Ethiopian Split Peas (Kik Alicha)

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I was fortunate enough to spend a few hours cooking with an Ethiopian chef a while back, making this dish as well as a few others. The tip I took away from that day was to cook the onions and garlic until they almost become a puree (this does mean you have to keep stirring!) but the result is delicious. You can spice up this dish as much as you want – I prefer a gentle warm sensation! Split peas are so overlooked nowadays – they are a great source of plant-based protein , folate, iron and potassium, while being low in fat and high in fiber – and best of all they are cheap! Great for diabetics.
I would advise soaking over-night – just to make sure they are gentle on the tummy, if you catch my drift 🙂

Ingredients
2 x tbsp of olive oil
1 x cup of red split peas
1 x onion – finely chopped – small as you can
3 x cloves of garlic, grated.
11/2 x tsp of fresh grated ginger
1/2 x tsp of berbere spice (to heat things up a bit!)
2 x tsp of Turmeric
1/2 x tsp of ground cardamon
3 x cups of vegetable stock
Fresh ground salt & pepper

Method
In a deep pan, add oil, chopped onions, ginger and garlic and cook stirring continuously, until translucent.(add the berbere spice if using).
Add the turmeric and cardamon and mix well.
Add rinsed split peas, salt, pepper and stock. Mix, cover and bring to a boil on medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for 35-45 minutes or until peas have softened to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust salt and spice if needed. I like mine quite thick.
Add in a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with rice or injera or fresh flat bread. Cheap, tasty and good for you!

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