Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Amhari-Atklit (Ethiopian Vegetable Stew)

I think amhari-atklit is my favorite Ethiopian dish. It's a mild vegetable stew, filled with chunks of potatoes, green beans, cabbage and carrots. The vegetables cook up evenly, and they absorb the mild spices they are cooked in. The stew doesn't require any Ethiopian spice mixes, and I had most of the ingredients in my pantry at home. After my big Ethiopian dinner, I ate this dish twice a day for almost a week.

Slow cookers are a necessity if you are planning a big Ethiopian dinner. I made this dish in advance, and I transferred it to a slow cooker to stay warm. If you're like me in a small apartment with no room to store slow cookers (or just don't have a lot of slow cookers lying around at home), borrow them from the guests who are coming to the party.

This stew is a nice contrast to the protein-heavy dishes usually found in Ethiopian cooking.

Amhari-Atklit (Ethiopian Vegetable Stew) 
recipe from Myra Kornfeld

Myra's directions say the recipe serves six, but it will definitely serve at least 10 to 12 if you have it as one part of a larger meal. Don't double this recipe unless you want to make it in two batches. I tried to double it, and it was too much for even my huge soup pot. The vegetables really need room to cook fully.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onions, large dice
2 large carrots, 1/2-inch wide diagonal cut (2 cups)
1/2 pound thin-skinned potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks (2 cups)
1/4 cabbage, cut into 1-inch cubes (2 cups)
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, carrots, potato and cabbage. Cook the mixture about 8 minutes, until the vegetables are just softened.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the spices (ginger, turmeric, mustard seeds and tomato paste) so they are ready to add at the same time. Add them to the vegetable mixture, and stir to combine.

Add the water and salt. Cover the mixture and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the green beans, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.


  1. This is a really unique meal. I've only had Ethiopian food once but I really liked it!

  2. A tasty home-made bread and this stew would be right up my alley. I do think I have most of the ingredients at home too. sue

  3. I agree! It's so nice to have something outside of the ordinary every once in a while.

  4. This looks delicious...I have never had Ethiopian food before, looks like a good place to start. I have an embarrassment of slow cookers here from all the crowd cooking I have done over the years, so am always looking for ways to employ them without the usual culprit (cream of whatever soups). It always feels like I have a chef cooking for me when I put something in the slow cooker and it is done and waiting when I get home...what's not to love about that at the end of a workday? Your stew looks marvelous.

  5. Thanks Kayte! I also love the idea of coming home to a warm and ready meal. This is definitely a good place to start with Ethiopian cooking because it uses mostly standard kitchen ingredients.

  6. If I do this in the crockpot, can I just throw everything in at once?