Gluten-free, Vegan/Vegetarian

Ethiopian Spinach Stew (Gomen Wot)

Loreto March 31, 2017

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Ethiopian Spinach Stew (Gomen Wot), our recipe for this month’s challenge in “Around the World in 12 Plates”, destination: Ethiopia!

Ethiopian Spinach Stew

Ethiopian Spinach Stew (Gomen Wot), a simple and delicious dish. Beautifully stewed to bring you a smooth and velvety texture, and highlighting the wonderful flavor of spinach.



Ethiopia here we come with our Ethiopian Stewed Spinach (Gomen Wot)!

Ethiopia is known as the place where one of the oldest human was found. It is located in east-central Africa. Bordered by Sudan on the west, Somalia to the east and south by Kenya. For me Ethiopia is steeped in traditions and especially food. I don’t know any culture that is not passionate about their recipes. I love when you meet people of different origins and you propose some questions about food, recipes, and tradition. Right off the bat, they are in and their eyes light up, as they begin their discourse on tradition, culture, and celebrations. One thing that is prevalent is that Ethiopian smile, bright and mysterious at the same time hmmmmmmmm…………………..

I have been blessed I feel, as I have experienced many cultures and Ethiopia was one that I was introduced to after an Aboriginal Indian Drumming circle. Someone had suggested going for a bite to eat, and I have to tell you after drumming and singing for over an hour, you develop an appetite, so I was in especially because someone said the place was a mix of African and Ethiopian cuisine.

We had a variety of dishes and it came on a large basket lined with injera bread, a somewhat elastic and soft flatbread. The taste somewhat like a sour bread. We were told that in Ethiopia the bread is used somewhat like cutlery. You break a piece off and grab some of the food with it and eat it, injera and all. I was like a kid in a candy store. This type of eating really pleased me as it promoted a lot of conversation and brought sharing to an even more intimate and interactive experience. The food was spicy, colorful, and oh so flavorful. The injera helped soothe the spice and the people there had big smiles on their face, as they watched us. Later on I had another Ethiopian experience at a local restaurant called Langano Skies. My cousin introduced us into their monthly dinner club and each month a couple or person picks the restaurant. This particular month was Nicoletta and mine and we picked Langano Skies and Ethiopian cuisine. I loved the experience and the food was amazing, the Injera was a surprise to some and it took them a while to get used to that idea, but after some warming up and conversation, the food was flowing.

When Gabby told us Ethiopia was our next stop, I was thrilled and having bought a cookbook called “Edmonton Cooks” which featured Langano Skies and a couple of their recipes, the Spinach Stew (Gomen Wot) was the winner of our feature, which we served with a nice steamed jasmine rice.

Ethiopian Spinach Stew

Some may ask why not fresh spinach, and I would answer the recipe asked for frozen and after doing the recipe I understand why. This spinach is stewed in water for quite some time. The key texture to achieve is a silky smooth one and with the frozen spinach it has been pre-cooked somewhat, add the 40 minutes plus, and you are left with exactly that. Silky and velvety spinach.

Ethiopian Spinach Stew

The Jasmin rice is the perfect accompaniment for the Gomen Wot, well maybe second to injera. The jasmine has a nice nuttiness to it, with hints of sesame, and does not steal the show. It allows the spinach to shine through and adds that varied texture to keep your palate interested.

Ethiopian Spinach Stew

The Ethiopian Spinach Stew is luxurious in a very simple way. The sauteed onions and garlic come through subtly, as the silkiness and earthiness of the spinach come through. I look forward to trying many more Ethiopian recipes, and even attempting the injera, after all, what is life without adventure, so if you are willing to try this Ethiopian Spinach Stew (Gomen Wot) and let’s get multicultural!

P.S. We served the Ethiopian Spinach Stew, (Gomen Wot), with a nice curried cod (recipe and post to come)!

Song of the day: “Diamonds on the soles of her shoes” Paul Simon.

Ethiopian Spinach Stew

Ethiopian Spinach Stew (Gomen Wot)

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Vegan, Gluten-free
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Ethnic


Recipe from the cookbook “Edmonton Cooks”, Langano Skies Restaurant.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, pureed in the food processor
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, pureed (or finely chopped)
  • 600 g frozen spinach, chopped (do not drain their water)
  • salt to taste


  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Puree the onion in a food processor, then add it to a large pot on the stovetop and bring heat to a medium-low.
  2. Cover the pot with the lid, stirring occasionally so not to brown the onion, for about 5 minutes. Because they are pureed they will release a lot more moisture, so they will sweat in the pot.
  3. Add vegetable oil . Stir and continue to cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent onions from burning.
  4. Add the pureed (or finely chopped) garlic and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking to the pot.
  5. Add the chopped spinach and then water a little at a time to the pot and stir.
  6. Cook for about 25 minutes, until creamy and smooth, adding water as necessary to keep the mixture creamy (about 1 cup). Keep the spinach just covered with water for about 15 minutes, and then let the water cook off for the last 10 minutes. the result should be a smooth, stew-like consistency.
  7. Add salt to taste.


  1. In a medium pot combine rice, water, salt, and sesame oil.
  2. Stir and cover and place on a medium to high heat burner.
  3. Bring to a boil about 10 minutes stirring constantly.
  4. Turn heat to a low simmer and still continue stirring for about another 10 minutes.
  5. When all water is absorbed take off heat and keep covered.for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. To serve take a fork and fluff the rice a bit then plate.


  1. Scoop rice into serving dish.
  2. Place spinach on top in the center.
  3. Ready to serve. Enjoy!


Traditionally this stew is served with injera (the Ethiopian bread), but it also go well with white rice (as we did), pita, potatoes, or roti. Served with Red Lentils (Yemisir Kik Wot) is a complete vegetarian (vegan) meal.

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Ethiopian Spinach Stew

Thanks to  Gabby Peyton The Food Girl in Town, for creating and including us in “Around the World in 12 Plates”. Every month is such an exciting adventure!

Make sure you check the rest of the amazing fellow bloggers that met the challenge for “Around the World in 12 Plates, Ethiopia”:

The Food Girl In Town:
Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products we normally purchase, or places and blogs we like.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Heather March 31, 2017 at 9:32 am

    This looks delicious and so simple! Great way to get a dose of greens!!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 31, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Heather, yes a delicious way to have your greens, and so so simple. Thank you for your comment!
      Have a great Friday!

  • Avatar
    Reply Eyecandypopper March 31, 2017 at 9:51 am

    What a lovely post! I feel like I’ve gone on a little Ethiopian adventure from my couch! This dish sounds lovely and comforting. I agree that it would go very well with another dish with a bit more spices like that curry. Great combination!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 31, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Hi Gabrielle, thank you, it makes me feel real good that I have taken someone on an adventure with these words. This dish is great and in true Ethiopian style many dishes grace the table and these simple ones just hold the foundation of the culture. So glad you took the time to read the post.
      Have a fun filled Friday!

  • Avatar
    Reply Stephanie@ApplesforCJ March 31, 2017 at 9:53 am

    This sounds so simple yet delicious. I’m always looking for new ideas and I love this one 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 31, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for stopping by and commenting. This is the joy of this food revolution, great ideas, delicious foods and a bit of education, which always goes a long way. Afterall a day without learning is just boredom!
      Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply Ayngelina (@Ayngelina) March 31, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I don’t know why people are so concerned about frozen produce, freezing is just a method of preservation like pickling or canning. I agree frozen spinach is so much better in stews for texture.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 31, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Hi Ayngelina, I think the craze now is organic fresh, but when that is not possible finding good produce that has been properly frozen and not for very long periods can be a great alternative, especially like you said in soups and stews. My parents have a huge garden and it would be impossible to eat everything that it produces so freezing is a good way to still enjoy the fruits of ones labor. I just don’t like when things have been frozen too long and that smell and taste starts to permeate the ingredients. we date our things and usually use it up quickly. Thank you for commenting.
      Have a wonderful sunny friday!

  • Avatar
    Reply Milena | Craft Beering March 31, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Great info and what a cool healthful recipe! I would love to dig into this spinach with some Ethiopian Dirkosh chips:) Yum!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 31, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Thank you Milena, these cultural dishes just open up our eyes to the possibility of creativity and joy. The chips and this spinach sound wonderful yum,
      Have a great weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply thefoodblognet March 31, 2017 at 11:48 am

    This is a beautiful recipe and it would be so good with a spicy dish. My limited experience with Ethiopian food has been with fiery spice, which I love. But it’s interesting to learn that not all of the dishes are spiced. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto March 31, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      You are so welcome. It is nice having some balance in the spicy department. Sometimes things get too spicy and the lastyebuds check out. This dish soothes that spice and allows the taste buds a bit of a break. I know that fiery spice. I do not like when it is so spicy you cannot feel your tongue, to me what’s the point!
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and happy cooking!

  • Avatar
    Reply Beyond the Chicken Coop April 2, 2017 at 6:52 am

    What a great way to try different cuisines. Frozen spinach is convenient for so many dishes and looks like a time saver in this one.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Yes Kathy, this recipe demands more time than ingredient, but the flavor that is pulled out is amazing. The frozen spinach works quite well in this mode of cookinmg and finding a good quality frozen spinach goes a long way. Thank you for the coment and a great Monday to you.

  • Avatar
    Reply dishnthekitchen April 2, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Isn’t it something how we each have different food experiences with the countries that Gabby picks?! I love that you chose a vegetarian dish but it is made very similar to the meat dishes I made. It seems food in Ethiopia is a low n slow experience, packed with flavour!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 3, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      So true on the slow and low. I think that in ethiopia food is styretched to the max to get the most flkavor out of it. But in the end it is purely delicious!
      Thank you for commenting and have a great Monday!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kate April 18, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    This looks so simple and delicious! I will have to try it!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 19, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Hi Kate, thank you!
      I love that cultures like ethiopians have really spices dishes and then some simple subtle dishes to smoothen things out. This spinach dish has a lot of love in it, and the tendernerss of it along with it’s juiciness make it so wonbderful to eat along some other dishes.
      Happy cooking to you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sasha @ Eat Love Eat April 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    What an interesting dish! Looks tasty!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 26, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you Sasha, this dish epitomises slow cooking and putting some love in your veggies. The spinach becomes like velvet when it is cooked in this manner. Give it a try sometimes, and it is a great side dish too on its own with some ethiopian bread.

  • Avatar
    Reply Blanca rodgers September 26, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Quick question on step 6 with the spinach how many minutes do you keep it covered? It doesn’t say

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 26, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Bianca, it would be 15 minutes, allowing the last 10 minutes of cooking time to dissipate most of the water. Thanks for letting us know that we missed that.
      Enjoy the dish and have a great week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Marcin January 25, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    adding cup of water in step 3? Isn’t this an error? How do you brown onion in water?

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:31 pm

      Yes there was an error in the procedure. The water goes in a little at a time after the spinach goes in.Sorry about that. I have corrected the recipe. Thank you for pointing that out.
      Have a great day!

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