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Atakilt wat: Ethiopian cabbage, carrot & potato stew

Atakilt wat (a.k.a., atakilt alicha, ye’atakilt wot, etc.) is another one of my favorite Ethiopian dishes, made of humble vegetables: cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions. Even though it’s rather mild, it’s still quite tasty.

Ethiopian cabbage et al. stew on injera

If you have a large enough pot, it’s easy to double this recipe.

If you can find the spiced clarified butter nitr qibe (a.k.a., nitter kibbeh), do use it, as it adds a more flavorful dimension to this dish. But a vegetable oil, or ghee, will suffice.

Another variation uses green string beans instead of cabbage, which is also yummy. Hmmm, since the zucchini are coming in now, I wonder how they’d work here…


  • 1/4 cup nitr qibe, ghee, or canola oil, or a mix thereof.
  • 1 large onion, diced into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 inch of ginger root, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound round cabbage (about half a head), cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
  • 3/4 pound boiling-style potatoes (Yukon Golds are fine), peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3/4 pound carrots, cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
  • salt, to taste


  1. Heat the nitr qibe or oil in a large pot over high heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir for a minute or two until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the turmeric, tomato paste, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and salt. Cover, lower heat to medium-low, and cook until the thick vegetables have become tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir every 5 to 10 minutes so that bits don’t stick and burn at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Adjust salt levels, if desired. Serve with basmati rice, or a flatbread like injera.


  1. Monica wrote:

    Your injera looks FANTASTIC! Would you be willing to share how you make it?! :o)

    Tuesday, 24 May 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink
  2. sairuh wrote:

    Hi Monica,

    Alas, I had bought the injera from an Ethiopian grocery store!

    Tuesday, 24 May 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  3. Larry Richard wrote:

    Thank you for the recipe. I recently had the atakilt wat at an Ethiopian festival and loved it.They bought the injera too.

    Monday, 19 August 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  4. sairuh wrote:

    You’re welcome, Larry!

    Sunday, 25 August 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
  5. Steph wrote:

    Flawless! Followed your recipe exactly (which I never do) then added some ground (fake) meat for protein. Oh, then I added garlic chili paste to make it hotter. Mega hit and SUPER easy. Well done!

    Wednesday, 30 April 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink
  6. sairuh wrote:

    I’m glad the recipe worked for you, Steph—thanks!

    Wednesday, 30 April 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
  7. Rhiannon wrote:

    This recipe is good with the following caveats:

    NO tomato paste.
    Increase the tumeric.
    Equal parts cumin and tumeric.
    Add more sea salt.

    Sunday, 15 February 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  8. sairuh wrote:

    Rhiannon, next time I make this, I’ll try adding cumin and more turmeric. Thanks!

    Friday, 20 February 2015 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Unfoodie « The Wellness Bitch on Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 3:32 am

    […] many uses of cabbage. Shredded cabbage salad. Sauteed cabbage with onions, tomato, and garlic. And this dish I used to love to get from my local Ethiopian restaurant in South Orange, NJ.  I suddenly […]

  2. […] many uses of cabbage. Shredded cabbage salad. Sauteed cabbage with onions, tomato, and garlic. And this dish I used to love to get from my local Ethiopian restaurant in South Orange, NJ.  I suddenly […]

  3. Ethiopian trio: mesir wat, atakilt wat and bamya alich’a on Saturday, 1 October 2011 at 10:36 am

    […] has a good recipe; being more of a potato fan than carrot, I changed the original 1:1 ratio to be 1 pound potato and 1/2 pound carrot, and found this to be a happy balance. […]

  4. Atakilt Wat {Ethiopian Cabbage} | mad good on Thursday, 19 March 2015 at 10:37 am

    […] made some alterations, but the core recipe is from’s Atakilt Wat. Thank you for sharing […]

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