The Flaming Vegan

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Make Your Own Ethiopian Feast at Home!
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Make Your Own Ethiopian Feast at Home!

Prep Time: 1 day

Cook Time: 2 hours

Eating delicious Ethiopian food is one of the most enjoyable vegan experiences of life.  Each dish is full of flavor, color and what makes the experience extra fun is that you eat everything with your hands. (You may use cutlery if you must.)

Usually there are several legume stews which are picked up by a flat, teff flour bread called injera.  Injera may be a bit strange if you are unfamiliar with African cuisine because nothing comes close to resembling it in western dishes, but if I had to make a comparison I would say it is like a giant, grey and bitter crumpet.   It may not sound appetizing, but believe me, the bitterness of the dough and its soft texture will blow your senses away!  

Make sure you wash your hands before you eat this food.  Your fingers will be going into your mouth after all! 

Yellow split peas with turmeric:

  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Soak peas overnight to reduce cooking time.  
  • In a large pot warm oil over medium heat and add the onion.  Saute until translucent.
  • Add the peas, turmeric, salt and water and simmer on medium heat until peas are tender.  This will take approximately 1 hour.   If the peas are still wet after an hour,  set aside and allow to cool.  The water will miraculously disappear! 
  • Spiced Lentils
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons berbere seasoning.

Berebere is an Ethiopian spice mixture consisting of chilly powder, paprika, salt, ginger, cardamom, garlic, onion, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a few other surprises.  You can make it at home, or buy it premixed at an Ethiopian grocers.

  1. Add all ingredients to a soup pot and simmer over medium heat for one hour, until the lentils are tender.  This should take approximately one hour.

*It is best to cook the lentils and peas at the same time in order to save several hours. 


  • 1 cup teff flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

This is a quick recipe for injera (Ethiopian flat bread).  The real stuff should be fermented for several hours which crates a sourdough-like flavor.   In this version the vinegar adds a similar flavor and only takes moments to prepare. 

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and allow to rest for ten minutes. 
  2. In a hot and lightly greased frying pan, pour one ladle of batter into the center of the pan and distribute evenly.  
  3. Cover with a lid and steam the injera until the edges lift. 
  4. Remove from the pan and repeat until the batter is used

Collard Greens

  • 1 bunch collards
  • drop of olive oil
  • salt to taste

This is a very simple way to prepare collards. 

  1. Remove the stem.  (This is hard to eat, much like kale)
  2. Chop the leaves into thin matchsticks.
  3. In a large pan or wok, heat the oil and add the sliced collards.  Sautee until wilted.  (approximately 3-5 minutes) 
  4. Season with salt.
  5. There are several ways to present the food. Small dollops of each dish can be placed on an injera,  or each dish can be served in its own bowl with injera on the side (pictured). 
  6. Rip a small piece of injera and grab a dollop of one or more dishes.  Pop that into your mouth and repeat! 

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.


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  1. Ethiopianismyfavorite
    Thank you! I've tried tradiotional injera bread at home, and it was a mess! I will definitely try this.


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