Ethiopian Habesha Gomen (Kale)

Today is the 6th and final side for our Ethiopian Fasting Bayaynet. If you like green, leafy, vegetables and kale, you’re gonna like this one! And, it adds a beautiful color contrast to the Bayaynet along with the Misir Wat, Nej Gomen, Atikilt Ruz, Shiro Wat, and Ater Wat!

I have a love-hate relationship with Kale (okay, lets be honest here…it’s mostly a hate relationship, lol). I want to like it, but most of the time, that’s not the case. I couldn’t tell you why. My mamma was so good about making sure that we ate our fruits and vegetables growing up, and living in Congo, Cameroon, and then Ethiopia, I had to eat a lot of leafy green vegetable dishes, like this one. As an adult though, I still struggle with eating my share of veggies.

That being said, I DO like it when it’s cooked in this way. Hopefully you will all enjoy this recipe–even those of you who normally can’t handle the dark, leafy greens!

Ethiopian Habesha Gomen (Kale)

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  • 8 oz onions, diced
  • 3 TBSP water
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 TBSP Garlic, minced (about 3 large cloves)
  • 5 oz Kale (finely chopped-stems removed) (4 cups, stuffed)
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers, sliced lengthwise
  • ⅛ tsp Mekelesha Spice Mix


Dice the onions.  Place them in a 2-quart pot with 3 TBSP of water.  Simmer the onions over low heat for 30 minutes.  Stir it occasionally to make sure that the onions don’t stick.  Keep the lid on to help keep the moisture in the pot.

Add the oil and salt to the onions, and cook for 10 more minutes.

While the onions are cooking, remove the stems from the kale, and chop the leaves as finely as you can. Set the chopped kale aside.

After the onions, oil, and salt have cooked for 10 minutes, add the minced garlic, as well as the ½ cup of water and chopped kale.

Stir everything together so that it is evenly mixed. Place a lid on the pot and cook it for 15 minutes, or until the kale is tender.

Slice the Jalapeño peppers (leave the seeds in for a little more spice), and add them to the kale mixture along with the Mekelesha Spice Mix.  Simmer for 5 final minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat.  Habesha Gomen is best with Injera–can be served warm or cold.

I’ll go over making Injera in a few weeks so that we can create a full Bayaynet with all of the different sauces we’ve been making.  However, if you are making this sauce before we go over the Injera, I would recommend either finding a local Ethiopian restaurant that you could buy some freshly-made Injera from, or check out this awesome youtube video with a very detailed, step-by-step on creating your own at home.

This particular recipe yields about 1¾ cups.

Amharic/English Translations for this Recipe:

  • Bayaynet = an assortment of sauces/sides adorning a round platter of Injera
  • Habesha = A term used for Ethiopian people
  • Gomen = Cabbage