If you’ve been wondering how to add color to your plate, then Ethiopian vegetarian dishes is a gold mine. Yekik Alicha is a spicy plant-based Ethiopian side dish. Adding to its alluring color and inviting aroma, it bursts with velvety goodness in every morsel. Authentic Ethiopian yellow split peas will absolutely add excitement and character to the ordinary bowl of your favorite carbs or protein. This recipe for yellow split peas is very simple and inexpensive to make. It is also easy to memorize making cooking faster as you go along.
But before we indulge, take a virtual trip to an Ethiopian dinner plate and appreciate the colors, tastes, and textures of these Ethiopian vegetarian dishes… it’s a wholesome experience. Here are other African plant-based recipes you will love.
Selam to our Ethiopian folks… mälkam məgəb! Good eating!
Everything You Need To Make Ethiopian Yellow Split Peas Stew
Now you can’t talk about Ethiopian vegetarian dishes and fail to mention this flavorful yellow Ethiopian side dish, Yekik Alicha. Alicha means ‘mild’ which explains its ingredients. Ethiopians cook this dish with turmeric, a mild and very attractive spice that enhances that alluring yellow color of this split peas stew. Simmer yellow split peas in ginger, garlic, and onion-based sauce to have that authentic feel. Serve it over the traditional Ethiopian flatbread injera or rice.
If you’ve never cooked split peas, they are similar to beans but take less time to soften. You might not need to soak them unless you want them mushy. Authentic Ethiopian yellow split peas make this stew thick and soft with a creamy earthy flavor.
For a spicy twist, our recipe for yellow split peas includes berbere and a mix of other spices. You can choose to make your own version of flavors by omitting or adding different spices. Remember to watch the video tutorial for a rough guide.
What Authentic Yekik Alicha Taste Like
On their own, yellow split peas have a soft texture, an appealing earthiness, and a mild taste compared to green split peas. However, when cooked into this luscious stew, yellow split peas bring out a fuse of their seasonings.
I love split peas as a child and frankly, I loved most beans. Split peas are one of my favorite because it is creamy, hearty, and can soak up the taste buds with any spice blend. In this recipe, I will show how to create this delicious African vegetarian dish. Keep in mind, I don’t like my beans too mushy but if you do simply cook yours longer. Also, you don’t need Berbere Spice (although I highly recommend it), simply add ground cumin and/or coriander and some chili and the flavors will do. Learn how to make berbere spice just in case you need it for this recipe.
Why It’s Good For You
Ethiopian vegetarian dishes are appetizing and carry countless benefits, but they start with mouthwatering aromas of spices and enticing colors.
One: Yellow split peas can be your best choice if you’re trying to embrace a plant-based diet because of their high nutrient value. Research shows including them in your diet may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Yellow split peas are a balanced source of carbs, some healthy fats, and plant protein. Also, their mild taste makes them an easy fit for a variety of recipes.
Two: Turmeric and Berbere spices contain antioxidants that may improve blood sugars and lower cholesterol levels.
Three: A one-pot recipe that is simple and easy to whip up even on a weeknight.
In addition to drinking water with the meal, you could also wash it down with a sweet lemony drink. Give this recipe a try. I am curious to know if you ate it as a meal or as a Ethiopian side dish? What extra proteins did you add? Seitan, soaked tofu skins, mushroom? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below and stay tuned for more by subscribing to our free newsletter to be notified and be part of our village yammer spot.
- 1 cup & 1/3 cup Yellow split peas (Make only 1 cup if cooking solo)
- half yellow Onion diced up finely
- 2 garlic cloves diced up finely
- half tsp ground ginger (or the fresh one)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water (use less if you pre-soak peas)
- half tsp Turmeric
- half tsp salt & ground pepper
- half tsp ground Coriander
- Half TBSP Berbere spice
- 1 cup soybean sticks/ bean curd sticks
1. To get started with this Ethiopian vegetarian dish place your cooking pot on low-to-medium heat and add 2 Tablespoons of Avocado oil.
2. Add in your minced garlic and cook it for about a minute. Make sure the garlic does not burn and reduce the heat if needed. After the garlic is cooked, add in your diced onions.
4. Allow the onions to cook until it is fragrant and soften which should be 1minute and proceed to add in your 1/2 teaspoon of ground or fresh ginger. I recommend fresh ginger but ground has fiery kick too.
5. After that, add in 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric. If you are an extra person and you want the vibrant color in this authentic meal then go ahead and add 1/4 teaspoon more. Don't overdo it because we want to maintain balance in the recipe.
6. Stir the onion-turmeric mixture for 2 minutes then proceed to add one teaspoon of ground coriander. Stir to combine.
7. Before adding, be sure to properly and thoroughly washed the Ethiopian yellow split peas. After you add the split peas stir it into the onion-turmeric mixture, stir until well combine and cook on medium heat two minutes. This allows the flavors to blend with the split peas.
8. Next, pour in the broth. Allow it cook for 20mins on medium heat uncovered. Beans tend to foam up so stay close-by. Note, I recommend you presoak the peas in overnight, it allows it to cook faster. If you didn't soak it, after 20mins of boiling, proceed to add 2 cups of water.
9. Next, add your plant proteins after the peas have soften. Again depending on whether or not you presoaked your Ethiopian yellow split peas overnight your cooking time will vary.
10. Add salt for taste. As the dish cooks down and if you notice the peas aren't soft yet, add in half a cup of water. If you want it soupy, add more water but I cooked mine to be firm.
12. Next, when the stew thicken, after 30+mins of boiling, add in 1/2 teaspoon of Berbere spice. If you don't have this spice, simply skip this step or see the notes section about how to make it.
13. Taste to see if all your spice flavors are as you want. Feel free to add in whatever is missing. Enjoy your Authentic Ethiopian vegetarian dish. Enjoy your Ethiopian meal as a side dish or as the main course. Best with brown rice, pita bread or grains.
How to make Berbere Spice. Check out=> https://humblevege.com/how-to-make-ethiopian-berbere-spice/
Keep in mind, I don't like my beans too mushy but if you do simply cook yours longer. Also, you don't need Berbere (although I highly recommend it), simply add ground cumin and/or coriander and some chili and the flavors will do.