Tikil Gomen (Ethiopian Cabbage & Potatoes)
Tikil Gomen is a spiced vegetable dish that highlights cabbage, potato, and carrots. “Gomen” translates to “cabbage” and it’s a well-known Ethiopian dish.
If you ever go to an Ethiopian restaurant as a vegan, you will have a few dishes that you can order. Tikel gomen is one of them. There are many other lentil and veggie-based dishes, with most having a base of berbere sauce. And you mustn’t forget injera, a teff sour flatbread. It brings everything together.
This dish is perfect for people that don’t like spice as it can be a great supporting act when enjoyed with other dishes. To tone it down, even more, you can serve it with rice.
I have seen so many variations of this dish and have come across at least four different names. Other names are tikel gomen, atakilt wat, and atkilt wot. From my research, tikil gomen is the most common name for this cabbage and potato dish.
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My backstory with tikil gomen
The first time I tried this dish was probably around 20 years ago when I was helping my mum sell jewellery at a local weekly market. It was in an old bus depot, and I was there most Sundays helping.
I have never been a fan of eating meat out, even before I became vegan, so the wonderful Ethiopian food stall was a blessing. I often enjoyed their tikil gomen with rice and would rotate between a red lentil dish (misir wat) and a pumpkin stew (duba wat). Everything was delicious and packed with flavour.
Even after my mum stopped doing the markets a few years later, I would find their food at my local food court and their restaurant conveniently just around the corner from where I lived at the time.
There is a dish that my mum used to make that was similar to tikil gomen, but the spices used were diffrent. I love simple and quick meals, so this dish became a staple when I moved out of home. This is now going on over 10 years. I played around with it and made it my own.
This is not the dish that I’ve shared with you below. I wanted to recreate what I had all those years ago. Bring the Ethiopian version of this humble vegetable dish back into my home.
So I don’t want to claim that this is the traditional way of making it, but my recreation of what I used to enjoy in my teens and 20s. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Easy to customise
Even though this dish includes three staple vegetables: carrots, potatoes, and green cabbage, you can customise it to whatever you have on hand or enjoy. Here are a few other vegetables that work well in this dish:
- Green beans
Just keep in mind that all these vegetables have different cooking times.
This healthy cabbage-based dish is inexpensive and easy to make. I love the simplicity of it but am always impressed by how much flavour is in such few ingredients. It reminds me of my 3-ingredient cabbage pasta recipe.
What you’ll need to make this cabbage and potato one-pot dish
The ingredients that you’ll need for this dish as super simple. Here is the list:
- Green cabbage
- Turmeric powder
- Fresh ginger
A few tips for making this Ethiopian cabbage dish
- You can easily double or triple batch this recipe for meal prep. It will keep well for around 3-4 days in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing as the potatoes will become mushy and the whole dish will be too watery.
- It’s essential for this recipe to use a tight-fitting lid on your pot to trap the moisture inside the pot and that the vegetables cook in their own juices. This is key for optimum flavour.
- I like to chop the vegetables roughly to keep them more rustic and retain their shape in the finished dish rather than turning them into mush.
- If you want to add some plant-based protein, you can add chickpeas around 10 minutes before it finishes cooking.
This easy one-pot meal is so affordable and delicious that you’ll be adding it to your weekly meal rotation in no time!
Other recipes you’ll love:
- West African Vegan Peanut Soup with Rice Balls
- Vegan Black-Eyed Bean Stew
- Hearty Mung Bean Stew With Kale
- Creamy Red Lentil Curry (Vegan-Friendly)
- Easy Vegan Brown Lentil Stew
- Vegan Gado Gado (Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce)
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Tikil Gomen (Ethiopian Cabbage & Potatoes)
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 as main
Easy one-pot meal highlighting cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. A humble Ethiopian dish, better known as tikil gomen, is a great staple recipe to enjoy on its own or with other sides.
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 brown onion, sliced into half moons
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 medium carrot, cut diagonally into disks
- 4 medium potatoes, chopped into 1-inch pieces (approx 600g / 1.32 pounds)
- ½ head green cabbage, chopped (approx 900g / 2 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Heat a large saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat and add the oil and onions. Saute for a couple of minutes, and then follow in with the garlic.
- Let the onions soften for another couple of minutes before adding the ginger and turmeric powder. Stir to combine and cook for one more minute.
- Add carrots, potatoes, and ½ cup / 125ml of water. Reduce the heat to medium, stir well and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 20 minutes, uncovering every few minutes to stir. Add up to another ½ a cup of water as they cook if it starts to dry up.
- Once you can pierce the potato with a bit of resistance, turn the heat back to medium-high and add in the cabbage and salt. There is a lot of cabbage, so make sure you stir it in well to give it a chance to cook down. Cover the pot with the lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, and the cabbage has been reduced by about half, add pepper and adjust the salt if needed. Remove from heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes before serving.
- You can serve it on its own, with rice, toss through some chickpeas for added protein, or other traditional Ethiopian dishes like sour flatbread (injera), red lentils (misir wat), and pumpkin stew (duba wat).
- Diet: Vegan
I am a relatively new vegan. I stumbled across your podcast and your recipe website. I have never made Ethiopian food before. This was so simple to make and the flavors are just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge and I am looking forward to cooking my way through your recipes.
Hi Heidi, I’m so sorry I missed your review! Thank you so much for the kind words, and I’m thrilled you loved this dish! Happy cooking x