Vegetarian Dish

vegetarian ethiopian cabbage dish crock pot

This vegetarian Ethiopian Cabbage Dish Crock Pot Recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make recipe that will be enjoyed by all.
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I’ve spent a huge part of my life working in Sub-Saharan Africa and have come to really appreciate the vast flavor palette of the continent. This Ethiopian cabbage recipe is from my time in Addis – it is easy to make, and tastes absolutely delicious and hearty.

Fresh off the stove, Ethiopian Cabbage Stew in cast iron skillet

The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make sure you’re successful in your first attempt. But if you’re in a rush, please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end!

Jump to:

  • 💭 Why this recipe works
  • ⭐ Origin Story
  • 📋 Traditional Atkilt Wot Ingredients
  • ♨️ How to make Atkilt Wot
  • 👩🏽‍🍳 FAQs and Tips
  • 🍴 Serving & Storage Suggestions
  • 📖 Recipe
  • 💬 Comments

💭 Why this recipe works

  • Vegan and gluten-free – this recipe is vegan and gluten-free and is a wholesome, hearty meal to share with your family
  • No special spices – the key is all about infusing the oil with basic spices, and using a cast iron pan to spread the heat and spices through the dish
  • Great for make-ahead – this recipe is great if you need to make a large batch ahead of time and freeze or keep in the fridge!

⭐ Origin Story

You might have seen vegetarian “combos” at Ethiopian restaurants referring to yetsom beyanetu, i.e. “a fasting of every kind”. There is a high prevalence of Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia (and Eritrea). Therefore, a vast majority of the country fasts (without meat and animal products) for a good chunk of the year. Result? Delicious vegetarian dishes, rich in protein and legumes!

📋 Traditional Atkilt Wot Ingredients

Ingredient Notes & Tips

  • I’ve found that green cabbage (i.e. the one you normally find in a grocery store) works best for this recipe. However, I have seen this made with Napa cabbage before too!
  • Cast iron tends to distribute the heat more evenly, and works great for cooking hearty vegetables like carrots and potatoes. I’ve found it also helps infuse the broth better without burning the spices. Let me know if you decide to use a different pan.
  • If you want to make it a bit spicier, you can add in a habanero pepper and/or jalapeno pepper, but this is not traditionally done.

♨️ How to make Atkilt Wot

First, add the fat and once it’s hot enough, add the spices to infuse oil with the spices

The traditional recipe uses something called Nit’ir Qibe (pronounced Nitter Kibbeh) – which is essentially spiced, clarified butter. However, this takes quite some time to make (similar to my confit garlic). So, in the interest of making this a quick recipe, I’ve used a shortcut instead by infusing olive oil. You can also use a fattier vegan oil like avocado oil! Bonus: taking this shortcut makes this Ethiopian cabbage recipe vegan!

As you temper the olive oil with spices, it will turn a golden brown and bubble
Infused olive oil before adding vegetables

Then, sauté the vegetables and bring them together, one step at a time.

Collage showing golden hues of root vegetables, and finally adding cabbage to dish
First add root vegetables, then add cabbage and cook till tender

First, add the onions to the fat and sauté until it turns translucent (or brown, depending on the type of onion you use). Then, you want to add the root vegetables first because it takes a while for them to cook down, whereas overcooking the cabbage will result in a mushy texture. So, I typically try to add the root vegetables (i.e. potatoes and carrots) first, followed at the very end by the cabbage.

Bowl of Ethiopian Cabbage being eaten with a fork

👩🏽‍🍳 FAQs and Tips

🍴 Serving & Storage Suggestions

Traditionally, Atakilt Wat is eaten with injera (a sour crepe made of a grain called teff). Working on a recipe for that – coming soon! However, in the meantime, you can eat this Ethiopian cabbage recipe with any flat bread (like a solid homemade naan) or even a nice cumin-infused rice (I know, I’m Indian, can you tell?) But my favorite way of eating it? Just ladle it in a bowl and dig in. No carbs needed!

Storage, freezing and reheating – you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 to 5 days. Or, alternatively, you can also portion into smaller airtight containers and freeze for up to 3 months! All the vegetables used here are quite hearty. Just make sure to thaw for 30 minutes before reheating on the stove.

If you enjoyed this recipe, try these other hearty African / Indian recipes:

If you try this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and a star rating. Don’t forget to tag #urbanfarmie on Instagram or @urbanfarmie on Pinterest!

📖 Recipe

Note: This recipe was originally published on February 3, 2020 and updated on September 19, 2020 with FAQs and more tips.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag #urbanfarmie on Instagram or @urbanfarmie on Pinterest!

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