pan before the potatoes are tender, you can add a splash of water or broth. You may not need to. It will depend on your veggies and the lid of your pot.
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp fresh green chili, minced (optional or to taste)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Warm 2 tsp of oil in a pot on medium-low. Sautée the onion, garlic, ginger and green chili gently for about 4 minutes.
Add the cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, salt & pepper. Continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes.
Add the potatoes and carrots and mix well. Cover for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cabbage and cover, stirring occasionally for about 15 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
As mentioned before, you may need to add a little water if there's a risk of burning, but the veggies should have just enough water to steam and cook gently. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve warm with injera and other Ethiopian wats.
Although this is a vegan side dish, I must say it paired very well with the meatier wats. Cabbage, potatoes and carrots on their own are all veggies that pair well with meat so the three of them combined is even better. There's something about spices and potato (especially cumin and turmeric) that are so comforting and satisfying to me. This dish delivers that every time. This is always a great wat to have on your Ethiopian food spread.
I hope you give this one a try!