Recipe: Kinche


Kinche is a very common Ethiopian breakfast food, their equivalent of oatmeal, if you will.  It’s incredibly simple, inexpensive, and nutritious.  It is made from cracked wheat, which you can find in any grocery store.  You can boil it in either milk, or part milk/part water.  And in Ethiopia, after the kinche is cooked it is mixed in the pan with niter qibe (clarified spiced butter) or oil and fried onions.  Personally, I skip that step, but only because I make the kinche the day beforehand and Adam heats it up for the kids in the morning.  Very un-Ethiopian of us, from both a culinary and gender-role perspective, but I am literally never conscious while the kids are eating breakfast and Adam is kind enough to get up and feed them in my absence, but won’t do much more than make toast or heat milk in the microwave.  So the kinche with fried onions and qibe is out.  But the kids still eat it and like it.  I bet your Ethiopian kids will, too.


3/4 cup cracked wheat
3 cups milk (or some combination of milk and water)
niter qibe OR oil and finely chopped onions
salt, to taste

Heat the milk and add the cracked wheat.  Cook on low or low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the wheat is cooked, about 20-30 minutes.
If using qibe: heat the qibe and stir the kinche to mix thoroughly.  Salt to taste.
If using oil and onions: fry the onions in the oil.  Stir in the kinche and salt to taste.


2 responses to “Recipe: Kinche

  1. Hey, I make this, too! I include the fried onions and haven’t made it with milk. I’ll have to try it that way next time.

    I only learned of this by chance. A few weeks after our kids were home with us, we ran into an Ethiopian friend of ours at the international food market. She pointed out the package of “cracked wheat #3” and explained how I should fix it. I serve it with scrambled eggs and injera, but I only do this on the weekends. It’s cold cereal around here for breakfast on workdays. We’re out the door by 6:30 A.M. Ugh…

    Have a great day!
    Sarah in NC
    mother of Mihret (age 14), Tsion (age 11), Ezra (6 months old)

  2. I love when you post recipes. Thanks.

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