Ethiopian Gomen (Stewed Collard Greens) with Spicy Lentils

Gomen is an Ethiopian dish that consists of collard greens, onions, garlic, peppers and fragrant spices such as cardamom and ginger. This recipe is entirely vegetarian and is meant for vegetable lovers!  If you have Berbere, I’d use that spice mix instead of the combination of spices I used, as Berbere contains fenugreek- a spice I did not have just lying around.  Ethiopian food is sometimes served with yogurt and flatbread to cool down the mouth when eating spicy dishes. Here, I swap yogurt for a bit of sour cream.

Ethiopian Gomen (Stewed Collard Greens) with Spicy Lentils
Serves 6
Total Time: 1 hour

• 1 pound collard greens – rinsed, trimmed and chopped
• 2 cups water
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 large yellow onion, sliced
• 8 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 1/2 cups sliced green bell pepper
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
• Tabasco to taste

Place chopped collard greens in a pot with 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer until collards are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Start the lentils while the collards are cooking. Drain, but reserve the cooking water. Set aside.

Heat butter in a pot over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked collards and the reserved cooking water. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat until liquid is nearly evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the green pepper slices, lemon juice, salt, turmeric, paprika, allspice, cardamom, and ginger root. Cook until peppers are soft, about 8 minutes.

Spicy Ethiopian Lentils
Serves 6
Total Time: 45 minutes

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 cup dried brown lentils
• 3 cups water
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 1/2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon tumeric
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
• Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved lentils, 3 cups of water, and the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

• Sour cream or yogurt
• Green onions, chopped
• Cooked brown rice

Garnish with sour cream and green onions and serve over brown rice.



  1. Yum! This looks great =) I got to visit Ethiopia recently (if briefly), and it was a vegetarian traveler’s jackpot. Glad I have a recipe to try here at home now; thanks for posting!

  2. My daughter is Ethiopian – I am always looking for great foods to cook to celebrate her heritage. Will definitely add this to the “to try” list. Thanks! 🙂

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