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Spiced Ethiopian Cottage Cheese with Collard Greens (Ayib Be Gomen Recipe)

Spice up your dinner with Ayib Be Gomen (Spiced Ethiopian Cottage Cheese served over Sauteed Collard Greens) - a delicious, healthy side dish or appetizer.

ethiopian cottage cheese

Ethiopian cottage cheese recipe

A couple of weeks ago we visited our friends who live in the Boston area. For lunch, we went out for Ethiopian food in Boston.

Have you ever had Ethiopian food? No? Well, it is SO GOOD. If you like curries, stews, spices, amazing flavors with lots of depth, you'll love Ethiopian food.

Ethiopian food is usually served on a large platter family style. And the platter is lined with injera bread, which is kind of like a giant spongy crepe. You have to rip off pieces of injera and use it as a utensil, to pick up chunks of stewed meat, flavorful chickpeas and lentils, and to sop up the juices. Yummy. It's a fun eating experience.

Whenever we go out for Ethiopian we usually get some kind of combo meal, sort of an 'Ethiopian 101,' if you will. Most restaurants have this option on their menu. Everything we've ever had from that section of the menu has always been good, even if I can't always remember the names of the things I am eating.

This time we decided to try a couple of appetizers too. One of the things we got was this awesome Spiced Ethiopian Cottage Cheese served with sauteed collard greens. It was called Ayib Begomen.

Ayib means cheese, and gomen means collard greens (based on my googling). I absolutely loved this appetizer.

It was different than the other Ethiopian food we had, and as we were eating it, it occurred to me that I can totally make this at home! That's one of my favorite things about cooking - trying something new and having that light bulb go off in my head when I realize I can make this for myself anytime!

So after dinner, we stopped by an Ethiopian grocery store and bought some Ethiopian spices. I got some berbere and some mitmita. Both are Ethiopian spice blends. Mitmita is super spicy, but berbere is just a bit spicy but also has so much flavor.

I've been using the spices in lots of recipes, such as my Ethiopian Chicken Stew, side dishes such as my Ethiopian Chickpeas, pan-fried potatoes, and for this recipe Ayib Begomen recipe:

ethiopian cottage cheese

So back to this Ethiopian Cottage Cheese recipe! Traditionally you're supposed to eat it with injera, but I didn't have time for that this time. If you don't want to bother with injera, I bet this would be amazing on a pita or on some roti.

We just had this as a side dish, and we devoured it in one sitting. So if you're cooking for more than 2 people, I would say double this recipe.

This was so easy to make and is a super healthy side or snack since it contains so much protein from the cottage cheese and lots of collard greens. If I was to make a habit of this, I would cut down on the butter or maybe use olive oil. But for the first time, I wanted to make it extra delicious, so 4 tablespoons of butter went into this. Yum.

So if you want to try something new, different, and delicious, I really urge you to try making this Ethiopian spiced cottage cheese. It's a wonderful appetizer or snack!

And if you're still here, you might be interested in checking out more savory cottage cheese recipes!

Oh, and if you're interested in trying more easy Ethiopian recipes, check out my Ethiopian Chicken Stew and Ethiopian Chickpeas:

Ethiopian Chicken Stew:

Ethiopian Chicken Stew with bell peppers and baby spinach cooked in delicious berbere seasoning.

Ethiopian Chickpeas:

Ethiopian Chickpeas


ethiopian cottage cheese
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5 from 6 votes

Spiced Ethiopian Cottage Cheese with Collard Greens (Ayib Begomen Recipe)

Spice up your dinner with Ayib Begomen (Spiced Ethiopian Cottage Cheese served over Sauteed Collard Greens) - a delicious, healthy side dish or appetizer. Keto-friendly, too!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Snack
Cuisine: African, Ethiopian
Servings: 2
Author: Kate


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ small yellow onion - , diced
  • 3 garlic cloves - , minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom powder
  • ½ lb collard greens - (about 10-15 large leaves), chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt - , or to taste
  • 1 cup cottage cheese - (any kind, I used fat free)
  • ½ teaspoon  berbere seasoning


  • In a large skillet, melt the butter, and add the diced onion, minced garlic, and ground cardamom. Saute for 3 minutes until the onion softens and turns a nice yellow color.
  • Add the sliced collard green leaves and season with salt. Saute for a few minutes, and then cover with a lid and let the collard greens steam in the skillet for 10 minutes. 
  • In the meantime, add the ½ teaspoon berbere to the cottage cheese and mix.
    To serve, make a bed of sauteed collard greens, and place the spiced cottage cheese on top of the leaves. If you have some injera, pita bread, or roti around, they would go well with this side dish or snack.


Berbere mixtures can vary in spice, so if you know you don't like things too spicy, err on the side of caution. You can always add more later, you can't take it out. 🙂


Calories: 346kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 11g (4%) | Protein: 15g (30%) | Fat: 27g (42%) | Saturated Fat: 16g (80%) | Cholesterol: 78mg (26%) | Sodium: 892mg (37%) | Potassium: 368mg (11%) | Fiber: 4g (16%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 6540IU (131%) | Vitamin C: 41.4mg (50%) | Calcium: 365mg (37%) | Iron: 0.5mg (3%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.


5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)
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Friday 29th of September 2023

I cook a lot of Ethiopian dishes and have eaten in a variety of the restaurant in the US and abroad. I haven't seen this fish and am looking forward to making it. The spice mixtures are easy to make.


Sunday 15th of February 2015

If you have an Ethiopian restaurant near you, you should definitely be adventurous and give it a try! Also, I've found that people in every restaurant so far are very helpful in explaining different items on the menu every time we ask. I guess Ethiopian people are very friendly!


Friday 13th of February 2015

Thank you so much for this recipe! I love cottage cheese.


Sunday 15th of February 2015

Thanks for stopping by! I love cottage cheese too and never realized how delicious it can be mixed with savory spices instead of the typical sweet add-ins.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

Tuesday 10th of February 2015

I've never eaten Ethiopian food but I've read about it and would love to try it.

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