Ethiopian Chickpea and Sweet Potato Wat

I am on an Ethiopian food kick and a traditional Ethiopian Wat (stew) is where it’s at. The spices, the vegetables, the legumes, the lack of utensils—fun! I really like to make up a batch of this recipe and enjoy it all week for lunch and dinner with some gluten-free 100% Teff Injera.

I started with this recipe and adapted it with my own combination of vegetables and spices and I must say that I have a new weekly favorite in the dinner/lunch rotation. It takes a bit of time to prepare, but it is an easy recipe that you can enjoy with cooked millet, quinoa, on its own in a bowl as a stew, or you can scoop it up with traditional Ethiopian Teff Injera Flatbread. All ways delicious.

If you are not a fan of spicy, you will want to leave out the cayenne. This dish has some kick to it.

Makes: about 6-8 servings
Time: 60 minutes

Chef’s knife
Cutting Board
Large stock pot with lid
Large spoon or silicone spatula

Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
1 tablespoon cold-pressed coconut oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 tomatoes, blanched and chopped (how to)
1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (you can used canned to save time, but fresh sodium and aluminum-free chickpeas are always best)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Let’s get started.
In a large pot filled with water, bring soaked chickpeas to a boil. For extra trace minerals, toss in a small piece of kombu (optional). Once boiling, reduce heat and maintain boil on medium-high for about 30 minutes until chickpeas are softened. If you are using canned chickpeas, skip this step. Just open your canned chickpeas, rinse well and set aside.

Heat coconut oil in the large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring a few times, for about 5-7 minutes.

Add the carrots and sweet potato, cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cayenne, paprika, ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom and tomatoes. When chickpeas are softened from boiling in the other pot, rinse and drain them and then add them and water to the large pot of veggies and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, covered, until vegetables are tender and the flavor is developed.

You can add a bit more water if needed. After 20 minutes, stir in green peas and adjust seasonings to taste.

Simmer for 10 more minutes and enjoy.

Store extra in an airtight glass container in the fridge.

I highly recommend having an Ethiopian night with pals. Have everyone bring one recipe, make up a bunch of Ethiopian Teff Injera Flatbread and feast! Just remember to brush up on your Ethiopian etiquette (like only using your right hand when eating)…
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  1. coralee

    Can you use dulse flakes instead of kombu?

  2. Brian

    1-4-14, just cooked the dish. AWESOME… Only change I did was used whole spices ground with mortar and pestle, a pinch of hot pepper flakes and a 1/2 cup golden raisins. Served over Teff Injera… Plenty left over for lunches during the week.

    • Heather Crosby

      Sounds delicious! I will have to try this next time… 🙂

  3. Dana Cook

    I made this dish the other day and it was amazing! I am doing a fast called the Daniel Fast and it meets the requirements. I did not add the tomato (b/c I’m not a big fan of tomato chunks) but I did add garlic. It was delicious. I will definitely make it again. I wonder how it would taste if you substituted light coconut milk for the water?

    • Heather Crosby

      Oh Dana, I think that substitution would be divine—creamy and rich! Please do let us know how that works if you try it 😉 H

  4. Emma Duke

    That was incredibly delicious and so easy to make! I can’t wait to have it all week now for lunch or dinner. The spices all go so well together and I’m looking forward to trying it over rice or with some flatbread!

  5. kathy sanders

    i have the opportunity to meet and serve an ethiopian family and a family from nigeria in my home. I’ve been looking at recipes and this looks perfect for a newbie like me:)

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