Day 1 – Ethiopian Doro-Wat

Having hastily dashed to every local supermarket for ingredients the night before, I find out that all the shops actually are open New Years Day. Ho hum.

My first meal of the year needed to be something relatively simple, and low on ingredients, but as with every meal on this blog, it had to taste awesome. After perusing various recipe apps, a cuisine I don’t think I’ve really tried before popped up. I’ve eaten many things, usually of the takeaway variety, but I’ve never tried African food. So starting 2013 off with a bang I shall be attempting Ethiopian Doro-Wat with Injera – essentially a spicy stew with flatbread. [Wat = Stew/Curry]

Now the recipe I’m following seemed simple enough – Chicken, Onions, Garlic… Berbere?

Definition of Berbere : a spice mix whose elements usually include chili pepper, garlic, ginger, dried basil, korarima, rue, white and black peper and fenugreek. It serves as a key ingredient in the Ethiopian cuisine.

So much for an easy ride in to the New Year. Now it wouldn’t really be right for me to cheat and use a ready made spice mix. The whole point of this blog is to make everything from scratch. Berbere Spice is also £9.50 per 500g.

The recipe for Berbere that accompanied the Doro-Wat recipe I’m using uses many of the ingredients previously mentioned along with a vast array of other spices on top.


Makes 1 servings.

1 tsp · Ground ginger
¼ tsp · Cinnamon
½ tsp · Ground cardamom
¼ tsp · Allspice
½ tsp · Ground coriander
2 tbsp · Salt
½ tsp · Ground fenugreek seeds
1 ¼ cup · Cayenne pepper
½ tsp · Grated nutmeg
½ cup · Paprika
¼ tsp · Ground cloves
1 tsp · Fresh ground black pepper


As usual I didn’t have any of these in the house, hence the mad dash to the shops on New Years Eve. Now I have plenty. At least it gives me somewhere to start for future 2013 recipes.

  1. 1. In a saucepan, toast the following ground spices together over a low heat for 4 to 5 minutes: ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice. Shake or stir to prevent burning.


            2. Add the saltcayenne pepperpaprika and fresh ground black pepper and continue toasting and stirring for another 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Cool and store in tightly covered glass jar.


This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of Berbere, which will keep in the fridge for 5-6 months.

Now for the Doro-Wat.


Makes 8 servings.

2 To 3 lbs chicken
9 oz · Tomato paste
3 stick · butter
10 Hard boiled eggs slightly — scored
3 lb · Onion finely chopped
2 large · Cloves garlic minced (or 2 — tsp. powder)
1 tsp · Ground black pepper
Heaping tb berbere


I don’t really want to make enough for 8, there are only four of us and my freezer would not love me if I tried to cram any more in. So I am halving the quantities and hoping for the best.

         1. Remove any skin from the chicken and score each piece slightly with a knife so the sauce can penetrate. ~ I cut my chicken up into chunks. This will affect cooking time.

         2. In a large stew pot melt the butter. Sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the berbere, followed by the tomato paste, stirring occasionally while the mixture simmers about 15 minutes. A piece at a time, stir in the chicken, coating well with the sauce.


         3. Continue to simmer, adding enough water to maintain the consistency of a thick soup. When chicken is half done, after about 20 minutes, put in the hard-boiled eggs. Cover and continue cooking until the chicken is tender.


         4. The dish is ready when the oil has risen to the top. Add black pepper and let sit until slightly cooled.



TASTE – Spicy & Earthy & Rich

COST – Relatively cheap after the Berbere, outlay for all the spices is quite a lot though if you don’t have much in store.


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