How to make "Hilbet" (ህልበት)

Hilbet is an exquisite and nourishing dish originally from Northern Ethiopia. This dish is often enjoyed during fasting periods when meat is not consumed. It's a delightfully wholesome dish, made primarily from legumes such as fava beans, lentils, and fenugreek. The unique combination of these ingredients results in a thick, creamy dip-like consistency that is traditionally served with injera, a type of Ethiopian sourdough flatbread. To add depth and richness, Hilbet is topped with Sils, a spicy tomato-based sauce, creating a perfect blend of flavors. The simplicity of its ingredients, coupled with the profound flavors it produces, is a testament to the culinary prowess of the region.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Servings: 6-8 servings

Nutrition Profile: High in fiber, protein, and various essential nutrients.

How to make "Hilbet" (ህልበት)

Ingredients

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  • 1 cup Fava beans
  • ¼ cup Lentils
  • 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 cup Sils (Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Instructions

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Step 1
Start by soaking the fava beans, lentils, and fenugreek seeds in a large bowl of water. Allow them to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. This process softens the legumes and makes them easier to cook.

Step 2
After soaking, drain the water and rinse the legumes.

Step 3
Transfer the legumes to a large pot and add the 6 cups of water.

Step 4
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Check on it periodically to prevent it from burning or sticking to the pot.

Step 5
After 2 hours, use a hand blender or a traditional wooden masher to blend the mixture into a smooth paste. You want it to have a thick, creamy consistency.

Step 6
While the legumes are cooking, you can prepare the Sils. (You may follow a specific recipe for Sils as per your preference.)

Step 7
Once the Hilbet is fully cooked and mashed, serve it in a large bowl. Pour the Sils in the middle, creating a vibrant contrast with the creamy Hilbet.

Step 8
Serve the Hilbet warm, accompanied by injera or any flatbread of your choice. Use pieces of the bread to scoop up the Hilbet and Sils together for a delightful, flavorful bite.

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