Easy Ethiopian Chickpea Wat


Kel's chickpea wat

My meetup group, Raleigh Cooks, recently had a gathering featuring Ethiopian food. I was on a waiting list and got in to the event the day before, finding myself scrambling on what to make since most of the few Ethiopian that I’m familiar with were already taken. After searching the Internet for a while, I settled on this chickpea wat as I loved that it was vegetarian and something that would work great for Brad’s cardio-metabolic diet.

Chickpea wat at Raleigh Cooks!

What is a wat, you may ask (I know I did). It is simply a thick stew, often made with chicken or beef and lentils or beans, or without meat like this version. Don’t let the long list of ingredients turn you away — this wat is so easy to make and not only will you love its aroma as it cooks, but also how savory and filling it is as you devour it.

I was so pleased with the results of this recipe and so were many members of my meetup group – several said it was their favorite dish of the night! Traditionally this is served hot 
with injera, pita, naan or rice, but it can stand on its own if you are avoiding extra carbs.


Ethiopian chickpea wat ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 medium red, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, Spanish style
  • 1½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • ½ cup water or vegetable stock


Heat the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add onions and carrots

Stir in the cayenne, paprika, ground ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom and brown sugar and cook with the onions and carrots, stirring constantly about 2 minutes.

Stir in spices

Add the garlic and lemon juice and cook for a minute or so.

add garlic and lemon juice

Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the veggies are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chickpeas, tomatoes and potatoes

About 5 minutes before serving, fold in the peas and season to taste.

Add green peas


Because of the meetup, I was lucky enough to have several other Ethiopian dishes to enjoy this with; otherwise I would just serve it with rice or pita bread.

Serve with other Ethiopian foods

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Follow Kel’s Café on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kelscafe

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