HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


How to make doro wat? or any wat. What about veggie wat?

  • d

I really want to try making my own wats. Any one have good info to share?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd say it's essential to have access to an ethiopian market that carries berbere powder.

    1. As far as the berbere, you can make your own. My recipe comes from a small-press cookbook called "Some Like It Hotter":
      ISBN: 0-89286-245-9
      Use HOT Hungarian paprika, and use the berbere to season whatever you like, although I think meat is traditional. At least, all the Ethiopian restaurants I've been to use the vegetable sides (and the injera) to cool off the heat of the wat. Good luck!

      1. Umm, I have the beberre, I bought some from Rahel. What I need are a few recipies!

        1. I made doro wat tonight for dinner, it was delicious! And not difficult, although we first had to mix up our own berbere, which was a bit of a production. This is all from Soul of a New Cuisine, by Marcus Samuelsson, who is Ethiopian, but grew up in Sweden.

          Basically, you saute 2 diced purple onions in butter, add 1/4 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 3 cloves, 2 minced garlic cloves, a nice chunk of chopped ginger, 1 Tbs berbere (I would use 1 1/2 next time, but we like it spicy; also, our berbere may have been a bit weak, we had a few issues with the dried hot peppers). Saute 10 more minutes with the spices.

          Add 2 cups chicken stock and the dark meat of a whole chicken; simmer 15 minutes and add the white meat of the chicken (on the bone, but cut up a fair amount) and 1/4 cup red wine and simmer another 20-30 minutes.

          Add the juice of a lime, and if desired, two whole hard boiled eggs, simmer 5 minutes, and serve over injera. (We bought the injera at our local Ethiopian restaurant.)

          It's soupier than you expect, but the cookbook says it should be.

          Very delicious!

          1. Here's a berbere recipe I've had for ages.

            1 t. ginger
            1/2 t. each cardamon and coriander
            1/2 t. fenugreek
            1/4 t. nutmeg
            1/8 t. each clove, cinnamon, and allspice

            Toast and cool all the above.

            2 T. onions
            1 T. garlic
            2 T. salt
            2 T. red wine

            Blend with spices into a paste.

            2 c. paprika
            2 T. hot pepper (or more in my case)
            1/2 t. pepper
            1 1/2 c. water

            Toast spices and gradually add in water. Add spice mixture. Cook slow for 10-15 minutes. Pack in jar, seal with oil and refrigerate.

            2 Replies
            1. re: zebcook

              What kind of paprika and hot pepper do you use?

              (Not that I am ever going to need to make more berbere! I have over a cup of it from what I made for last night's dinner, and my recipe calls for 1 Tbs!)

              1. re: Anne H

                Pretty much whatever I have available. I'm not particularly fussy about it.

            2. a doro WHAT?
              this sounds so yummy, would there be a veggie option???

              1 Reply
              1. re: lollya

                Ethiopian chicken stew. You could probably just make it with the egg. Vegetables could work but they were never used with this particular dish in Etihopia. There are lots of vegan and vegetarian stews made in Ethiopia though (many people "fast" on certain days throughout the year, i.e. don't eat foods with animal products in them, for religious reason).

              2. I think you could substitute a vegetable or vegetables in my recipe above, I don't see why not, adjusting the cooking times and so on. Cauliflower and green beans come to mind. I threw in potatos with the chicken, you could certainly add potatoes. Garbanzos would be great. Greens would probably also be good. I don't know about the authenticity of any of this, but I bet it would taste great. The recipe is Ethiopian, so for authenticity, think of west African vegetables...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Anne H

                  Substituting vegetables in, you get into the "fusion" realm of "Ethiopian Curry" - and I have found that it works very well. Hey, try some Butter Chicken with your injera - Chickpea Curry - some Lemon Pickle on the side - Raita - the possibilities are endless!

                2. Oh! I am so excited to share! I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia for 2 years (1997-99) and spent lots of time writing down all the recipes I learned from my maid. Here's my recipe for Doro Wot. I haven't made it in a long time, but I measured out things more than once for every recipe when I was there so the measures should work out just fine. That said, I'll give you the original time scale but vegetables there were very tough and took a much, much longer time to cook so I’d recommend altering the cooking times. For example, I don’t think you need to sauté the onions in water for 30 minutes before sautéing them in the oil.

                  A few tips: I never saw doro wot made with onions, it was ALWAYS made with shallots, and lots of them. Most importantly, there is nothing like Ethiopian berbere. It is really the key ingredient, even more so than the shallots. So, if you want to get the most authentic version I’d special order it online. I can’t recommend a source but I’m sure you could find it. I never had a recipe for berbere because it was always just available at the market. I’ve just purchased it at small Ethio grocers here in the US. I always buy the injera to go with it from an Ethio restaurant or grocer.

                  Doro Wot:

                  4 c chopped shallots
                  2 T mashed ginger
                  5 T mashed garlic
                  1 1⁄2 c oil (I know, a ton, huh?)
                  2/3 c butter
                  3/4 t cumin
                  3/4 cup berbere
                  8-12 eggs, boiled, peeled, pierced through with a knife (so sauce will infiltrate)
                  1 chicken, cut into pieces
                  2-3 limes
                  2 sprigs bishop weed & 2 sprigs basil

                  Rub chicken with lime quarters, basil & bishop weed. In a med/large pot, saute onions in 1 c water until mostly soft (approx 30 minutes). Add oil & sauté another 30 minutes. Add berbere and 1 c water and boil for 15 minutes. Add ginger, garlic & 1⁄2 c water & simmer another 20 minutes. Add chicken, simmer 30 minutes. Add cumin, salt simmer 5 more minutes. Add butter & eggs, boil 5 minutes. Adjust salt to taste.

                  P.S. Huruta is where I lived. :)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: huruta

                    I can get berbere at Rahel in Little Ethiopia here in LA...probably bishop weed, too. What is bishop weed? Great sounding recipe!

                    1. re: Diana

                      Another name for bishop weed is ajowan, if that helps (didn't help me!). It comes in a dried form as well.

                      My herb book says..."the celery-type, striped seeds (similar to caraway and cumin seeds in appearance) are used as the spice....they have a distinctive thyme-like bouquet.

                      It is somewhat thyme-like but stronger, wooder and wilder in smell.

                  2. Some very nice recipes (including berbere powder) here: