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Monday, February 20, 2012

Ethiopian Food: Alitcha Aterkik

Our whole family LOVES Ethiopian food so I thought I'd do a little series posting our favorite recipes!
In case you missed them, here are the first two:
Nit'ir Qibe
Gomen

And now we're on to Alitcha Aterkik. This one is another one I got from my friend Lina's blog.

This used to be my favorite Ethiopian dish. Now I'm really not sure what my favorite is!  But is is my daughter's favorite by far.

The yellow in the middle is our Alitcha
Alitcha (or aletcha) Aterkik is a yellow split pea dish and it is not spicy in the least.  I made this for my oldest son's preschool class when their class was studying Ethiopia.  The kids who were brave enough to try it really liked it!

Alitcha Aterkik
3 cups water
1 cup dried yellow split peas
olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger (peeled, finely chopped) - sometimes I use my bottled ground ginger and I use 1 tsp
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt

Place 3 cups water (I often do 2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup water) and the yellow split peas in a large saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the water has absorbed, about 30 minutes. The peas should be fairly soft at this point.

In the meantime, saute your onion until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Then add ginger, garlic, and turmeric and cook 1 minute.  I put a splash of water or chicken broth in the pan and cook a little longer on low heat.  Add to the cooked peas.  Add a little more water and simmer again until the peas are very soft (maybe another 20 minutes more).  

Just before serving, stir in 1 tsp salt.

**Make sure NOT to use wooden or white plastic utensils in making this dish. Turmeric is also used as a natural yellow dye for a reason! I have a couple spoons that will forever have a yellowish tint because I forget and use them while cooking my alitcha aterkik!

Up next... SHIRO!

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