Spache the Spatula

Ethiopian Feast: Yekik Alicha (Turmeric Yellow Split Peas)

Don’t you think this dish is kind of unusually beautiful?

A milder, but amazingly flavorful Ethiopian stew that is heavenly scooped up with Ethiopian Injera bread! | #recipe #veganMaybe it’s just me, but I could not get over just how yellow these split peas came out! Between these and the lentils, which were brilliantly red, I felt like the colors were so rich I could paint with them! And quite frankly…I may as well have been if you saw my kitchen after I made them both, LOL.

Really these weren’t like super messy to make or anything, I’m just uncommonly messy. Like…it’s a real issue that everyone who knows me will attest to. And the more I think about how messy I am being, and try to be super clean, the worse it gets. No, I don’t know how that’s possible.

Ethiopian FeastLet’s talk about Yekik Alicha. It’s an Ethiopian stew made with yellow split peas, but the overwhelming yellow coloring of the dish come from turmeric (the same spice that colored and flavored yesterday’s recipe). Yekik Alicha is a bit milder than Yemisir Wot, but arguably as delicious. Like the other dishes I have shared, this one starts out very similarly—with onions, garlic, and ginger cooked in oil. I kind of think of that like the Ethiopian version of mirepoix, lol.

I know I said the lentils were my favorite, but these are so super close behind! Really, you just need to make all of the recipes—I can’t stress that enough.

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Yekik Alicha (Turmeric Yellow Split Peas)


  • 1 cup dried yellow split peas
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 small to medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pureed
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, pureed
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Rinse the split peas and put them in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes, and then turn off the heat and allow the peas to sit in the water until ready to use.
  2. In a large dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Drain the split peas and add them to the pot. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for around 45 minutes until thick and the split peas are tender. Season, to taste, with salt.

recipe adapted from here

A milder, but amazingly flavorful Ethiopian stew that is heavenly scooped up with Ethiopian Injera bread! | #recipe #vegan


5 Responses to “Ethiopian Feast: Yekik Alicha (Turmeric Yellow Split Peas)”

  1. CakePants — May 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    This looks awesome! I’m a sucker for all sorts of legume dishes, like the lentils you posted and these (in fact, the “no legumes” rule was the deal breaker for me even considering Whole 30!). For some reason, I expected the ingredient list and/or the instructions to be more complex, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how simple this dish is.

  2. Beth Skeeter — January 6, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Tomorrow is Melkam Gena – the Ethiopian Christmas celebration.  I’m so impressed with your dishes and I can’t wait to see what my family has to say when they sample several tomorrow!  I’ll let you know 🙂

    • Rachael replied: — January 8th, 2017 @ 8:35 pm

      Oh my gosh! How cool!! I hope they like them!

  3. KD — January 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I made this following your recipe. It was so delicious and my 15 month old went crazy for it. It’s going to be a staple in our house. Thanks!

    • Rachael replied: — January 14th, 2017 @ 3:38 pm

      That makes me so happy to hear! I’m so glad!

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