Next up in our nutrition mini series we're looking at the different types of pulses that are available across Ethiopia, how they can be used and their nutritional value...

Click here to read the first piece in the series - about Teff in Ethiopia. 

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, our new nutritional support programme includes raising awareness about the importance of a varied and nutritious diet.

The traditional Ethiopian diet - although products range from region to region - is rich in nutrients, however, in rural areas there are often environmental, social and economic factors, that cause food insecurity. For example, flooding and drought can lead to crop destruction and although a large portion of the populations lively hoods are built on agriculture, families who are experiencing economic hardships are sometimes inclined to sell the majority of their produce on, meaning their diets can become scarce and limited. 

At the beginning of the month Ababo and Saron - new interns in the Project Harar Addis Ababa office - created a piece about traditional foods in Ethiopia, produce availability and nutritional value.


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.


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.