Kik Alicha, an Ethiopian Recipe

KIK ALICHA

2 yellow onions finely minced
3 tablespoon fresh garlic finely minced
3 tablespoon fresh ginger finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon black pepper
1lbs of organic split peas
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste


Preparation

Wash the split peas in hot water, until the water becomes clear, soak the split peas for about 30 minutes and drain.  
Chop the onions by hand into even small pieces, finely mince the garlic and fresh ginger.

Directions

In a heavy enamel or iron stew pot, cook the onions over moderate heat with the lid on. The onions should sweat and warm up.
Add 1/3 cup of hot water to continue to cook the onions, covered. The onions should not change color or burn. 
As the water evaporates and is reduced by half, add 1/4 cup of hot water and 1/2 cup of olive oil, continue to cook covered.
Allow the water to evaporate, stirring only occasionally, not to dry up the onions, and to make sure it does not burn. 
As the water evaporates, add 1/4 cup of hot water, to make sure the sauce base remains moist.
Add 1 1/2 tbs of the finely chopped ginger and 1/4 tsp of turmeric,1 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp of the black pepper.
The sauce should have a soup like consistency. Continue to cook with the lid covered, until the onions are translucent.
Add 4 cups of the soaked split peas, and stir to mix well into the onion sauce. Add 3 cups of hot water and cook covered.
When the split peas are tender, add alicha kemem (optional), for additional flavor, and the remaining 1 1/2 tbs of finely chopped ginger, and 3
tbs of finely chopped garlic. Stir the sauce to make sure the split peas do not burn and add an additional pinch of turmeric. Reduce the heat and
let the sauce simmer with the lid covered for about 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of hot water, salt to taste, increase the heat to high and let the sauce cook. When the foam collects at the center of the pan, add
a splash of olive oil, lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for two minutes. The split peas should be completely cooked and very soft.
Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool. 

The sauce can be left out over night, do not refrigerate the sauce while hot.

Serves: 6-8 people