15th November 2021

Nutrition is an integral part to providing comprehensive cleft care in Ethiopia. As well as delivering immediate vital support to children with cleft who are at risk from malnutrition, we raise awareness about the importance of a varied and nutritious diet, through our year round Government Health and Social Worker training workshops.

Second in our mini-series about nutrition in Ethiopia we have pulses.

We visited some market places in and around Addis Ababa, to document the different types of pulses that were available and also researched about their availability in other areas of the country.


Lentils grow on vines sometimes referred to as a lentil flower, in Ethiopia they mainly are grown in the highlands, where rainfall is usually high.

Lentils can be consumed in the form of stew  sometimes called 'Wot' in local communities, which is eaten with Injera.

Lentils are a really good source of fibre, folic acid and potassium and can come in a variety of different colours.

Folic acid is especially important for mothers during pregnancy  and is proven to reduce the risk of problems in the baby's development in the early weeks of pregnancy. Other foods that contain folic acid, includes dark leafy greens, such as spinach, peanuts and eggs. 


Chick peas are used to make one of Ethiopia's staple vegetarian dishes called Shiro. The chick peas are prepared in the form of flour and cooked in to a stew, simmered slowly and served over Injera. Sometimes broad beans are used and often prepared with the addition of minced onionsgarlic and, depending upon regional variation. Chick peas are also high in protein and fibre. 

Photos and Article by Saron C. and Ababo W.