Vegan Ethiopian Stew (Atakilt Wat)

Atakilt Wat, is an Ethiopian vegan stew that is packed with flavour. Cabbage, carrots and potatoes are cooked until tender with a fragrant berbere spice mix.

Out of all the African cuisines, Ethiopian is the one hear people rave about the most. The first time I tried Ethiopian cuisine for myself, I quickly understood why. The food was rich with colour, flavour and texture, and was unlike anything I had tried before.

Meals in Ethiopia are centred around injera, a sourdough flabread that is the staple dish of the country’s cuisine. It is served on a platter with a variety of stews, curries, and vegetables arranged on top. Atakilt Wat is one of the delicious vegan stews that is commonly served ontop of injera.

Is Ethiopian cuisine vegan-friendly?

Ethiopian cuisine happens to be one of the most naturally vegan-friendly cuisines in the world. This is due to the fact that almost half of the Ethiopian population follows the Orient Orthodox tradition, where a plant-based diet is adhered to during “fasting days”.

Popular Ethiopian Vegan Dishes

  • Injera- A sour pancake-like flatbread that is made with teff flour
  • Bayenetu– A colourful smorgasbord of vegetarian dishes that are arranged on top of injera
  • Wat– Spicy stew that is either made with meat, vegetables or pulses such as chickpeas and lentils, flavoured with berbere
  • Ye’abasha Gomen- Braised collard greens that are seasoned with aromatics
  • Shiro– A legume stew made of ground split peas and chickpeas

How to make Atakilt Wat (VEGAN ETHIOPIAN STEW)

This dish requires just one pan and is super simple to make. It will take about 40 minutes all up to prepare, with most of that being cooking time.

1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and onion and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Next, add berbere spice mix, coating everything in the pan, and cook for a few more minutes.

2. Add carrots, potato, cabbage and salt. Mix well, then cover pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every now and again. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, mix everything around then cover and cook for another 15 minutes (or until all vegetables are tender). Serve hot.

Ingredients for Atakilt Wat

  • Berbere spice mix- Berbere is a hot Ethiopian spice mix made up of red chillies and a range of different spices. You can buy premade berbere spice mix from speciality stores or make it yourself using this recipe.
  • Potato/ sweet potato- You can use either normal potato, sweet potato or a mix of both for this recipe. Just be aware cooking times might slightly vary depending on which you use.
  • Cabbage-  Green or white cabbage works best for this recipe.

Serving suggestions for Atakilt Wat

We’d highly recommend serving this vegan Ethiopian stew on top of injera, alongside a selection of different Ethiopian dishes like gomen, shiro and misir wot.

Vegan Ethiopian Stew (Atakilt Wat)

Vegan Ethiopian Stew (Atakilt Wat)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This super easy vegan stew, Atakilt Wat, is an Ethiopian staple that is packed with flavour. Cabbage, carrot and potato coated with a fragrant berbere spice mix and cooked with aromatics until tender. The stew is best served hot with injera flat bread and a selection of other dishes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cm ginger, minced
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp berbere spice mix
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium sweet or white potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and onion and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add berbere spice mix, coating everything in the pan, and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Add carrots, potato, cabbage and salt. Mix well, then cover pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every now and again.
  4. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, mix everything around then cover and cook for another 15 minutes (or until all vegetables are tender).
  5. Serve hot with injera flat bread.

Notes

Recipe inspired by Vegan Richa

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