A few years ago my office had a pot luck and Mr. A’s wife brought in some dishes from her home country, Ethiopia. I love collecting recipes from around the world, from people that I’ve actually met. Well at least until I started reading blogs, I’ve truly made some wonderful dishes from some of these blogs around here! Anyway, I fell in love with this dish. She also brought a lentil dish that was ok and those flat breads that many African countries make. I can’t think of the name off the top of my head but they are flat and have bubbles, almost like when a pancake is ready to flip it has bubbles in it? Hang on….let me look up a picture online. It’s called Injera.
It’s kind of spongy and I don’t remember much else about it. I do remember that she wouldn’t give me the recipe for Injera, she said it would be too difficult…she didn’t know me very well but for the sake of peace in the office, and because I wasn’t that impressed with them, I didn’t push it. I wish I had pushed it and Mr. A is long gone so….I’ll have to find a recipe online.
The thing I think I love the most about getting recipes from people from other countries who are cooking a family recipe, or people who have been cooking for years, is that they don’t really measure the ingredients. I remember when I was a child, my aunt had a woman who was a housekeeper and cook (this was in Greece) and I used to watch her cook. It was a teacup full or a coffee cup full, or a water glass etc. Then it was a big spoon or a small spoon or an amount poured into the palm of her hand. Watching her was like magic and wonderful smells and dishes flowed from her kitchen.
Anyway, that is how I was told this cabbage recipe and I tried to write it down as best I could. This recipe is so simple and yet so good. I posted this recipe on the AllRecipes site and people there made suggestions and added things. So the recipe below is as close to the original as possible. Oh and many of the cooks on allrecipes suggested the spices should be doubled so I will write the double amount in the recipe that follows…..
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 4 carrots sliced
- 1 sliced onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (or more)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 head of cabbage
- 3-5 potatos cubed into bite size (any kind of potato works)
Heat the oil in a skillet or a dutch oven on medium, Cook the onion & carrots about 5 minutes. Add the spices and then the cabbage and cook another 15- 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cover, turn the heat down a bit and cook until the potatoes are soft. About 20-30 minutes.
I don’t know why this dish tastes so good, there’s not much to it. But the combination of flavors is really wonderful. I make it fairly often. You can serve it with meat or a flat bread but I usually have it alone. I made it the other night with almost an entire small cabbage and only 3 potatoes and I was hoping for some leftovers but we at it all up!