Injera Platter with Stews and Sauces

10 Easy and Authentic Ethiopian Recipes

Ethiopian Recipes - Injera Platter with Stews and Sauces

Introduction to the Richness of Ethiopian Recipes

Ethiopian cuisine is a testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage. The diverse cuisine is quite the adventure and have yet to come across a person who does not fall in love with Ethiopian recipes. The bold flavours, aromatic spices and unique dining experience emphasizing a sharing culture make it a cuisine you must try.

At the heart of Ethiopian recipes is injera – a sourdough flatbread with a spongy texture is a staple in Ethiopia. Injera is also used as an eating utensil to scoop the wide range of stews, meats, vegetables and side dishes eaten in Ethiopian recipes.

From the bustling streets of Addis Ababa to the rural highlands, Ethiopian dishes are prepared with a level of care and tradition that has been passed down through generations. This introduction to Ethiopian cuisine will guide you through its most beloved dishes, each telling a story of history, tradition, and the joy of communal meals.

The Essentials of Ethiopian Recipes: Spices, Ingredients, and Techniques

Cooking Ethiopian food is to immerse oneself in a world of unique spices and ingredients that are the backbone of Ethiopian recipes.

Berbere, a fiery spice blend, and Niter Kibbeh, a clarified butter infused with herbs and spices, are quintessential to achieving the authentic flavours of Ethiopian dishes. Alongside these, Teff flour is essential for making Injera, providing a slightly tangy base for the array of dishes it accompanies – and its gluten-free too!

Ethiopian cooking is not just about the ingredients but also the techniques—slow-cooked stews (Wots), sautéed meats (Tibs), and the use of the Mitad (a traditional Ethiopian stove) for baking Injera.

This guide will take you through the essential spices, ingredients, and techniques you need to explore the delightful and complex world of Ethiopian cooking, ensuring each dish brings a piece of Ethiopia right to your table.

Recipe 1: Injera – A must for all Ethiopian Dishes

Injera, the cornerstone of every Ethiopian meal, is more than just a flatbread—it’s an experience. Made from teff flour, this sourdough flatbread boasts a unique, slightly tangy flavor and a spongy texture that’s perfect for scooping up mouthfuls of stew.

To start, mix teff flour with water and let the batter ferment for a day to achieve its characteristic flavor.

The batter is then poured onto a large, heated, circular griddle, traditionally known as a Mitad, and cooked until holes form on the surface, signifying it’s ready.

The result is a delightful, crepe-like bread that not only serves as the base for various dishes but also as an essential eating utensil in Ethiopian cuisine. Injera’s versatility and delicious taste make it a must-try for anyone exploring Ethiopian dishes, perfectly complementing both spicy and mild flavours.

Injera cooked on a mitad over open fire

Recipe 2: Doro Wot – The Classic Ethiopian Chicken Stew

Doro Wot is a beloved Ethiopian chicken stew, known for its rich, spicy flavour and deep red colour, primarily achieved through the liberal use of Berbere spice mix.

The dish starts with onions slowly cooked down to sweetness, to which ginger, garlic, and sometimes cardamom are added for depth.

The chicken, traditionally cut into pieces and marinated in lime juice, is then added to the pot along with a generous amount of Berbere spice and simmered until tender.

Hard-boiled eggs are often punctured and nestled into the stew towards the end of cooking, absorbing the aromatic sauce.

Served atop a bed of Injera, Doro Wat is a celebration of flavours and textures, combining spicy, savoury, and slightly tangy notes in each bite. This dish is a testament to the complexity of Ethiopian cuisine, offering a hearty and comforting meal that’s as satisfying as it is delicious.

Doro Wot Chicken Stew with Egg and Cheese

Recipe 3: Misir Wot – A Vegetarian Ethiopian Dish with Lentils

Misir Wot is a hearty and flavourful Ethiopian lentil stew, deeply satisfying with its rich blend of spices.

Red lentils are the star of this dish, simmered slowly in a sauce seasoned with Berbere spice, onions, garlic, and ginger, creating a thick, comforting stew. The lentils absorb the flavours of the spices as they cook, resulting in a dish that is both spicy and slightly sweet, with a velvety texture.

Tomato paste and a touch of water are added to achieve the perfect consistency, while a drizzle of Niter Kibbeh (spiced clarified butter) towards the end of cooking adds a layer of richness that is unmistakably Ethiopian.

Misir Wot is typically served with Injera, allowing the bread to soak up the flavourful sauce. This dish is a staple at Ethiopian tables, celebrated for its simplicity and depth of flavour, making it a must-try for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Misir Wot Ethiopian Lentil Stew

Recipe 4: Ethiopian Beef Tibs – A Spicy Ethiopian Stir Fry

Ethiopian Beef Tibs is a fiery and aromatic dish that showcases the robust flavours of Ethiopian cuisine through a simple stir-fry technique. The dish features tender pieces of beef, marinated in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, and traditional spices, including a hint of Berbere for some gentle heat. The beef is then quickly seared in a hot pan with Niter Kibbeh, creating a caramelized exterior while retaining a juicy interior. Check out this blog on the best pans for cooking beef.

Tibs can be customized to personal taste with the addition of rosemary, tomatoes, and jalapeños, making it a versatile dish that caters to a range of spice preferences.

Often served with a side of Injera or accompanied by vegetables, Ethiopian Beef Tibs is a delightful combination of spicy, savoury, and slightly tangy flavours, offering a satisfying meal that’s perfect for those looking to explore the richer, more indulgent side of Ethiopian cooking.

Ethiopian Sega Tibs - Beef Stir Fry

Recipe 5: Shiro Wot – Chickpea Flour Stew in Ethiopian Cooking

Shiro Wot is a beloved dish in Ethiopian cuisine, a smooth, flavorful stew made from finely ground chickpea flour mixed with aromatic spices.

This vegetarian delight is both nutritious and comforting, offering a rich blend of flavours thanks to the addition of Berbere spice, garlic, onions, and a base of Niter Kibbeh, the spiced clarified butter that is essential to Ethiopian cooking.

To prepare Shiro Wot, start by sautéing onions and garlic in Niter Kibbeh until golden, then add Berbere spice, allowing the flavours to meld. Gradually stir in the chickpea flour and water, whisking continuously to prevent lumps.

The stew is simmered until it thickens to a creamy consistency, perfect for scooping with Injera. Want more protein? You can add some cured beef strips to take this dish to the next level!

Shiro Wot is a testament to the complexity and variety of Ethiopian vegetarian dishes, providing a hearty, satisfying meal that warms the soul.

Shiro Wot - Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

Recipe 6: How to Make Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter

Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter, known as Niter Kibbeh, is a fragrant, golden butter that forms the foundation of many Ethiopian dishes.

Making Niter Kibbeh at home involves gently melting unsalted butter, and then infusing it with a range of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and dried herbs, along with garlic and ginger for added depth.

The mixture is slowly simmered, allowing the spices to infuse their rich flavours and aromas into the butter. Once the solids have settled to the bottom and the liquid butter is clear, it’s carefully strained to remove the solids, leaving behind the delicious spiced clarified butter.

Niter Kibbeh can transform any dish, adding layers of flavour to stews, meats, and vegetables, and is a must-have ingredient for anyone looking to explore the authentic tastes of Ethiopian cuisine. Make this butter in bulk and freeze so you always have some on hand!

Ethiopian Clarified Butter - Niter Kibbeh

Recipe 7: Kitfo – Ethiopian Cuisine’s Take on Raw Meat

Kitfo is a traditional Ethiopian dish that celebrates the natural flavors of raw beef, finely chopped and seasoned with Mitmita, a fiery blend of spices, and mixed with Niter Kibbeh to add richness and aroma.

Made from lean beef, usually the tenderloin, Kitfo is as much about texture as it is about taste. The beef is meticulously cleaned and then minced or ground to a fine consistency.

The addition of Mitmita gives Kitfo its characteristic heat, while the spiced butter adds a subtle, fragrant depth.

Often served with Injera and accompanied by mild cheese or cooked greens, Kitfo offers a balance of flavors and textures, providing a unique dining experience.

While Kitfo is traditionally enjoyed raw, a lightly cooked version, known as ‘leb leb’, is also popular for those who prefer their meat slightly heated. Kitfo is a celebration of Ethiopian culinary traditions, a dish that is both simple and profoundly flavorful.

Ethiopian Kitfo - Spiced Raw Meat

Recipe 8: Gomen – Ethiopian Collard Greens

Gomen is a nutritious and flavorful dish of gently cooked collard greens, a common side in Ethiopian cuisine that complements the rich, spicy main dishes it often accompanies.

This dish begins with washing and chopping the collard greens into thin strips, ensuring they cook evenly and absorb the flavours of the aromatic ingredients they’re sautéed with.

Onions, garlic, and ginger are slowly cooked in Niter Kibbeh (spiced clarified butter) until they are soft and fragrant. The collard greens are then added to the pan, along with a small amount of water to help them steam, and are seasoned with salt and a hint of spice.

Cooked until tender but still vibrant, Gomen offers a delightful texture and a comforting, earthy flavour that balances the heat of Ethiopian spices.

It’s a simple, wholesome dish that showcases the importance of greens in Ethiopian cooking, offering a delicious way to enjoy the healthful benefits of leafy vegetables.

Ethiopian Gomen - Collard Greens

Recipe 9: Atkilt Wot – The Traditional Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

Atkilt Wot is a hearty, comforting dish of braised cabbage, carrots, and potatoes, seasoned with turmeric and garlic, which gives it a distinctive, mildly spicy flavour and a vibrant yellow colour.

This traditional Ethiopian cabbage dish is a testament to the cuisine’s ability to turn simple vegetables into a deeply flavorful and satisfying meal.

The preparation involves sautéing onions in a bit of oil until golden, then adding garlic and turmeric to create a fragrant base.

Chopped cabbage, carrots, and potatoes are stirred in, along with enough water to allow the vegetables to simmer gently until they are tender and infused with the spices.

Atkilt Wot is often served alongside Injera, making for a comforting, vegan-friendly meal that is both nourishing and flavorful. Its simplicity, combined with the warmth of spices, makes it a beloved dish in Ethiopian cuisine.

Atkilt Wot - Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

Recipe 10: Ethiopian Fruit Salad – A Refreshing Conclusion to Ethiopian Meals

After the rich, complex flavors of Ethiopian stews and breads, an Ethiopian fruit salad offers a light, refreshing conclusion to the meal.

This simple, yet delightful dish combines a variety of fresh fruits—such as papaya, mango, pineapple, and citrus—cut into bite-sized pieces and gently tossed together.

A squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of ginger or a pinch of cardamom can be added to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruits with a subtle, spicy note.

This fruit salad is not only a palate cleanser but also a dish of fresh, vibrant flavours that can be found in Ethiopian markets.

It’s typically served chilled, providing a cool contrast to the warm dishes that precede it. Ethiopian fruit salad embodies the balance and variety of Ethiopian cuisine, offering a sweet, healthful end to a flavorful feast.

Fruit Salad in a cup

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Ethiopian dishes without the traditional spices?

While traditional spices like Berbere and Mitmita are central to Ethiopian cooking, you can start with more accessible substitutes (like paprika mixed with a bit of cayenne for heat) and gradually add authentic spices to your pantry as you become more familiar with the cuisine.

Is Injera gluten-free?

Yes, traditional Injera made solely from teff flour is gluten-free. However, some recipes may include wheat flour, so it’s important to use 100% teff flour if you’re sensitive to gluten.

Can I make these dishes vegetarian or vegan?

Absolutely! Many Ethiopian dishes are already vegetarian or vegan. Ingredients like Niter Kibbeh can be made with plant-based oils, and meats can be omitted or replaced with additional vegetables or legumes.

How do I store leftover Injera?

Injera can be stored wrapped in a clean cloth and then placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for longer storage.

Where can I find Ethiopian spices and ingredients?

Ethiopian spices and ingredients can often be found at African markets, international grocery stores, or online. Some supermarkets may carry basic spices like Berbere or teff flour in their international aisle.

Injera Platter with Stews and Sauces


Ethiopian cuisine opens up a world where each dish brings its own story, rich with flavours that are both complex and comforting.

Whether it’s your first time making Injera, experimenting with the spicy depths of Doro Wot, or enjoying the simple freshness of an Ethiopian fruit salad, these recipes offer a starting point into a culinary tradition that celebrates sharing, community, and the joy of eating together.

Cooking is about exploration, and Ethiopian dishes provide a delicious opportunity to explore new spices, techniques, and traditions right in your kitchen.

Remember, it’s the love and care you put into the preparation that brings these dishes to life, creating meals that warm the heart and feed the soul.

For more insights into Ethiopian cooking, along with tips, tricks, and new recipes to try, make sure to sign up for our newsletter. Let’s embark on this flavorful journey together, one recipe at a time.

Happy cooking!

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