site stats

Ethiopian Chickpea Wat


  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2carrots, finely chopped
  • 1potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1⁄2teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄2teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄2teaspoon ginger
  • 1⁄2teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2teaspoon black pepper
  • 1⁄4teaspoon cumin
  • 1⁄4teaspoon cardamom
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1⁄2cups water
  • 1cup frozen peas, thawed


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and potato, cover and cook 10 minutes longer.
  • Remove and cover and stir in cayenne, paprika, ginger, salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom and tomato paste. Add chickpeas and water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender and the flavor is developed, about 30 minutes, adding a bit more water if needed. About 10 minutes before the stew is ready, stir in green peas and taste to adjust seasonings.


  • Mgnbos

    This was easy and filling though not terribly exciting. I subbed spinach for the peas but otherwise made as written. I would likely include this in a vegetarian buffet or as part of a larger meal for vegetarian friends – however we are unlikely to make this again as part of the usual rotation. I suspect this will taste better tomorrow.

  • Phoenix Food Queen

    This was very delicious and very close to authentic. I have been to Ethiopia and have learned to cook their food and this Breezee is absolutely wonderful and a great dish for somebody new to African cuisine!! Kudos to you!

  • syndi22

    Just served this to 6 women after reading Cutting for Stone. It was universally the favorate Ethiopian recipe of the three. thanks

  • mickeydownunder

    I really enjoyed this simple and versatile dish, TRUE!<br/>Was the first time I had Ethiopian Wat and based on the results, I will be trying more Ethiopian dishes too! Thank you!

  • rpgaymer

    This made a great side dish for the African meal I made. I used half of a 6oz can of tomato paste instead of one tablespoon, and it was just right. I could definitely eat this as a vegetarian meal on top of rice or couscous – it’s that good. It is, however, very different from the chickpea wat I’ve had at Ethiopian restaurants. It’s more of an Americanized take on the dish, but that’s ok with me as it still has some great exotic flavors. Thanks for sharing.

  • AngieB713

    I tend to be VERY picky about herbs and spices in my food as well as being a total pansy about spicy food, so I was a little worried I’d make it and then end up not liking it–but I loved it! I did modify the recipe based on what I had available and what I like, although I left all the spices the same, so I did take quite a few liberties with the recipe. I didn’t have red onion so I substituted leek, and I’m not a big fan of carrots so I used green bell pepper instead. I’d read some of the reviews that suggested using 3 tbls tomato paste instead of just the 1, so I did that too. I didn’t have peas, so I shelled edamame and used that instead. Lastly, when I put in the edamame I also put in a little extra salt and stirred in about 1 cup of cooked quinoa. I had some locally made tortillas so I put the wat in those, sprinkled on some parmesan, and then rolled them up and had them like African burritos…! They were great–all the different spices gives it a unique, complex flavor, and while there was a little kick to it in terms of spiciness, it was subtle enough that it didn’t bother me–which is rare when there’s something spicy like cayenne that’s been thrown in. I’m so excited to have leftovers tomorrow!

  • digifoo

    I haven’t cooked Ethiopian before and only have eaten it twice in a restaurant. I found that I loved Ethiopian food. So this could just be a newbie taster here. This, however, didn’t seem to taste like the restaurants’ wats. All I tasted was cayenne, unfortunately.

  • Special Ed

    Fabulous! I made this an served over couscous (my first injera attempt missed the mark). Followed the recipe to the letter, using my dutch oven. Nice heat, wonderful appearance, flavor, and aroma! We ate on the porch, and our neighbors practically invited themselves to dinner after smelling my wat! Thanks for a keeper!

  • ajwills

    This was delicious! I made it for my coworkers, in our quest to try vegetarian meals. Everyone loved it!! And it was easy to make. As others have suggested, I halved the red pepper – it still provides ‘heat’ but not overpowering spice. And I increased the spices of salt and pepper to 1 tbsp. Also, I took everyone’s suggestion and used 3 tbsp of tomato paste. I will make this again!

  • Kimmore

    This was quite delicious. I, too, used 3 tbls tomato paste and veg broth. Also, I didn’t have ground cardamom so 5 cardamom pods did the trick.