Gomen Besiga: Ethiopian Collard Greens with Lamb

With a dinner party planned and about eight pounds of Portuguese kale waiting to be harvested from my garden, I couldn’t wait to make Gomen Besiga. Our variety of kale is very similar to the collard greens in this dish, but the leaves are much larger and have less ribs, which make them much so much easier to clean and process. Yay!

So what is Gomen Besiga? It’s an Ethiopian dish that hits the soul-food spot with its spicy braised greens and lamb instead of ham hock. The dish is wonderful served on its own over injera or even better with a few side dishes. If you don't know where to get some of these ingredients, check out my previous blog post on how to acquire them. 

We served our Gomen Besiga to our happy guests with Doro Wot (a spicy chicken stew), Kik Alicha (yellow split peas), and a side salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, serrano peppers, danish white cheese, and Italian dressing. We ate every bite on our plates  because it was so delicious! Somehow we saved room for dessert and had a little honey wine and baklava. How perfect is that for a dinner party?

So if you’re wanting to throw a party yourself, but say you desire less meat, consider other recipes from my blog as well. All can be made vegan without altering the amazing good flavor, including mesir wot (the vegetarian version of doro wot) and gomen (the vegetarian version of gomen besiga). 

Gomen Besiga: Ethiopian Collard Greens with Lamb

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

2 lbs collard greens or kale, rinsed and chopped
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
¼ cup niter Kibbeh
½ tsp nigella seeds
1 tbsp ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb boneless leg of lamb, cubed into ½ inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
4 to 6 serrano peppers (less for mild), chopped
4 medium scallions, chopped
¼ tsp berbere
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp fenugreek or methi leaves

Injera, to serve

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add collard greens and wilt over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another large skillet or Dutch oven, heat niter kibbeh over medium-high heat. Add onions and nigella seeds and sauté until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high, add lamb, season with salt and pepper, and stir until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add reserved collard greens, bell peppers, serranos, scallions, berbere, turmeric, and fenugreek and stir. Then add 1.5 cups hot water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover partially with a lid, stirring occasionally for about 40-45 minutes, until water is fully absorbed and greens are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over injera! 



Chicken in Spicy Lemongrass Sauce (Ayam Sambal Goreng Sereh)

This recipe for Indonesian-style lemongrass chicken is deliciously outstanding, as lemongrass chicken always is! And the lemongrass was grown in our garden to boot! 

The greatest thing about this lemongrass chicken is how many anti-inflammatory ingredients are included. I was just talking with my mom this morning about how food is medicine and this dish is a shining example of that. Between the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, galangal, and turmeric, this is a meal that is sure to please your belly and keep your body healthy and happy. 

To keep this dish on anti-inflammatory end, I served it up with a rice alternative that is made out of konnyaku flour and oat flour. Definitely not a bad substitute for white rice, I must say! Plus the calories were reduced by half, which means more chicken for me, yay!

If you’d like to learn more about Indonesian cuisine, check out this guide from Bookmundi about local must-try foods. It’s known to make tummies rumble!

Chicken in Spicy Lemongrass Sauce (Ayam Sambal Goreng Sereh)

Adapted from Daily Cooking Quest
Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
10 birdseye chilies, or more to taste
3 shallots
3 cloves garlic
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only
2-inch piece galangal
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tbsp olive oil
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and knotted
1 cup light coconut milk
½ tbsp tamarind + 4 tbsp hot water, mixed well, strained
2 tbsp sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
Steamed coconut rice, to serve

In a large bowl, marinate chicken with salt and turmeric for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare spice paste by adding chilies, shallots, garlic, 2 lemongrass stalks (white pieces only), galangal, and turmeric to a food processor. Blend until the paste reaches a smooth consistency.

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Fry chicken until the skin is crispy and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

In the same skillet, add spice paste and lemongrass, and fry until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, tamarind paste, sugar, and salt to the frying pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Return the chicken into the pan and cook until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is fully cooked. Serve over steamed coconut rice.