Ethiopian Greens

The simple addition of spices to green leafy vegetables brings extra interest to any meal while keeping it suitable for Dairy Free, Fodmap, Paleo and Vegan diets.

This is a traditional dish from Ethiopia, usually served as one of several withInjera, a type of pancake made with Gluten Free teff flour which is a staple there.

I have served Ye’abesha Gomen with a range of meals, the spice complimenting many styles of cooking including salads, quiche, grilled tofu, fish and meat. Rich in flavour, it should not be too ‘hot’ although chopped green chilli can be added in the cooking process or served on the side at table.

There are numerous green vegetables that can be used. Each is specific in flavour and with its cooking time (varying from 10 minutes for spinach to 45 minutes for some kale and collards – large, dark-coloured edible leaves such as brassica, cabbage and manioc).

Diets for which Ye’abesha Gomen is suitable:

Diabetic, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Nut Free, Paleo, Vegetarian and Vegan.


Preparation: 10 mins | Cooking: 20mins | Serves: 2-4

8 (1/4 tsp ground) cardamom seeds

1/4 tsp ground fenugreek

1/4 tsp nigella seeds*
1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, large, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 green chilli (optional)**

1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped

250 gm greens, stemmed and sliced***
2 tbsp – 1/2 cup water

1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

1 tbsp white wine vinegar to taste (optional)


HEAT the oil to a medium temperature in a wok or large saucepan.
ADD the cardamom, fenugreek and nigella seeds and cook, stirring often, for approximately 2 minutes until fragrant. (If you use whole cardamom pods they will open with the heat and expel the seeds. Remove the shells before proceeding.)
INCREASE the heat.
ADD the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes.
ADD the garlic, chilli and ginger and cook until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes. ADD greens and water, salt and pepper. (For spinach, add 2 tbsp water: for collard greens you may require 1/2 cup water.)
COOK: for spinach or quick-cooking greens, uncovered at a high temperature for 10 minutes; for slow-cooking greens, place a lid on the pan and lower the temperature, cooking until tender, ie 30-45 minutes.)
STIR in vinegar (optional).


– Accompaniment to Injera.
– Suitable for many meals, hot or cold, where mildly spiced greens are appropriate.


* Cumin Seeds are a suitable substitute for nigella seeds.
** Add chilli with our without seeds.
*** There are many types of greens suitable for this dish, vary the cooking time accordingly.

Dishes that accompany Ethiopian Greens

Green Lentils with Turmeric
Tofu Steaks
Aubergine Rissoles

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