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.
WHAT TYPE OF LEAFY GREEN SHOULD BE USED FOR 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.
PERFECT FOR MEAL PREP
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.
MAKE SURE TO THOROUGHLY CLEAN LEAFY VEGETABLES
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.
LETS TALK ABOUT NITER KIBBEH
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
STEAM THE COLLARD GREENS IF YOU WANT
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
- African Spinach Stew
- Chicken Stir fry with Spinach
- Blackened Salmon with Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms
- Sukuma Wiki | African Braised Collard Greens
- Southern Collard greens
A Taste of Ethiopia with Gomen Wat
- 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.
If you make this recipe I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen