Monday, March 14, 2016

Shimbra Atkilt

It's Lent again in the Orthodox world and since the last half of my work week is much busier than my first I've been trying to cook ahead so that I have meals ready to go when things get busy later this week. This particular dish is an adaptation of one of my favorite Ethiopian dishes, atkilt. (And who knows, it may not be original. I never had something like this in Ethiopia, but chickpeas and atkilt are both popular there...)

Atkilt has always been a go-to for me during fasts, but since part of my keeping Lent this year is to eat healthier I wanted to give it some protein to make for a more balanced meal. When I noticed my pantry was full of chickpeas (shimbra in Amharic) I realized what would make a great addition to an already great dish! This recipe doesn't include cabbage as I forgot to buy any the day I made it (oops!), but it can always be included (as indicated below).

Shimbra Atkilt

1/4 cup of olive oil
1 medium-large onion (chopped)
2 large carrots (cubed or thinly sliced)
4 to 6 cloves of garlic (crushed or minced)
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger
1 small cabbage (chopped)(optional)
2 medium-large potatoes (cubed)
1 400-gram can of chickpeas (rinsed/drained)
1/3 cup of water

1) Lord, bless!
2) Heat the oil in a large pan or pot* and saute the onion and carrots until the onions begin to become translucent.
3) Add the garlic and saute another couple of minutes until the onion and carrots begin to soften.
4) Mix in the spices and saute until fragrant (about a minute).
5) If including cabbage, add the cabbage, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
6) Add the potatoes, chickpeas, and water and cook for another 20 or 30 minutes until both are soft.
7) Eat with injera (or the bread of your choice if there's no injera available) or serve over rice (or the grain of your choice) and enjoy!

*If you're not making this with cabbage you could probably get away with the large pan (mine was nearly filled to the brim, but worked), but if you're including the cabbage you'd better grab the pot!

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