Alicha (Ethiopian Stew)

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins

One of my distant relatives in the middle of Outback Australia married an Ethiopian woman. Good choice - the woman can cook, and well enough to be featured on a food show on national TV.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cook onions and garlic in oil until transparent.
  2. Wash and chop vegetables and add them to the onions, lightly browning.
  3. Add nutmeg, garlic and cardamom then cook slowly for 30 mins.
  4. Season to taste then add chilli, parsley and basil just before serving.
Most Helpful

As I looked this recipe over, I wondered how this would cook slowly for 30 minutes without liquid. Recipezaar Support was helpful, and encouraged me to find an answer and give it a try. I chose vegetable broth at ½ cup per serving. (2½ cups for 6 servings.) This seemed to be about right. I put the broth in after adding the cardamom and nutmeg in step 3. (The recipe calls for garlic twice – I chose to add it in step 1, and sautéed it with the onion.) Back to step 3, it is hard to brown that much chopped vegetable. The cabbage seems to release liquid, so the process is not real dry. I never got even the potatoes to brown, thought I stirred for over 10 minutes. I choose serranos for the peppers. I served it with injera bread. It is ok, but even with six chopped serranos, it comes across as kind of bland. This could be just because I am missing something about Ethiopian cooking. (More cardamom??) We have some Ethiopian restaurants in the area, and I shall give one a try before going on in an Ethiopian direction.

Vic1 February 20, 2003

A helpful tip to brown vegetables is to cut the carrots and potatoes into thin fries which you then lightly fry in a separate pan. Regarding the need for liquid and the blandness, once onions and garlic are sauteed so that it transparent, add all spices except for hot peppers. This allows for the flavours to really come out. Then add the cabbage which releases liquid and cook down so that the cabbage is also transparent and the water has cooked out. Calling this stew a misnomer as it it not meant to be very saucy. At this point, add the fried carrots and potatoes as well as hot peppers.

tesfay February 26, 2012