Trying something new & exciting
When a grocery store sells you a large head of green cabbage and you are left wondering what to do with the remainder, create atakilt wat. You will find that half of green cabbage is more than enough to venture into making easy Ethiopian recipes like atakilt wat. You can also call it Tikil Gomen. Because Humble Vege is on a journey to learn about Africa through authentic foods, it is also essential for us to understand Ethiopian food names too. Some questions that came to mind are: Which tribe created this dish, out of the 50+ ethnic groups? Was it the Amhara tribe or the Oromo people? With this article, you can expect to receive insight into how to make cabbage curry recipes and quirks around Ethiopian food names. We want to know more and to connect with the culture through its food. It makes for a meaningful eating experience; knowing lingual aspects, or which tribes contribute to foods we enjoy.
Noticing differences in Ethiopian food names
Humble Vege is no stranger to cooking easy Ethiopian recipes. You will find that we’ve made Yekik Alicha, and the ever-popular Berbere Spice. The research that was done to make those vegetarian African foods provided consistent and unanimous agreeance about the Ethiopian food names. Honestly, I noticed that locals refer to Yekik Alicha as Kik Alicha (aka Yekik Alicha). For this dish (Atalik Wat), the name differences are drastically noticeable (if you didn’t know before now you will 😊). Atakilt Wat is also called Atkilt Wot. Not too different, yes. But I became very curious when they (internet folks) also called it Tikil Gomen. It begs the question; why the different names and different spellings? Which tribe created Atakilt wat/Tikil Gomen? Sidebar, no ‘beef’ here just tofu and seitan.
Anyway, the Amhara tribe name came up often in association with Atakilt Wat during my research. Some bloggers commented that the Amhara people receive credit for a lot of easy Ethiopian recipes. Whereas the Oromo people are not mentioned as much, even though they mostly own Ethiopian restaurants abroad. You might be thinking, “I just came here to learn how to make cabbage curry recipes.” But this is fascinating stuff! Lol! Information that creates a deeper meaning/connection to the food! 😉
Chasing information on the Amhara tribe & Oromo people
It helps to speak with real humans in real time since the internet does not know everything. I didn’t want to rely only on online blogs’ opinion-based information. So, I joined a handful of Facebook and Reddit Ethiopian groups that focused on food and the Amharic language. I couldn’t find Oromo people groups with active engagement. But I asked different versions of this question:
Curious to know if Atakilt wat or tikil gomen is from Oromo or Amhara people.
A Reddit user replied, “Both are Amhara.” That’s cool. It was the spelling that threw me off and left me wondering about the differences in Ethiopian food names. Considering both names are not as similar sounding as potato or potatoes. I’m still wondering what the language aspect behind Atakilt Wat/Tikil Gomen is. What is the difference based on? Amhara people reading this, please respond in the comments 😊, thank you! I believe a few good things came out of this food spiral dive:
- (1) Able to name two Ethiopian Tribes
- (2) Awareness that Oromo land is where the Oromo people are
- (3) Able to create an easy Ethiopian recipe using leftover cabbage
- (4) Made the connection that the Amhara tribe created Atakilt wat
What do curry cabbage and potatoes taste like?
Alright, that’s all for Ethiopian food names, for now. Here is this savory goodness of curry cabbage and potatoes. One of the easy Ethiopian recipes loved by plant and animal-eaters. This recipe is vegetarian African food so you can expect to savor flavors that are slightly spicy and warming to your taste buds. Thanks to the ginger and turmeric that are paired with the cabbage, each spoonful gives a pleasant sight of yellow goodness that warms your senses with the mild cabbage smell. If you didn’t add habanero, the meal will still be slightly spicy because of the minced ginger.
Curry Cabbage with Gari fufu?
In closing, I ate mine with naan bread because I don’t know how to create injera bread… yet. I also found something interesting: did you know gari fufu pairs well with Atakilt wat? I was surprised too! Maybe I got tired of eating the naan bread with the Tikil gomen and thought to myself ‘how will it taste with gari fufu?’ I finished the rest of the stew so fast it shocked me. Maybe the fermented gari fufu added some perk I was unknowingly looking for. Aunty, I’m from West Africa, gari and rice are my jam! I’m glad to have ventured out of my comfort zone, which paid handsomely in the knowledge gained.
How about you? What Ethiopian food have you tasted? Name what dish you’ll want to make vegetarian or plant-based from the Oromo people and/or Amhara tribe. Which easy Ethiopian recipes are your favorite? Comment below and subscribe to be notified about more authentic African food recipes.
- 1 Medium Carrot
- Half Green Cabbage diced
- 1 small Potato
- 2 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp fresh Ginger minced
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 TBSP Avocado oil
- 1.5 tsp Turmeric powder
- Half tsp Curry powder
- 3/4 cup Water (less than 1 cup)
- Half tsp Salt
- Sliced habanero (optional and as desired)
- Quarter Veggie cube
Gather your washed carrot, cabbage and small potato. Dice the carrot into a desired shape but do not chop it too small because we do not want it to caramelize. Next, cut up the green cabbage into small-medium chunks (see image below). Some people slice the cabbage finely and that’s fine too for atakilt wat. Chop up your potato into small chunks so it cooks evenly.
Warm the avocado oil in a deep pot on low-medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering (after about 3 mins) add the minced garlic and ginger. Give it a minute to become fragrant in the oil and proceed to add the cumin, turmeric and curry powder to the mixture and stir to combine. Shortly after that, add in the cabbage, potato, carrot, habanero and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir it well so all can mix in the fragrant mixture. Add the veggie cube to the now-forming atakilt wat/tikil gomen recipe.
Give the cabbage mixture 5mins to sauté on med-low heat. Add in the water and cover the pot to cook for 15mins. This short cooking time allows the potatoes to remain firm and the vegetables to blend with the curry mixture. Note, if the colour is not as yellow as you want, take care not to add too much additional turmeric or curry powder as an excess of either can tamper with the recipe resulting in a less appetizing meal.
After 10mins of boiling, check your atakilt wat recipe for salt. If it needs more, add as you like. Cover the cooking pot until the 15mins is up.
Finally, after 15mins, you will have succeeded in creating one of the easy Ethiopian (Amhara) recipes. You can eat this meal as-is since it is a popular one-pot meal. But if you are a carb lover like us, eat it with naan bread or the traditional injera if you have it.
For West Africans reading this, attempt this recipe and try it with gari fufu. It will surprise you in a good way!
To all, adding too much additional turmeric or curry powder can tamper with the recipe resulting in a less appetizing meal.