Ethiopian Yellow Split Pea Stew (Yekik Alicha) and Tomato Salad

Last week, we shared with you how to make the red lentil stew (misir wat). Yekik alicha (yellow split pea stew) is often the counterpart to misir wat. This dish reminds me of an Indian lentil stew my mom makes all the time. The Indian dish is made with yellow lentils, but the Ethiopian dish is made with yellow split peas. Just know, both are delicious and nutritious. In fact, you could easily substitute with yellow lentils if you don’t have yellow split peas available. The bright yellow color of the dish is due to turmeric. In olden days, turmeric was used as a topical antibiotic. In fact, I distinctly remember my mom using turmeric paste for any cuts and scrapes when I was a kid. And to this day, I drink turmeric ginger tea whenever I feel a cold coming on. Turmeric is an easy sell with its many antibiotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory health benefits!


  • Yellow Split Peas (2 cups)
  • Turmeric (1 teaspoon)
  • Onion (2, finely chopped in a food processor)
  • Ginger (1 tablespoon, freshly ground)
  • Garlic (4-5 cloves, finely minced)
  • Tomato (3, finely diced)
  • Jalapeno (1, de-seeded and finely chopped)
  • Cilantro (1 cup, finely chopped)
  • White vinegar (1 teaspoon)
  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice (1 teaspoon)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Recipe (4 servings)

  1. First rinse and wash the split peas until the water is clear. It takes about 5-10 minutes to get them nice and clean. Soak them in water for 1 hour and then drain. We used the Instapot, but you can also do it on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the Instapot and heat on “Saute” mode. Once the oil is hot, add 75% of the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 1 minute. Add the turmeric next, followed by the jalapeno. If you find that the onions are sticking to the pan, add more olive oil. Next add the soaked lentils and toss for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of vegetable broth and salt to taste. Change the Instapot setting to Manual and cook on “high pressure” for 5 minutes.
  2. Prepare the salad dressing by combining the white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lime juice. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Combine the tomatoes, the rest of the onions, and cilantro and toss with the dressing.
  3. To serve, place the salad alongside the stew and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy! Like all stews, this tastes better the next day.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Great post 😁

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.