International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Iab (Ethiopian fresh cheese)

(Ethiopian fresh cheese)

Image by Stuart Spivack

Average: 3.7 (18 votes)

Iab (sometimes spelled aiyb or ayib) is a fresh cheese similar to cottage cheese. It's cooling flavor is the perfect foil for many spicy Ethiopian dishes. Iab is often served as the finish to an Ethiopian meal. This recipe uses cottage cheese to make a reasonable approximation of the real deal.

Makes 2 cups


  • Cottage cheese, small curd -- 2 cups
  • Plain yogurt -- 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Place the cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to stir together and lightly mash the cheese curds.
  2. Adjust seasoning and serve as a side dish or as the final course to an Ethiopian meal.

Iab Variations

  • Iab be Gomen (Fresh cheese with greens): Stir in 2 cups of chopped and sauteed collard greens.
  • For added flavor, you can stir in chopped parsley, spinach or fenugreek leaves. Fresh lemon zest can also be added.


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