Ethiopian Recipes

I’ve had a few requests for the Ethiopian recipes I use.  These three are our family’s favorites.  Hope you enjoy them too!

All these recipes call for berbere spice.  We purchased a lot of this while in Ethiopia, but it can be found on amazon HERE, and often in a local Ethiopian market.  However it is MUCH cheaper to purchase while in Ethiopia.  So if you know someone going beg them to bring some back for you! =)  I ran out once and it cost $20/lb at our local Ethiopian market.  I think we paid about $6 US dollars for a pound size bag when we were in Ethiopia.   If you’re not inclined to purchase the berbere spice you can always substitute chili powder (in equal quantities), but in my humble opinion it doesn’t really do it justice, and if you hope to make Ethiopian food more then twice in your life you should get some of the spice.

Doro Wat – this is a spicy chicken stew, and what many consider the national dish of Ethiopia.  It is made for many celebrations.  This recipe is an adaptation that I made from the cookbook “The Soul of a New Cuisine” by Marcus Samuelsson, who was himself adopted from Ethiopia.


  • 4-5 lbs chicken (you can cut up a whole chicken or use thighs and legs)
  • 2 medium red onions diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup spiced butter (See ***below for spiced butter)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 inch piece ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1 TBS berbere
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • juice of one lime
  • 4-6 hard boiled eggs

***Spiced Butter*** (this is NOT how Ethiopians make it, but this is a fast version I use that results in similar taste)

  • Melt  1/4 cup butter in your large pot and add the following
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp basil


  1. Hard-boil your eggs and set them aside.
  2. In a large (8-10 qt) pot you used for making butter add your diced onions.  Cook stirring often for about 10 minutes
  3. To the onions and spiced butter add the cardamon, pepper, cloves, garlic, ginger and berbere.  Cook about 10 more minutes
  4. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and the chicken pieces.  Bring to a low simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. After simmering for 15 minutes add remaining 1/2 cup of stock, 1/4 cup of red wine and simmer for another 20-30 minutes
  6. Peel eggs and puncture them lightly with a fork so they will soak in the flavors of the stew.
  7. Add juice of lime and eggs to the pot and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  8. Serve over injera and Enjoy!

(Note: that is not the pot I usually use for Doro wat.  That was an early experimentation)


Shiro is a vegetarian recipe commonly eaten on fasting days in Ethiopia.   You have to have Shiro powder to make this recipe.  It can be purchased in a local Ethiopia market or very cheaply if you happen to be in Ethiopia! =)  We bought 3 bags when we were there!  This recipe I’ve pulled together from about 4 different recipes I tried.  This tastes the most like what we had in Ethiopia.


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 red onions finely diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1-2 TBS Berbere powder (Be careful – shiro powder comes with or withOUT berbere already in it.  So if you buy it WITH the berbere, you don’t need the extra spice!)
  • 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 2/3 cup shiro powder


  1. In a 8 qt pot or larger place finely chopped onions, 2 tsp salt, and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil and simmer until almost all the water is gone.
  2. When wate is about gone add 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup butter.
  3. Quickly mix together all the dry spices (garlic, ginger, cumin cardamon, oregano, basil, and tumeric) in a separate small bowl
  4. Add these spices to onions in the pot
  5. Brown the onions with the spices (about 5 mins)
  6. Once onions are browned add 3/4 cup water and bring all to a boil
  7. Add berbere spice (if you need to) and stir everthing continuously until mixture forms a paste like texture.  This takes about 5-10 minutes
  8. Add the can of tomatoes and cook 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally
  9. Remove from heat and pour entire mixture into a blender and puree.
  10. Return pureed mixture to the pot and add 3 cups of water.  Heat over med/low heat stirring together
  11. Using a whisk start adding the shiro powder a little at a time, whisking while adding so that clumps do not form.
  12. Add remaining 1 cup of water and whisk together and simmer on low 10-15 minutes more.  (Shiro will thicken the longer it simmers)
  13. Pour out over injera and enjoy!


This is by far my family’s favorite dish.  Joshua has requested it as his birthday meal for the past 3 years, and Fikadu and Tigist ask for this (and maybe pizza too) for their bday celebrations.  This recipe is taken directly from Marcus Samuelsson’s cookbook.  I usually double it, but the recipe below makes enough for 5-6 servings.  This is cooked in a large frying pan.




  • 1/4 cup spiced butter (see recipe above)
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef tenderloin (or other stir-fry beef) cut into cubes or strips
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 TBS berbere
  • 1/2 tsp carda mon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno sliced with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine


  1. In your wok or large frying pan melt spiced butter and fry the sliced onions for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cut meat and sprinkle with the salt.  Stir-fry until the meat is browned on all sides.
  3. Stir in the berbere, cardamon, ginger, cumin, cloves, pepper, and garlic.
  4. Carefully add the tomatoes, jalapeno, and wine.
  5. Simmer for a few more minutes until meat is cooked through.
  6. Serve immediately over injera.

And there you have it!!!  I hope you enjoy these recipes. =)

This entry was posted in Ethiopia, Meal Planning, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ethiopian Recipes

  1. Hi Taylor Family!!
    Bethany, I stumbled on your blog post on Facebook. We love Marcus Samuelsson’s recipes!! I enjoyed reading about your “adaptations”–we’ll have to try your Doro Wat recipe. Have you tried his Malva Pudding? It’s a good one!

  2. jtaylortime says:

    Sarah, I haven’t tried his pudding! Thanks for the heads up, I’ll definitely have to give it a try. 🙂

  3. Alyssa says:

    Thanks for posting these!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s