As we slog through the last of Winter, it can be hard to keep your diet healthy and interesting as there’s still not much fresh, local produce to be found. One way to keep your meals varied is to try experimenting with foods that may be new to you – like the Ethiopian dish, Atkilt Wot, made with cabbage and spices.
Atkilt Wot: A Traditional Ethiopian Dish
This traditional Ethopian dish, atkilt wot, which is sometimes called tikil gomen, usually requires spice-infused ghee (niter kibeh), but you can make it a little healthier by using coconut oil or olive oil and adding the spices directly to the oil while cooking.
To make 4-6 servings of atkilt wot, you will need:
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp powdered cloves
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 3 cups of chopped potatoes (yellow)
- A head of cabbage, finely chopped.
Note: Be sure to chop your garlic first as certain compounds in garlic undergo a chemical change when exposed to air that helps protect them from heat, meaning you get more of the healthy benefits of garlic if you chop it around 15 minutes before cooking.
- Start making your atkilt wot by warming the oil in a large skillet, then adding the garlic, onion and ginger. For a little extra heat, consider adding in a chopped green chilli at this stage. Cook these for five minutes, or until the onions start looking translucent. Add in the spices and mix up while cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Next, add the carrots, potato and cabbage and mix well, adding a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times to avoid excess browning. Don’t add water! The liquid from the vegetables will stay in the pan under the cover and help to keep things nice and moist. Add a little extra salt to taste, along with a generous amount of black pepper and a little extra oil if you feel it is necessary. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
Atkilt wot is normally served as a side dish with lentil stew and flatbread, but I think it is easily the star of the show, especially on a chilly evening. Enjoy!