Ethiopian Yellow Split Pea Stew (Kik Alicha)

We were coming out of my flat one day when my wife and I encountered our neighbor in the shared hallway. As is normally the case, we eased into a conversation about food, or ingredients – I can’t really remember. But before I knew it, she invited us into her flat. Apparently we looked hungry because she soon offered us a bowl of yellow split peas that were very simple – just some onions and spices. It was delicious – creamy without any hint of being oily.

This recipe is a variation to the one our Ethiopian neighbor shared with me. It is simple to make and extremely satisfying…sort of like getting a big hug.

You can prepare the onion mixture about one day in advance, but I usually make everything at the same time and use a separate pot for the yellow split peas and lentils plus a pan for the onion mixture.

There countless variations to this recipe, so don’t feel obligated to stick with the ingredients I am using (although it is very good and you won’t be disappointed). I like to add roasted pumpkin pieces to the split peas or even some steamed potatoes. I also like to make a large batch at the beginning of the week and play with different variations during the week – use different ingredients or simply adding more liquid and turning it into a soup.

Yield: makes 4-6 servings

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