Ethiopian spicy yellow split pea stew


We’re so pleased to be stocking new vegan products by Suma including organic yellow split peas. These protein-packed gems have a subtle, distinctive taste which really shines in a plain Greek-style fava dip. Also, they can turn a simple chunky veg soup into a balanced meal. (I like to batch-cook a large quantity of split peas until they’re starting to soften but not fully cooked, then freeze portions for soups.)

But for this recipe, we’re drawing inspiration from Ethiopia and adding spices and veg. If you don’t have squash or sweet potato, use carrots. To reduce the cooking time of the dried peas (and save a little energy), soak them for a few hours or overnight and then rinse before using.

A note on the berbere spice mix: you can buy this at larger supermarkets or online, or try making yourself. You’ll need sweet paprika, chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom… and more! There are lots of variations – here’s one suggested combination.

Serve this spicy split pea stew with some green veg and brown rice or flatbreads.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups diced squash (e.g. butternut) or sweet potato – about 1-1.5cm dice
  • 2 cups yellow split peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp berbere spice mix


  1. Add the coconut oil to a large pot. Bring to medium heat and sautee the onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft.
  2. Add the berbere spice and stir through. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add squash (or sweet potato or carrots), split peas and water, bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer - cook partially covered 45-60 mins until the split peas are very soft and broken down nearly completely.
  5. Do a taste test and season with salt to suit yourself, then serve.