One of the treasure-trove of vegetable dishes you'd find served with the vegetarian platter at an Ethiopian restaurant, tikel gomen also stands on its own as a delicious preparation of cabbage, carrots, and yellow potatoes. Flavored with onions and ginger and spiced with turmeric and cumin, it's easy to make and a wonderful anchor for a vegetarian meal, or alongside a meat or fish dish.
How to make tikel gomen
Tikel gomen is an easy, one-pot stew that cooks the vegetables gently by steaming, after sauteing the aromatics in a bit of clarified butter or oil. I have made this dish both with ghee and with olive oil (you can use any oil you like) and it comes out great both dairy and dairy-free. I do think ghee gives it a bit more of an Ethiopian flavor, but it's a subtle difference. My understanding is that the dish is usually made with Ethiopian spiced clarified butter, niter kibbeh, which I'd like to try. There is also an equivalent to niter kibbeh made with oil, which would be perfect for a parve version of tikel gomen.
You start by sauteing the onions until they begin to soften. You add the ginger, then carrots and potatoes, and season with spices. After that you just plunk the cabbage on top, cover the whole thing, and leave it to steam for 30 minutes. You can add a little bit of water, just 2-3 tablespoons, if the bottom starts to burn.
Looking for more Ethiopian recipes?
- Injera - Ethiopian Teff Sourdough Flatbread—the perfect serving vessel for this or any Ethiopian stew.
- Ethiopian Cabbage, Carrot, and Potato Stew – Tikel Gomen
- Ethiopian Stewed Yellow Split Peas – Kik alicha
- Ethiopian Spicy Stewed Red Lentils – Misir Wot
- Ethiopian Collard Greens – Ye’abesha Gomen
- Ethiopian Tomato Salad with Berbere
Ethiopian Cabbage, Carrot, and Potato Stew - Tikel Gomen (dairy or parve)
- 1 large onion
- 2 Tbsp ghee - olive oil, or niter kibbeh
- ½ tsp minced ginger
- 4 medium carrots
- 5 yellow potatoes
- 1 small head cabbage or ½ large head
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- Dice the onion. In a large pot, heat the ghee/oil over medium heat. When it's hot, add in the onion and sauté until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the minced ginger, stir well, and toast for 30 seconds more.
- Peel the carrots and chop them into small rounds. Add to the onions in the pot and stir to coat.
- Peel the potatoes and dice into cubes. Add to the pot and turn to coat.
- Season the vegetables in the pot with turmeric, cumin, and salt. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Chop the cabbage into squares. Add to the pot, stir and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and replacing the lid. The potatoes should be fork-tender when ready.