Sunday, April 6, 2008

Atar Allecha

A colleague of mine moved in up the street yesterday, so tonight I brought over dinner to help her and her husband out. I mulled over what to bring for quite some time. In situations like this I always feel like veganism is on trial and that this is my chance to present a convincing case to the jury. At first I was going to make something with wheat gluten sausage--perhaps a gumbo or jambalaya. In the end I decided against fake meat and went with Ethiopian since it is already essentially vegan. This way they could enjoy the spices and flavours without having to compare the dish to "real" meat. I made Yetakelt We't and Misr Allecha, injera (from Vegan Lunchbox), and this dish.

- 2 cups yellow split peas
- 6 cups water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp niter kebbeh
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1-2 green chiles, seeded and minced
- 2 cups water (plus more as needed)
- cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves to taste
- salt to taste

1. Rinse split peas, remove stones and debris. Put into a large pot and cover with 6 cups of water. Soak for at least an hour.
2. Bring water to boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer peas for 30-40 mins, until softened but not mushy (i.e. until they still hold their shape, but are soft enough to bite). Drain, rinse, and drain again. Remove from pot.
3. Dry pot and put back on the stove over med-lo heat. Add onions and garlic and dry fry for a few mins, stirring constantly. Add in nitter kebbeh and saute onion for a few more mins, until translucent. Add in peas, tumeric, chili, some salt, and water. Bring to bubbling then simmer, uncovered, until peas break down into a chunky paste, adding more water if needed.
4. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve. I always like to add some more cinnamon and similar spices to bring out more of the nitter kebbeh's flavour.

I also made banana split cupcakes. Best. cupcakes. ever. Check out this cupcake carrier that my sister-in-law gave us. If you want to spread the vegan cupcake love, then you need one of these. It has three removable trays that each hold 9 cupcakes. Here are the cupcakes, all ready to go. We all cried. Why didn't I make 2 dozen?