Ethiopian Vegetarian Feast.

Via Michael Levin
on Oct 15, 2010
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Today I’m going to use all the vegetables and spices I have on hand with some couscous to make a feast from the tasty recipes I just found on a website called Astray’s Recipes.

The first dish is called simply Ethiopian Vegetables. My takeaway:

“Stir in cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, turmeric, garlic, & onion.” That is the first flavor combination.

The second dish is one I recognize from my local Ethiopian restaurant, The Nile. It’s called Gomen.

Since I don’t have any collard greens handy, I’ll improvise. It’s a shame it’s so cold outside. Otherwise, I’d ride my bike to the garden and pick some from my patch. I have more collard greens there than anything else! That’s kale and collard greens in my garden above, caught on a warmer day than today. My takeaway on Astray’s gomen recipe:

Collard greens, Red onions, Green (hot) peppers; sliced in strips, Water, Garlic; peeled and chopped, Butter or oil, Salt to taste. You get the picture. I’ll find something to substitute for the collards. Shameful. Gomen without collard greens.

This is berbere, the famous spice Ethiopians cleverly use to make a distinctive taste you’re sure to love. I wrote about it after I acquired some and you can read about it here. Unfortunately, my precious berbere is miles away. But, fortunately, Astray describes how to make some. Let’s see how close I can come with spices on hand. Chili is the main ingredient. My takeaway:

Toast cumin, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, allspice, fenugreek & coriander, then add some chilis.

Hang in there, cowpokes—this is real-time blogging!


About Michael Levin

Michael loves sharing what he's learned about organic lifestyles like living off the grid and bicycle commuting. He calls it "lifestyle entrepreneurship". He's into organic gardening, mindful living, and realizes that we only have this life and each other. His favorite quote is "The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both." (James A. Michener)


8 Responses to “Ethiopian Vegetarian Feast.”

  1. Jen Myronuk says:

    Great article! As a fan of spicy Ethiopian flavors (and recently returning to a vegan diet), I was thrilled to find out my local Ethiopian restaurant (in Boulder) will be selling their own blend of Berbere spices via The owner gave me a sample to try out–made a few dishes the other night. Yum!

  2. Thanks, Jen! Ahhh, berbere….

  3. How inspiring, thank you Michael for sharing! I'm going to make the veggies and injera and also the berbere.
    Love to experiment the flavours of other cultures! I'll let you know how it turns out :-))

  4. […] and in addition to the soup a fish based sauce was passed around with it, with a warning given to vegetarians in the room that it was derived from fish. These incidents demonstrate that even within sects that […]

  5. mikelevin says:

    Heather, How did it turn out? I just ate at The Nile again and it was just as good as ever. Thanks to Elephant Journal, I get treated like a celebrity whenever I go there, so it's fun to take guests. We got free coffee, Ethiopian style. Ahhh, fame.

  6. SolsticeSon says:

    Sounds like a fun creation with tasty, fruitful results! Ethiopian food always proves fun and delicious–eating off a giant piece of injera is an inspiring divergence from usual eating routines in itself, but topping it with your veggie creation sounds great. Thanks for posting. And I like the quote in your bio, cheers.