Ethiopian Collard Stew or Ye’Abesha Gomen

Ethiopian Collard Stew
Ethiopian Collard Stew
 I first discovered Ethiopian cuisine on a date at “The Queen of Sheba” restaurant on Bloor St. many years ago.  This type of African cuisine  is so amazing, and fun, because it is traditionally eaten with your fingers.  Ethiopian cuisine often consists of  vegetables, legumes and meats cooked in stews and then served on injera.  Injera is an amazing large bubbly pancake made from teff batter, a traditional African grain.  Apparently it does contain gluten, which is why is holds together so well, however, it does not cause reactions in those who are celiac or otherwise gluten sensitive.  Teff has a sour taste but when served with these amazing stews, really turns into a gastronomic delight!!Since I’m such a keener on leafy greens, this type of food is one that I cook often in my home.  It is a great way to get greens into your kids!! I also include this recipe in my Intro to Holistic Cooking classes at the Town of Aurora.  This is my simple, humble version, however, each recipe I see of this tasty dish seems to vary a little.  This recipe works perfectly well regardless of the greens you use.  I generally use collards but you can also use spinach or broccoli.  
Ethiopian Collard Stew
2 tbsp coconut oil, olive oil, ghee or butter
1 small red onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp pureed ginger root
1 tsp salt
1 tsp – 1 tbsp berbere spice blend (this is very hot, so be careful!) – You will find this in African stores, especially on the Danforth, Toronto!
2 c. vegetable stock
1 or 2 potatoes, peeled and cut up into small pieces

1 or 1/2 bunch collards with stems removed and chopped into small pieces

Note: This recipe also calls for green pepper which I generally avoid whenever possible because it is a nightshade**.  You can also add more spice.  Please research “niter kibbeh” to discover how to enhance the flavour by using more traditional Ethiopian spices.
Directions:  In a large frying pan, chop onion, garlic, ginger and oils and fry at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onion looks cooked.  Add salt and berbere spice and stir for several minutes. Add greens, potatoes, and soup stock, stirring for several minutes. Then heat till boiling  and then quickly turn down heat to just below a simmer and let cook, covered,  for about 15 minutes.
This dish can be served with rice, bread, injera, or just about anything!! Enjoy!! Notes:   Toronto has several good Ethiopian restaurants.  I must say that kids especially love this type of food because they can eat it with their fingers!  Ethiopian food is very spicy and has appealed, over the years, to my 2 children, who are very picky eaters!** Potatoes are also nightshades, so they should be eaten sparingly by arthritics and those sensitive to this food group!  You can always substitute with turnip, carrots or parsnip, etc.
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Here is a youtube instructional video of yet another collard stew recipe: 

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