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Gomen Wat – Ethiopian Collard Greens

Gomen Wat is a mainstay in any Ethiopian kitchen. It is hearty yet light and goes with just about everything as a side dish! If you’re looking for a way to spice up your greens, this is one recipe you’ll want to add to your repertoire.


If you’ve tasted the southern collard greens, you probably would have experienced the amazing flavor of well-seasoned collard greens. Let’s consider this recipe as the African version of the southern collard greens but the vegetarian variant.

There is also a popular version of collard greens in East Africa called sukuma wiki – braised collard greens. You need to experience at least one of these collard greens recipes to appreciate flavorful and nutritious they are!

Gomen Wat one of the most popular side dishes in Ethiopia, and you see it often served over injera ( a favorite Ethiopian flatbread) and other Ethiopian meal.

Ingredients for making gomen wat


Gomen Wat is traditionally made with collard greens or kale. Although, some also make it with spinach, however, I prefer to use collard greens or kale. Feel free to experiment to find which green works best for your own tastes and preferences but whatever you choose to use, be sure not to skip the ginger and garlic, it helps to amplify the natural flavor of the greens. 

Serve over injera or a traditional Ethiopian meal of your choice, or simply pair this tasty side dish with your favorite entree.


Gomen Wat is an excellent side dish that takes eating greens to a new level of deliciousness. If you’re a weekly meal prepper, is a great one. You can pair it with rice, quinoa, pasta, couscous, or even add some other roasted veggies like potatoes, squash, and much more.


Washing green vegetables is a must. It makes for a better eating experience. Leafy vegetables can often be sandy and may be grown with pesticides (that’s why I prefer organic). Even when you go organic, it’s still best to wash away all the sand.

Gomen wat, Injera, doro wat, and salata


The important aspect of Gomen Wat is niter kibbeh—an Ethiopian spiced clarified butter.

Niter kibbeh is made in the same way as Indian ghee. It’s the fat from regular butter that’s been clarified (separated from milk solids by heating). Once you have the clarified butter, you add in a variety of herbs and spices to create niter kibbeh, which results in rich, nutty clarified butter that’s spicy and highly aromatic—not to mention immensely flavorful.

This delicious concoction has no adequate substitutes. Nothing compares to it. Moreover, it’s essential in a lot of Ethiopian dishes, so it’s a great ingredient to keep on hand for the adventurous home cook.

However, if you don’t have it, don’t let that deter you from making this recipe. Simply substitute with butter, your regular clarified butter, or any good cooking oil of your choice but you may want to adjust seasonings and spices to compensate.

You can check how to make your own Niter Kibeh here


It only takes 30 minutes in total to make Gomen Wat, but if you want the collard greens to be much more tender, you can steam it in hot water for 10 minutes then, rinse and drain before continuing with the recipe. You’ll still have outstanding and authentic flavor.

Other Ethiopian recipes you might like:

You may also like these recipes made with leafy greens

Gomen Wat in a pot

A Taste of Ethiopia with Gomen Wat

Looking for a delicious taste of Ethiopian cuisine? Gomen wat is the Ethiopian version of collard greens, and it’s delectably delicious. Here’s how to make it.
4.69 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch/Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Keyword: Collard greens, easy vegetable recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 187kcal


  • 2 bunches Collard Greens roughly 1½lb, or Kale [chopped]
  • 4 tablespoons Niter Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter or cooking oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 red onion medium size [chopped]
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom spice
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 ripe tomato finely chopped
  • 1-2 Jalapeno pepper deseeded and diced
  • Salt to taste


  • In a large skillet, add the onion, tomatoes and garlic, and salt. Cook until the moisture is absorbed. About 5 minutes.
  • Add the oil minced ginger, garlic, paprika, cumin, cardamom, and saute for about a minute.
  • Stir in the collard greens and cook on medium heat until the collard greens become softened and most of the water evaporates. About 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve over injera.


Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.6g | Protein: 3.8g | Fat: 15.8g | Saturated Fat: 9.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.4g | Cholesterol: 38.4mg | Sodium: 602.2mg | Potassium: 358.4mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 2.7g | Vitamin A: 5315.3IU | Vitamin C: 44.7mg | Calcium: 241.1mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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Recipe Rating


Friday 10th of May 2024

Great recipe. Made some minor edits as my family can’t do hot food. Yummo!!!

Stiv ostenberg

Saturday 29th of April 2023

Jalapeños are in the ingredients but not listed in the cooking section. No matter, it turned out great.

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Sorry about that, Stiv. Great outcome 👍

Friday 27th of January 2023

No active links to niter kibeh recipe

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Thursday 2nd of March 2023

Hello. Apologies for this. Here's the link: Niter Kibbeh Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter

Jeri Swinton

Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Recipe instructions, mention tomatoes, but I don’t see them in the ingredients.will add one as in photo

Chef Lola's Kitchen

Sunday 16th of October 2022

Jeri, tomatoes are part of the recipe. 😍


Thursday 8th of September 2022

My husband likes neither collards nor kale, so I made this with spinach and homemade kibbeh niter. We have a new family favorite!

Lola Osinkolu

Wednesday 21st of September 2022

Yesss!!!! Thanks, Niva for the feedback.