Traditionally, this perfectly seasoned luscious garbanzo (chickpea) dumplings stew ሺምብራ አሳ ወጥ shown on display above is served during those long days of lent - የዓብይ ጾም.
If memory serves … Ethiopian Orthodox families observed Lents (ጾም) throughout the course of the year.
The 60 days lent (የዓብይ ጾም) before Easter, 16 days during the rainy season spell right before the Ethiopian New Year (around September 11), 45 days before Christmas and more.
So, actually different kind of vegetarian dish was served during these designated vegetarian days - lent (ጾም) and everyone maintained a strictly vegan diet with the tradition continuing for followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox.
In order to relieve the monotony of the vegan diet, many exotic traditional vegetarian dishes were served. Each matron would try and outdo the other with the diversity of her spread.
Though, time consuming and detail oriented, I suspect that shimbra asa - ሽምብራ ዓሳ ወጥ (chickpeas dumplings marinate in exotic spicy berbere sauce) might be created by a desperate matron to that end, which the name even implies - chickpea fish. This dish is considered as delicacy and secured the front seat.