Somewhere in the realm of 16 years ago I had the delight of tasting Ethiopian food for the very first time. There was so much that I enjoyed from the entire experience. Sitting with a group of friends and being served a gorgeous vegetarian meal “family style” which means we get one large platter and we all eat together. No utensils, just the tart, spongy sourdough flat bread called injera, which the meal is served on as well. The food felt clean, fresh, and nourishing plus it tasted outstanding.
You can still find me frequenting (although not very frequently) one of two local Ethiopian restaurants Fin Fine and Cafe Calucci. I find myself left with a deep desire to know how to make this exquisite food myself while preparing it for optimum nutritional and digestive value. That means sprouting, slow cooking and using stable fats while cooking. It also means creating raw versions of the cooked classics! Although one day I will surely try creating all of my favorite vegetarian dishes (cooked and raw versions) today I have a recipe for you of one of my all time favorite “cold salads” served on the vegetarian platter. It is called “But’echa”, and is traditionally made using garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice and spices. But’echa is thick, creamy, spicy and delicious!!! I always wish I had more on my plate or that there was a tub of it sitting in my fridge to use as I desire. Well that wish has come true, yay! Plus it is a raw vegan version that perfectly hits the spot.
Ever since I made this recipe I have been enjoying it in nori wraps, along side a nice green salad, with vegetable crudite or on some all rye sourdough bread just slightly toasted. Honestly I could just take a big spoonful and feel deeply satisfied. Let’s get to the recipe.
Raw Vegan But’echa
Recipe by Chaya-Ryvka Diehl
1 cup sunflower seeds – prepare your sunflower seed by soaking them in enough purified water to cover them by an inch or two. Add a tsp. of sea salt and allow them to soak overnight. Rinse the seeds thoroughly and repeat the process again without the salt. Rinse them again. Now, fill your bowl with water and rub the sunflower seeds between your hands to loosen the husks. You will see them floating in your water, pour the husks off and repeat this process until most of the husks have been rinsed off and the water is clear. Now you are ready to continue with the recipe.
Place all ingredients in your food processor fitted with the “s” blade attachment
All your prepared sunflower seeds
2 Tbs. sunflower butter, or raw tahini
5Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup raw cold extracted olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. high mineral sea salt
3-5 large cloves of garlic – I used 4 really large cloves last time and it was spicy and delicious, just like I like it. Start with less and add until you reach your desired garlic flavor.
Process all of the above ingredients until really, really smooooooth!!!! I let mine go for a good 3 minutes, if not more.
Transfer your base to a large bowl and add:
1/4 cup (packed) diced red onion
1 rounded Tbs. finely diced jalapeno pepper – I included the seeds because I love the spice, if you do not LOVE the spice omit the seeds. However if you do not LIKE spicy food this is probably not the recipe for you…just FYI
Mix in all ingredients and set in your fridge to cool. It can be eaten right away, but it will thicken a bit if you allow the But’echa to cool.
Store refrigerated for up to 5 days. Check for fresheness after that.