Instant Pot Turmeric Spiced Split Peas

This week’s recipe is once again inspired by one of our local favourite restaurants, Queen Sheba. They are a wonderful local Ethiopian restaurant that has delicious food and a great ambiance. When we go, we always get the vegetarian platter, which has every single one of their vegetarian dishes, served on a massive plate for the whole table to share. If you have never been to an Ethiopian restaurant I would highly recommend it. The food is served with Injera, a bread made out of teff flour and everything is eaten with your hands. 

Not so long ago, I was gifted some spices and one of the nicest spices I was given was Ethiopian Berbere spice mix. Now the challenge was on to try and recreate one of my favourite dishes from Queen Sheba which is Kik Alicha, a dish with yellow split peas which relies heavily on turmeric to be spiced. My version is a bit different, incorporating kale and carrots into the dish as well. Unfortunately, I do not have the capacity to make Injera either, so I relied upon a store bought flatbread instead. I hope you enjoy!

Active time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 10 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp Berbere spice mix
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cup split peas
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • flat bread, to serve
  • Salt & freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Prep all your ingredients, as once the recipe begins, it moves quickly. Set the shallots and carrots in one prep dish and the ginger and garlic in another.  Get your spices together: measure out the turmeric, berbere, cayenne and a tsp of salt . Lastly, have the 3 cups of water on stand by. 
  2. Set your instant pot to “sauté” and once the display reads “hot” add in the oil. Then add in the shallots, carrots and a few cranks of black pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the shallots begin to become translucent, then add in the garlic and the ginger and sauté, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Once it becomes fragrant, add in the spices and toast them for 30 seconds to a minute, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat on the instant pot and pour in the 3 cups of water to deglaze the bowl. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a wooden spoon to remove the spices which may have caked to it. Now add in the split peas and the bay leaves and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. 
  4. While the split peas cook, prepare the kale. Wash the kale and then tear it up into bite sized pieces. 
  5. Once the pressure cooking has finished, let it release pressure naturally for 5-10 minutes then quick release the pressure. Open the instant pot and add the kale to the bowl and stir in until the kale wilts. Serve with flatbread and enjoy!

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