Alecha- Ethiopian comfort food

AlechaAs an adoptive mom of kids from Korea and Ethiopia, I’ve enjoyed learning to cook food from my kids’ homelands. Alecha is typical
Ethiopian comfort food:  affordable, filling and delicious.  The addition of turmeric may seem unusual; typically in America it is used only for pickles.  But it is a common seasoning in Ethiopia, and adds an authentic and interesting flavor to this dish.


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serve 6



  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced in coins
  • 4 potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 of a medium green cabbage (about 2 cups, cut into long thin slivers)
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Begin by cutting up vegetables.
  2. Add oil to a large heavy skillet on medium high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and getting browned bits.
  3. Add 1-1/2 cups water, garlic, carrots, potatoes, freshly grated ginger, salt, pepper and turmeric.
  4. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots and potatoes are beginning to soften. If liquid evaporates too soon and food begins sticking, simply add a bit more water.
  5. Once carrots are beginning to soften, add butter, cabbage, and remaining 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook 5-10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender.
  6. In Ethiopia this is served with injera, a sourdough flatbread. It also goes well with rice, tucked in pita bread, or wrapped in a tortilla. It is a really versatile dish that goes well with many foods.


Pin It

{ No Comments }

  1. Perfect timing Mary! I’ve pulled it and I’m going to make it next week with the corned beef! Since I do potatoes, carrots and cabbage with that meal anyway, this will be the perfect way to dance up a meal that could stand to be snazzed up a bit!

    Irish meets Ethiopian…my great-grandmother is probably spinning! 🙂

  2. Personally my FAVORITE Ethiopian dish and one that was super easy to make right off the bat when we brought our adopted kids home.

  3. Thanks for sharing about Ethiopian food! It looks yummy.

  4. Thank you! We made it for dinner tonight–delicious!

  5. We’re going to try this tomorrow. I hope the kids like it!

  6. Made this for dinner tonight and, shockingly, the whole family loved it! I can’t believe the kids both ate it, no questions asked. I’m eating low carb so I didn’t have any, but the kids and my dh did (and he’s looking forward to leftovers tomorrow).

    I did not have the turmeric, so I left it out. I thought I had it on the grocery list I sent my husband to the store with yesterday, but apparently not, LOL. I will try it with next time.

  7. I made this on St. Patrick’s Day (we had a crazy day, so we went without the corned beef feast and had this quick and yummy meal instead!) and everyone loved it!
    I also left out the turmeric, but I’m going to get some at the store tomorrow and try it again with the turmeric this weeks! YUM!!

  8. This recipe rocks!!! It’s a family favorite now 🙂

  9. HI Mary,
    I loved this recipe the first time I made it. Now I would like to make it for my Ethiopian housecleaner (she speaks almost no English so I can’t ask her about it,) but I can’t access the link for some reason. Can you email me the recipe?
    Thanks so much