Cauliflower and Greens Beans in Berbere Spices

Serves 4 to 6


An all purpose recipe for vegetables lightly seasoned with an Ethiopian flare, perfect for paring with any w’et or  but’echa (chickpea scrambled “eggs”). I usually make two versions to go with a big spread of 3 or more dishes, one always being collards, the other a blend of contrasting veggie like cauliflower, potatoes or carrots. Or if I don’t know what to make to serve with injera bread, you can’t go wrong with a variation of these veggies and the Lentil Yemiser w’et.


Basic w’et stew

  • 1 large yellow or red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • ¼ cup white wine or vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons Spiced Buttery Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Berbere Spice Blend
  • 1 teaspoons sweet or hot ground paprika
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, core removed and diced into 1/2 inch pieces or 1 cup diced canned tomatoes (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Vegetables, use one or a combination of:

  • 1 pound collard greens, stems removed and sliced into thin 1/4 inch wide ribbons
  • 3 to 4 cups diced cauliflower
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into diagonal 1/2 thick pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, peeled, sliced into 1 inch chunks and boiled until tender


1. If you’re preparing collard greens, pre-cook them by either steaming until bright green and tender, about 8 minutes, or cook in a pot over medium high heat filled with 4 inches of water until tender, about 12 to 14 minutes. Drain the greens and shake out the excess water. Don’t pre-cook the cauliflower, green beans or carrots.


2. In a deep 12 inch stainless steel skillet over medium heat fry the onion, garlic, ginger and Spiced Buttery Oil together until the onion is softened and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine, bring to simmer and stir to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in your choice of vegetables.


3. Sprinkle the Berbere Spice Blend and paprika over the vegetables and fry, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in the water  or vegetable broth, tomatoes if using, and salt. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables are just starting to turn tender; you may want to simmer longer for collards. Remove the cover and simmer another 2 to 4 minutes to reduce most (but not all, they should be a little juicy) of the liquid and to finish cooking the vegetables to a tender but not mushy consistency.


If the vegetables look a little dry toward the end, sprinkle on a few tablespoons of water or broth. When done cooking, turn off heat and sprinkle with lemon juice. Let stand for 10 minutes and serve warm with injera bread.