Friday, January 6, 2012

Delicious Friday: Buticha - A simple yet delicious vegan delicacy

When I decided to give up on any kind of meat except fish, the question on everyone's mind was "how is she going to survive without eating kitfo or dorowot?" as beef and chicken are obviously the biggest part of Ethiopian cuisine. My Pescitarian life style has been a challenge for my family and friends to wrap their mind around. I still have some family members who think that something is seriously wrong with me and try to force feed me kitfo. :-)

It has been almost two years since I abruptly became a Pescitarian. The most adventurous part of my life style change actually has been watching everyone eventually come to accepting it. What it used to be our casual Friday night Tire siga (that is raw beef chunks dipped in a hot spices for those of you who don't know)  fiesta with the family, now includes a baked Salmon or some seafood meal, and even better, a delicious Shiro  or some sort of vegetarian dish.

Last week, I flew up north to welcome 2012 with my dearest friends and it warmed my heart when my best friend made a special effort in selecting dishes that me as well as the rest of our friends would enjoy together. That is when the name BuTicha first came as part of the variety dishes we were preparing for the night. I honestly had no clue what she was talking about  neither did she know how to prepare it. Nonetheless,the name, BuTicha, was  not strange to my ears. I remember being so fascinated with the name after having it as a kid. It had been so long since then I forgot the taste. I also remember seeing it listed on the menus of some Ethiopian restaurants. I never come around to ordering it ... something in the name turned me off.

We were standing in the kitchen clueless with a bag of chickpea flour in hand when another friend came to the rescue. After our friend finished preparing it and I took the first bite, I was beating myself up for missing this yumminess in my life for all these years. I figured you might enjoy it as much as I did so here are the ingredients and what goes into making BuTicha:
- a chickpea flour (We cheated on this one. I believe the older women boil the chickpeas and crush them but I think ours was as tasty if not more :-))
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tea spoon salt
- lemon juice
- 1/2 Red onions
- a green paper
- minced garlic clove
- a table spoon of olive oil
- a pinch of black paper

How to Prepare BuTicha
 - Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium size pot with a half tea spoon of salt. Then slowly start adding the chick pea flour onto the water while stirring. You will technically be making a very thick chickpea porridge. Make sure to constantly stir it for an even cook. The chickpea takes about half an hour to fully cook. You can add few drops of water to the side so it won't be burned.The stirring might be a a tad bit tiring, especially if you are preparing a bigger serving, so take advantage of this moment and get your arm muscle workout. :-)
- Once fully cooked, sit it aside or put it in a fridge and let it cool. The cooler it gets, the chunk can later be easily crushed into smaller pieces so give it an ample time to cool. In the meantime, finely chop your onion and  green paper. Mix your chopped vegetables in a small bowl with the garlic and add a table spoon of olive oil, a couple table spoons of lime/lemon juice and black paper to it. Take the already cooled chickpea porridge and crush it into tiny separated pieces using a fork, a knife or your hands. Think of a texture of Couscous. Once you have your chickpeas ready and the dressing you prepared in a smaller bowl to it, mix it all together very well and serve with injera or bread. Wasn't that easy?


  1. Not sure if my comment went through since it was so late when I posted. If not, I will repeat myself and say that I am truly excited to find your blog. Also, do you have the amounts of chickpea powder that was added to the water? Thanks!

  2. The pleasure is all mine :-) Thank you for visiting. To answer your question, I would say for two cups of water, a good cup and half of the chickpea powder will do good. Some people prefer their buticha a little moist. but I prefer mine a bit dry and flaky. The mixture gets thicker, the longer you cook it. And it is a lot flavorful as it needs a little more dressing than the less dry one...tastes a lot better :-)

    1. Hi, I followed your recipe last night but used chickpeas instead of flour. It didn't come out so great. It tasted like mashed chickpeas with lemon juice. Any suggestions? Have you ever been to Mesob in Montclair NJ? Their's tastes like fermented parmesan cheese.

  3. Thank you H! As soon as I am done with my fast I am whipping up a batch pronto! I have been eating Ethiopian food for over 20 years and did not come across buticha until last year and immediately fell in love. Looking forward to your step by step guide for injera. Thanks again!

  4. I love buticha, especially for breakfast! As a vegan I can never get breakfast out as virtually every American breakfast item has eggs or dairy. Buticha is like scrambled eggs but vegan.

    Thanks for the recipe! This recipe is the closest I've found to what the chef /owner at my local Ethiopian restaurant described.

  5. Thanks for sharing this, I have three Ethiopian children (six total) and they all LOVE traditional habesha food. Can't wait to try some of these recipes you posted. I have misir wot down, and y'kik alecha which are their favorites, but I want to expand my repertoire!

  6. im a big fan of butecha too thanks for sharing this. you can also make really good shuro from chickpea flour. good recipe in "Ethiopian inspired Cooking" Ian Finn.