Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e Recipe: A Delicious Vegetarian Dish from Ethiopia

Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e

Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e Recipe: A Delicious Vegetarian Dish from Ethiopia
Region / culture: Ethiopia | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e
Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e

Atklit, a traditional dish from the Tigre region of Ethiopia, is a hearty and healthy vegetable stew that is both comforting and flavorful. This dish is a testament to the rich culinary traditions of Ethiopia, showcasing the simple yet profound flavors that can be achieved with a combination of vegetables and spices. Atklit is typically made with a mix of onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and a blend of spices including ginger, turmeric, and black pepper, all simmered together to create a nourishing and satisfying meal.


The origins of Atklit can be traced back to the ancient culinary traditions of the Tigre region in Ethiopia. This dish has been passed down through generations, with each family adding their own touch to the recipe. Traditionally, Atklit was prepared during fasting periods when meat was not consumed, making it a staple vegetarian dish in Ethiopian cuisine. Over time, it has gained popularity across the country and beyond, appreciated for its health benefits and delicious taste.


How to prepare

  1. Peel all the vegetables and cut them into small cubes.
  2. Peel and mash the garlic.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and add the vegetables.
  4. Cover and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. Add the ginger, turmeric, pepper, and salt, and mix well.
  6. Add the water, stir, and cook over a very low flame for 30 – 40 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.


  • There are many ways to vary the Atklit recipe to suit your taste or dietary needs. Some popular variations include:
  • Adding legumes such as lentils or chickpeas for extra protein.
  • Incorporating other vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach.
  • Adjusting the spice blend to include cumin, coriander, or chili for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the best flavor and texture in your Atklit, consider the following tips:

- Use fresh vegetables for a more vibrant taste.

- Cut the vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.

- Sauté the vegetables on a low flame to bring out their natural sweetness.

- Be conservative with water at the beginning; you can always add more if needed to adjust the consistency.

- Allow the stew to simmer gently to meld the flavors together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

Atklit can be served as a main dish or as a side. It pairs wonderfully with injera (Ethiopian flatbread) or rice. For a complete meal, serve it alongside a protein source such as grilled chicken or fish.

Cooking Techniques

The key cooking technique for Atklit is sautéing the vegetables before adding water and simmering. This helps to develop the flavors and ensure the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Cooking on a low flame is essential to prevent burning and to allow the flavors to meld together.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're missing an ingredient or want to customize the recipe, consider the following substitutions:

- Sweet potatoes can be used in place of regular potatoes for a different flavor and nutritional profile.

- Any type of cabbage can be used, not just white cabbage.

- If you don't have fresh garlic, garlic powder can be used as a substitute.

Make Ahead Tips

Atklit can be made ahead of time and reheated, making it a convenient option for meal prep. The flavors often deepen when the stew is allowed to sit, so it can be even more delicious the next day. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Atklit in a beautiful serving dish, garnished with fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro for a pop of color. Accompany it with slices of lemon or lime for a fresh, zesty finish.

Pairing Recommendations

Atklit pairs well with a variety of dishes. For a traditional Ethiopian meal, serve it with injera and a side of lentils. It also goes well with grilled meats or fish for a more contemporary pairing.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Atklit in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply warm it in a pot over medium heat, adding a little water if necessary to adjust the consistency. It can also be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Atklit is relatively low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those monitoring their calorie intake. The exact calorie count can vary depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used, but a typical serving is around 150-200 calories.


A serving of Atklit is a good source of carbohydrates, primarily from the potatoes and carrots. Carbohydrates are essential for energy, and this dish provides a healthy balance of complex carbs that digest slowly, keeping you full and energized longer.


The oil used in the recipe contributes to the fat content of Atklit. However, by using a heart-healthy oil such as olive or canola, you can ensure that the fats are primarily unsaturated, which are beneficial for heart health.


While Atklit is primarily a vegetable stew, it does offer a modest amount of protein from the vegetables. For a higher protein content, consider adding legumes such as lentils or chickpeas, which complement the flavors well.

Vitamins and minerals

Atklit is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of vegetables used. Carrots and cabbage are excellent sources of Vitamin C and K, while potatoes provide potassium and Vitamin B6. The spices, particularly turmeric, add not only flavor but also anti-inflammatory properties.


Atklit is naturally free from most common allergens, including dairy, nuts, and gluten, making it suitable for individuals with these dietary restrictions. However, always check the ingredients list for any potential allergens based on individual sensitivities.


Overall, Atklit is a nutritious and balanced dish, providing a good mix of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. It is low in calories and free from common allergens, making it a wholesome choice for a variety of dietary needs.


Atklit is a versatile, nutritious, and flavorful dish that embodies the rich culinary traditions of Ethiopia. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, it's a wonderful way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations, Atklit is sure to become a cherished addition to your cooking repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I knew it was something I had to try. It was given to me by an old friend who had traveled to a remote village in the mountains of Tigre. The dish was called Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e and it was a traditional recipe passed down through generations.

I was immediately intrigued by the combination of flavors and ingredients used in this dish. The recipe called for a mix of spices that I had never heard of before, as well as a special type of grain that was only grown in the region of Tigre.

I set out to recreate the dish in my own kitchen, using the ingredients that my friend had brought back for me. The first step was to prepare the grain, which required soaking it overnight and then cooking it until it was tender. The smell of the grain cooking filled my kitchen, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Next, I began to prepare the spices that would give the dish its unique flavor. I ground them together in a mortar and pestle, releasing their aromas and creating a fragrant paste. I added this paste to the cooked grain, stirring it in until it was well combined.

The final step was to add the special ingredient that would give the dish its name - Alz'e. This was a type of dried fruit that was only found in Tigre, with a sweet and tangy flavor that complemented the spices perfectly. I chopped the Alz'e into small pieces and added it to the dish, allowing it to simmer for a few more minutes to let the flavors meld together.

As the dish cooked, the aroma filled my kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation. When it was finally ready, I ladled it into a bowl and took my first bite. The flavors exploded in my mouth, a perfect balance of sweetness, spice, and tanginess. It was unlike anything I had ever tasted before, a true culinary adventure.

I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my repertoire, a dish that I would make for special occasions and family gatherings. I shared it with my friends and family, who were all amazed by the unique flavors and textures of Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e.

Over the years, I have made this dish countless times, tweaking the recipe here and there to suit my own tastes. Each time I make it, I am transported back to that first moment when I saw the recipe and knew that it was something special.

I am grateful to my friend for bringing me this recipe, for introducing me to a new and exciting cuisine that has become a beloved part of my cooking repertoire. And I am grateful to the people of Tigre, for sharing their culinary traditions with me and inspiring me to create something truly special in my own kitchen.

So the next time you are looking to try something new and exciting in the kitchen, I urge you to seek out a recipe that is unfamiliar to you, that challenges your taste buds and expands your culinary horizons. Who knows, you may just discover a new favorite dish, just like I did with Atklit, Tigre - Alz'e.


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