Friday, April 30, 2010

Atiklett Wat

Last week Amber (of Almost Vegan), Stephanie, and I attended a vegetarian Ethiopian cooking class at Blue Nile Cafe. After a brief history of Ethiopia, we got down to the cooking demonstration. We were shown how to make atiklett wat (potato, carrot, and cabbage stew), misir wat (red lentil stew), and injera (the spongy flat bread that takes the place of utensils). This is my first attempt to recreate this cuisine at home.

Because the ingredients are easily available to me, I chose to start with the atiklett wat. I deviated from the recipe (of course) on a couple of points. At the restaurant, they peel the potatoes before slicing them. I chose to leave the skin on, mostly because I'm lazy, but also because I happen to like potato skin. I leave it to your discretion as to which you prefer. The second change I made was the addition of a little cumin. While I love tumeric, it just doesn't stand alone on my palate very well.

I had this with a whole wheat tortilla rather than the authentic injera. While a tortilla can't compare with freshly made injera in taste and texture, it certainly makes up for all that in convenience. Making injera is something like a three day process, during which you have a bowl of batter spoiling on your counter (literally). Changes aside, however, this made a very satisfying (and cheap) lunch (and dinner, and most likely lunch and dinner for the next week).

Atiklett Wat

2 tbs peanut oil
6 medium carrots, cut into 1/2" slices
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1" cubes
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 tbs tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
3 tbs salt
1/2 head of green cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
2" ginger root, peeled

Heat oil in large wok over medium heat. Add carrots and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. As needed, add water about 1/2 cup at a time to prevent the vegetables from drying out and burning.

Add tumeric, cumin, and 1 tbs of salt. Continue to cook, adding water as necessary, and stirring frequently. Once the vegetables are fork-tender (about 20-30 minutes), add the cabbage to the wok. Stir in 1 tbs of salt. Cover, and allow to cook. Again, make sure to stir frequently and add water as necessary.

Blend the garlic, ginger, and 2 tbs water until pureed. Add to the wok and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add additional salt to taste. Makes 8 servings.


  1. Nice addition with the cumin. I forgot they didn't put garlic in this; I think I'd have to throw some in there. Looks like yours was probably better seasoned (3 Tbsp of salt oughta do it) than theirs. Anything that can make me eat cabbage gets lots of points in my book.

  2. I thought they did put garlic in--wasn't the puree 60/40 ginger/garlic? I think if I had fresh tumeric, I wouldn't need the cumin; however with the dried it really needed some enhancement!

  3. Oh yeah, you're right, it WAS a garlic-ginger combo.

    I just posted my entry about the class :]