Atakilt wat, a comforting Ethiopian cabbage stew, can be made faster and tastier in an Instant Pot. Not only will this quick-and-easy recipe get on the table sooner, but it’s also low carb, Whole30, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly!
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What is atakilt wat?
Atakilt wat (or atkilt wot) is a tender, aromatic Ethiopian vegetable stew with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots simmered in a delicious sauce flavored with turmeric and cumin. The mild spice seasoning makes it a perfect side dish to balance the fiery meat dishes that are popular in Ethiopian cuisine.
The Instant Pot to the Rescue
Although atakilt wat is traditionally made on the stovetop, I like to make it in a pressure cooker because it’s faster and easier. I don’t cook a lot of vegetables in the Instant Pot because they normally come out soft—but in this case, that’s exactly the texture I’m aiming for! (Psst! This is my favorite Instant Pot model.)
No Instant Pot? Make my stovetop version by clicking here.
Cauliflower as a potato imposter!
I love white potatoes, but sometimes I want a lighter, low carb version of atakilt wat. That’s when I turn to cauliflower florets in place of the traditional spuds. Cauliflower’s a tasty replacement because the texture is similar, and just like potatoes, it absorbs the flavors of the mild sauce. Make sure to cut the cauliflower florets into bigger pieces than you think, because they’ll soften quickly once pressure cooked.
If you want to use cubed white potatoes in place of cauliflower florets, increase the cooking time to 3 minutes under high pressure.
- Green Cabbage
- Medium carrots
- Ghee: Use extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil to make this dish vegan and dairy-free.
- Chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Ground turmeric powder
- Ground cumin
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
How to make Instant Pot atakilt wat (Ethiopian cabbage)
Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot. Once the metal insert is hot, swirl in the ghee.
Stir in the onions and sauté for 1 minute. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant.
Dump in the carrots, cauliflower, and chopped head of cabbage. (I know it looks overly full, but the vegetables will cook down. Trust me!)
Sprinkle on the salt, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper. Stir well.
Pour in the broth, making sure it reaches the bottom of the metal insert.
Lock the lid and program the Instant Pot to cook under high pressure for 1 minute.
Release the pressure manually when the stew is finished cooking.
The cauliflower and carrots should be fork tender. If they’re still crunchy, add another minute of cooking time.
Stir well and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Transfer to a serving dish and dig in!
What do you serve with it?
Traditionally, Ethiopian cooking is served family style with other vegetables (e.g., gomen wat), simmered red lentils, and meat stews on a bed of injera, a spongy fermented flat bread made of teff flour. To make a paleo and grain-free Ethiopian feast, you can serve this vegetable dish with my Doro Wat (Ethiopian chicken stew) recipe.
How to save leftovers
The leftover Atakilt Wat can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Instant Pot Atakilt Wat (Ethiopian Cabbage Stew)
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch thick coins
- 2 pounds cauliflower cut into large florets
- 1½ pounds cabbage cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot. Once the metal insert is hot, swirl in the ghee.
- Stir in the onions and sauté for 1 minute. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Dump in the carrots, cauliflower, and cabbage. Sprinkle on the salt, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper. Stir well.
- Pour in the broth, making sure it reaches the bottom of the metal insert.
- Lock the lid and program the Instant Pot to cook under high pressure for 1 minute.
- Release the pressure manually when the stew is finished cooking.
- The cauliflower and carrots should be fork tender. If they’re still crunchy, add another minute of cooking time.
- Stir well and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve with your favorite protein!
- The leftover Atakilt Wat can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
- Make an Ethiopian supper and serve with Doro Wat, a.k.a. Ethiopian Chicken Stew!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.