Atar Allecha (Ethiopian Split Peas)

I know a lot of people who get this look of distaste on their faces when you mention “split pea,” but I’m convinced it’s because they haven’t had them cooked a good way.  This is one of my favorite ways to make split peas, because its creamy and heavily spiced.  It tastes even better when you have it with the injera because the wetness soaks into it.


1 cup dried split peas, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
2 tbsp niter kibbeh
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 inches ginger, grated
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 lime, squeeze juice


1.  Boil soaked peas in water until soft (1/2 to 1  hour).  Drain.

2.  Saute the onions and garlic in niter kibbeh on medium heat for 5 mins.

3.  Add the tomato paste and cook for 10 minutes until dry.

4.  Add the turmeric, salt, black pepper, and ginger.  Cook for 2 min.

5.  Add the split peas and veggie broth and mix well.  Cook for half an hour on med heat, adding more water as needed to keep the mix from becoming too dry.  The peas should eventually fall apart and the mix become a thick puree.

6.  Add lime juice and serve hot.


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