Ethiopian Kale (Gomen)

Mild and gentle Gomen (kale) to balance out the zing of the Beg Wot (Lamb Stew)

Mild and gentle Gomen (kale) to balance out the zing of the Beg Wot (Lamb Stew)

As a last post in my series of Ethiopian dishes I am sharing a simple recipe for a humble side of kale.

Although the Injera sets the stage for almost every Ethiopian meal and the meat stews are the stars, an Ethiopian feast is not complete without the supporting rolls of the many pulse and vegetable dishes. This mild kale dish contrasts beautifully with those spicy meat stews.

It might seem a bit odd that I am using kale from a glass jar – I have tried fresh and even frozen kale, but it simply does not taste like the Gomen I grew up with….so now I just continue our family tradition and pop open a jar.



2 onions
3 tbsp oil
1 large jar of kale (720g) (NL: boerenkool, DE: Gruenkohl)
2 cm piece ginger
green jalapeno pepper (large chili pepper)



  1. Chop the onion very fine (in a food processor).
  2. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a medium size pot. Gently fry the onions until they are translucent. Should they start sticking and burning add a little hot water.
  3. Squeeze in ginger in through a garlic press.
  4. Drain the kale and squeeze it dry.
  5. Add to the onion and cook whilst stirring until quite dry.
  6. Cover with a lid.
  7. Cook about 20 min, stirring once in a while to prevent it from burning.
  8. Season with salt.
  9. Remove seeds from the jalapeno and cut it into thin slices or strips. Stir most of the jalapeno into the stew and decorate it with the remainder.


Tips & Variations

  • Make a triple amount of the onions sauce. Use one third for the kale, a third for yellow split peas and a third  lentils.

Serve with


  1. Liz said:

    Love Kale, I made a winter soup a few days ago and added kale in it…that’s how much I love it! Hey do you know I lived in the Netherlands, i have just seen the Dutch name of Kale in your recipe and I speak a little German…but Kale in a Jar?

    • afracooking said:

      Grappig! Boerenkool van Hak …voor stamppot 😉

  2. Eris said:

    Would this work the same with fresh kale?

    • afracooking said:

      Sorry, that it took me a while to get back to you on this one, but I had to call in the ‘help line’for that as I have never made this with fresh kale. Apparently you can, however you have to cook it for ages, which makes it a lot harder to get the texture right. A great alternative is apparently frozen kale. Now that I know this, I wil try it myself next time. So thanks for making me look into this 🙂

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