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Ethiopian recipes

I love Ethiopian food, but there are no restaurants where I live. Does anyone have any good, relatively easy recipes? Also...Injera...is it easy to make at home? Thanks!

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  1. the trick is in the spicing. can you get your hands on berebere, mitmita and shiro wat powders? If so, you'l have a lot of dishes open to you.

    4 Replies
    1. re: orangewasabi

      I seriously doubt that...unless I order them online. Actually, come to think of it, there is a combo asian/african grocery where I live. Weird that they're combined...but I should call or go check it out.

      1. re: izzizzi

        Here are some good base recipes. http://www.ethiopianspices.com/html/r...

        Mostly I just use the base recipes then season to my preferences. At home, most frequently I make shiro wat, and kitfo wat and they're really really simple but you need the spices. Shiro wat is basicall shiro powder (ground chickpeas) stewed with mitmita and onions and spiced oil. Kitfo is just ground beef, mitmita, berebere and spiced oil.

        This is good version of the niter kibbeh (spiced, clarified butter
        )This is a good version of the berbere http://www.indiajoze.com/africanrecip...

        I am looking for a mitmita recipe online that replicates well what I buy and am not having any luck. It's what adds the heat to the dishes -- ground chilis and . . .

        1. re: izzizzi

          A lot of Indians migrated to Africa in the earl 1900s. Mostly to Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya, but also to Rwanda, Mozambique, and other countries, so a lot of cultural exchange occured.

        2. re: orangewasabi

          In a recent volume of SAVEUR there was a recipe for Ethiopian Doro Wat, a chicken dish. The photo makes the dish look very good. It seems pretty straightforward:


          I can get berbere at Kalustyan's in NYC. But, has anyone tried this recipe, or a similar one for Doro Wat. I think a small bag of the spice was around six dollars or so. That isn't that much, as long as I use it more than once................

        3. can't wait for responses on this

          1. I have not tried these recipes, but I see you're not getting much info. I have a cookbook put out by the international aid organization of my church, with recipes received from people in the various countries, who have learned them from natives of that country. It's called Extending the Table. In general, the recipes don't rely too much on hard-to-find ingredients, and seem to be pretty authentic. That said, here's the recipe for injera:

            3 c self-rising flour
            1/2 c whole wheat flour (Note: it says for authenticity, use 1/2 c teff flour and 1/4 c whole wheat instead of all whole wheat)
            1/2 c cornmeal or masa harina
            1 T. yeast
            3 1/2 c warm water

            Mix it up, allow to rise for at least an hour, up to 6. Should be stretchy. Some liquid may go to the bottom, stir it back up.

            Put 2 cups of the mixture at a time in the blender, add 1/2 - 3/4 c water, and blend it up. Then ladle some in a hot non-stick pan (no oil) and swirl it around to make it thin like a crepe. Don't turn it over, it's done when the top has bubbles all over it.

            There's also recipes for beef and chicken wat, veggie stew (alecha), and how to make berbere seasoning.

            Here's the Chicken Wat

            3 lb skinless chicken pieces.
            sprinkled with
            2 T lemon juice
            1 t salt

            Sweat in 2 T butter
            2 c onion
            1 T garlic
            1 t fresh ginger (or 1/2 t dry)
            then stir in
            1/4 t fenugreek
            1/4 t cardamom
            1/8 t nutmeg
            then add
            1/4 c berbere (less if too spicy)
            2 T paprika
            cook 2-3 minutes.
            Pour in 1/2 c water, bring to boil and stir constantly. Add chicken so all pieces are coated. Turn down heat to medium low, cover and let cook 45 minutes (turn every once in a while). Can add water if it's too dry.

            Add 1 hard boiled egg (peeled and a few slits cut in it) for each person. Simmer 10 minutes. serve w/ injera or rice.

            1. Those look great...can't wait to give it a try. Thanks so much!

              1. There's Marcus Samuelsson's book, The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa. There is a recipe for injera in the book, and there are some great recipes for Ethiopian dishes - I've made the Doro Wett (chicken stew), which was extremely fragrant and flavourful.

                Another option is a book by the owner of an Ethiopian restaurant, Addis Ababa, in Toronto. It's been very well received and is available at The Cookbook Store in Toronto - www.cook-book.com.

                It's called Recipe for Love: an Ethiopian Cookbook, by Aster Belayneh. The Cookbook store ships everywhere.

                1 Reply
                1. re: FlavoursGal

                  Yes, Samuelsson's book is a winner. Everything I have made from it has been wonderful!

                2. I made injera when I was in college, years ago. I'm sorry to say I have no idea where I go the recipes, but they turned out very well. I used teff flour in the injera, maybe part wheat, part teff? I remember it fermented for several hours, maybe overnight, at room temperature. Good luck!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: amyzan

                    I tried making injera years ago using the Flatbread cook book put out by that well-traveled couple whose name I forget. For this 3 day (yes, 3 days for the fermetation process) I got the teff flour and everthing. It turned out to be the WORST cooking disaster I've ever had...To this day, I still tell the tale of the god-awful 3 day recipe that I followed TO- THE-DIME..since that time, I've refused to turn off my own brain when trying out a recipe...a good lesson.

                    that said, i would LOVE to know of a good recipe for injera.

                    Where to find stuff:
                    Teff flour is sould by Bob's red mill (I think some people eat it as a gluten-free grain)
                    Penzy spice would be a good place to look for spices

                    1. re: sixelagogo

                      Simplest possible recipe. Just try it before you think it won't work. "Self rising flour" is sold at most grocery stores, and is simply a mixture of flour and baking soda (or powder, whatever, I don't have a bag in front of me right now). Carbonated water is not tonic water or club soda, just carbonated water which I buy in two litre bottles at any grocery store.

                      2 cups self-rising flour
                      2 cups carbonated water

                      Mix the flour with the water. You want to have a quite liquid consistency - probably thinner than you expect, but experiment. Heat a large non-stick frying pan - I usually use a large rectangular electric breakfast skillet, because I can make two fairly large pieces of injera at a time, and it is simpler to control the heat. You want it fairly hot, it takes about 3-4 minutes to make a piece of injera, once again experiment again, because it will depend on how thin/thick you make the batter, and how hot you have the pan. I spay Pam (or similar oil spray) on the pan. Pour a thin layer of mixture on the pan. Cook until the bottom goldens and the top becomes sponge like. I usually flip it, leave it for a short period, then I put the individual pieces in a covered dish with a paper towel between each piece. If kept covered and stacked like this, they retain heat and softness and you can make enough to go with the Ethiopian food you made to feed your dinner party of eight or more in advance of serving the first piece. I have done this several times.

                      Very simple, and great recipe.

                      1. re: MCHL

                        This recipe looks like it would work in a pinch, although the flavor won't be very authentic since you're leaving out the most important step: the fermentation, which produces that great sour taste which defines the flavor of real injera. I wonder if this quickie version can be made more authentic by cheating with the addition of a small spoonful of vinegar to sour it up just a bit?
                        Also, you shouldn't flip it...injera is cooked only on one side. Flipping it makes it dry.

                        1. re: The Professor

                          Besides, injera is supposed to include teff, which has a really specific flavour.

                          1. re: piccola

                            No one ever mentions this...but teff is really hard to digest if you're not accustomed to eating it. Some people may not be particularly bothered, but some people never develop the enzymes to fully digest it. Take it from someone who spent a month eating injera in Ethiopia. Gorgeous trip, delicious food, never-ending bloated stomachache. I thought I could eat ANYTHING before the trip, and hadn't had problems in Ethiopian restaurants (which probably put a lot of regular flour in the mix). So, a recipe with limited teff, or no teff at all is very attractive to me : )

                            I've heard the sour taste associated with teff is really just the fermentation, so a recipe that ferments wheat flour shouldn't be worlds away.

                  2. Regarding the purchase of spice blends for making Ethiopian foods, the best solution would be to make your own. Marcus Samuelsson provides a recipe for berbere, as well as for awase (made using the berbere) in his book. I've made the berbere and it's delicious. I haven't picked up Aster Belayneh's book yet, but I'm sure she supplies recipes for the various spice blends, as well. All you need is a coffee/spice grinder and you're all set.

                    1. Hej. There are a few Clips uploded on YouTube, on how to make injera from A-Z Very good: Here is the direct link, http://www.youtube.com/MrAvery

                      Good Luck..

                      1 Reply
                      1. Also, I believe the injera in Marcus Samuelsson's book uses baking powder as a leavener, so there's no need to wait for yeast to rise. I really recommend this book. I made a tibbs wat recipe that was fantastic and very user-friendly.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: amusingbouche

                          I just checked it out from the library. The crab burgers look good and some of the desserts look really good (chocolate-coconut sorbet with peanut butter). I was pleased to see how easy the injera looks.

                          1. re: amusingbouche

                            Mr. Samuelsson's book is up for an IACP Cookbook Award in the International category. Winners will be announced at the IACP convention in Chicago in April.


                          2. Here is one of our favorites, including my berebere recipe:

                            Vegetable Mafe

                            2 onions
                            2 sweet potatos
                            4 turnips
                            4 carrots
                            ½ head of cabbage
                            2 teaspoons Berbere spice mix
                            3 cups tomato sauce
                            ¾ cup peanut butter

                            Cut all vegetables into bite sized pieces (apporx 1”).
                            Saute the onions in some oil for a few minutes then add the root vegetables.
                            Saute for a few minutes more, then add the spices, cabbage, and tomato sauce.
                            Simmer for approx 45 minutes (till veggies are soft).
                            Remove about ½ cup hot tomato sauce and stir in the peanut butter.
                            Return to pot and simmer for a few min more. Adjust thickness by adding more tomato sauce or a litle water, if neccessary.

                            Berbere spice mix:
                            2 t. cumin
                            1 t. cardamom
                            ½ t. allspice
                            ¼ t. cloves
                            1 t. fenugreek
                            1 t. coriander
                            1 t. black pepper
                            ½ t. ginger
                            1 t. salt
                            2 t. cayenne pepper
                            ½ t. cinammon
                            3 T. paprika

                            1. I thought I'd resurrect this thread since it has some folks who may be able to help. I tried making the doro wett recipe in Marcus Samuelsson's book last night. I thought it sucked completely. Anyone else have this experience? I made no substitutions, except I did not fully grind the cumin seeds in making the spiced butter, and I did have a slightly heavy hand with the cardamom. But those would explain the over expression of cardamom, but not the lack of depth to the sauce. I know this dish, and eat it a lot, so it's not that I don't love these flavors. This was a much lighter color, thinner consistency, and thinner flavor than I know. I didn't make my own berbere, but used Kalustyan's berbere.

                              Anyone tried a different recipe and gotten a layered, rich sauce?

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: mary shaposhnik

                                I have made Ethiopian at home for my family and for dinner parties around half a dozen times, and people are always quite happy with the results. These are the recipes I use:

                                1 tsp. ginger, ground
                                1/2 tsp coriander, ground
                                1/2 tsp cardamon, ground
                                1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, ground
                                1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
                                1/4 tsp. cloves, ground
                                1/4 tsp. allspice
                                1/4 tsp cinnamon
                                2 tbsp salt
                                1 2/4 cup cayenne pepper
                                1/2 cup paprika
                                1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

                                Toast ginger, cardammon, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice together in low heat for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring. Add salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and continue cooking for 10' to 15', stirring constantly. Cool. makes 1 1/2 cups

                                2 cups self-rising flour
                                2 cups carbonated water

                                Mix the flour with the water. You want to have a somewhat liquid consistency. Heat a large non-stick frying pan. The secret of making injera is that the pan be very hot. Pour a thin layer of mixture on the pan. Cook until the bottom goldens and the top becomes sponge like.

                                Spiced Ghee
                                small piece chopped ginger
                                1 clove of garlic (minced)
                                2 slices of chopped onion
                                1 tsp fenugreek
                                1/4 tsp cardamon seeds
                                1/4 tsp cumin
                                1/2 tsp basil
                                1 tsp of oregano
                                pinch of turmeric.

                                To make the spiced butter, melt 1 lb of butter in a pot. Skim the foam as it forms, until the butter is pretty much clear. Mix a small piece of chopped ginger with 1 clove of garlic (minced) and a couple of slices of chopped onion. Add to the butter. Add one tsp of fenugreek, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp cardamon seeds, 1 tsp of oregano and a pinch of turmeric. Stir and simmer for about 15'. Let the spices settle, and then drain.

                                Doro Wat
                                1 whole chicken, skinned and cut into parts
                                6 cups red onions, chopped
                                1 cup berbere
                                2 cups spiced butter
                                1/4 tsp. cardamom
                                1/4 tsp. black pepper
                                1/4 tsp. garlic powder
                                1/2 tsp ground ginger
                                salt to taste
                                1/2 cup red wine
                                4 cups water (or less)
                                6 hard boiled eggs
                                1 medium lime.

                                Quarter the lime. Soak the chicken in a bowl with lime quarters. Brown the onions in a pan without grease. Add spiced butter. Add red pepper and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water and stir. Add wine. Add all spices and blend well. Add chicken and cook for about 30-40'. Add more water and stir gently. Add salt and stir. When sauce begins to thicken sprinkle with black pepper. Add hard-boiled eggs to the sauce

                                T’ibs W’et
                                2 lbs beef, cut into cubes
                                1 1/2 red onions, chopped
                                1 cup berbere
                                1 lb spiced butter (see recipe)
                                1/2 tsp cardamon, ground
                                1/2 tsp ginger, ground
                                1/4 tsp black cumin
                                1/4 tsp cloves
                                1/4 tsp chopped garlic
                                1/4 tsp black pepper
                                1/2 cup red wine
                                2 cups water
                                salt to taste

                                Cook the onions without any grease until golden. Add the spiced butter. Add the berbere and the wine and stir. Brown the beef in a separate pan. Add the meat to the onions and stir. Add water, spices and salt. Simmer at low heat for about 20' (or until the sauce has the right consistency). WARNING: The sauce will be too liquid when hot, it'll be more sauce like when it cools down


                                Iceberg lettuce, chopped
                                Tomato, chopped
                                Jalapeño pepper, sliced thinly (with seeds)
                                Onion, chopped (optional)
                                Italian salad dressing from a bottle or mix

                                Combine the vegetables, dress and toss.

                                1. re: MCHL

                                  oh, i fear i'll never get an answer here, but, MCHL, my dear...do you mean 1 1/2 cups of cayenne? (RE: berbere recipe.) thanks! i made berbere with a friend who insisted on not using much cayenne and it is much too similar to many masala-type mixes without any of their oomph!

                                  1. re: erfzilla

                                    It's a pretty old thread so I fear you'll never get an answer from MCHL too. For what it's worth, I have a berbere recipe that uses 1/2 cup cayenne, 1/3 cup paprika, and about 1/4 cup of all the other spices combined.

                                    I love spicy food, but I personally find it too spicy. I think this particular cayenne is especially hot. Still, next time I may leave out the cayenne from the berbere entirely and add it separately to whatever dish I'm making. Or I may play with fresh chilies instead. That way I can easily boost the intensity of all the other lovely spices without worrying about making it too hot.

                                    1. re: erfzilla

                                      Hi, the recipe is accurate as you read it, however I don't "make" berbere anymore. There is a market beside this restaurant in Vegas: http://www.yelp.com/biz/merkato-ethio... - and they sell 1 kg of berbere for $20. It is a fantastic Ethiopian restaurant, with the bonus of being a handy place to pick up a kg of berbere when in Vegas. Hope that is helpful.

                                2. Here's my recipe for shiro wot -- not to brag too much, but it's better than any version I've had in a restaurant!

                                  Shiro Wot (Ethiopian Chickpea Flour Stew)

                                  2 Tbsp. Garlic Gold oil, divided
                                  2 small or one large yellow onion, finely diced
                                  1 Tbsp. berbere spice (recipe follows)
                                  3 C. water
                                  1 tsp. kosher salt
                                  1 C. garbanzo bean flour

                                  1. Heat one tablespoon of the Garlic Gold oil in a 10", high-sided skillet over a medium-high flame. Sauté the onions for about ten minutes, until browned.

                                  2. Add the berbere spice and sauté for another minute until aromatic.

                                  3. Add the water and salt. Bring to a boil.

                                  4. While whisking constantly, add the garbanzo bean flour. Whisk until thoroughly blended and thickened -- it's okay if there are a few lumps.

                                  5. Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to process the mixture until smooth, then stir in the remaining tablespoon of Garlic Gold oil.

                                  6. Serve immediately, using teff crepes to scoop up the stew.

                                  Berbere Spice Blend

                                  makes about 1/2 C.

                                  2 Tsp. cumin seeds
                                  1 Tsp. fenugreek seeds
                                  1/2 Tsp. black peppercorns
                                  1/4 tsp. whole allspice
                                  4 whole cloves

                                  2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
                                  1 Tbsp. hot paprika
                                  1 tsp. ground cardamom
                                  1 tsp. ground ginger
                                  1 tsp. kosher salt
                                  3/4 tsp. ground coriander
                                  1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
                                  1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

                                  1. In a small (8") skillet over medium heat, combine the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, whole allspice, and whole cloves.

                                  2. Shake the pan frequently, toasting the spices for a few minutes, just until they are very aromatic.

                                  3. Remove spices from pan and let cool for five minutes.

                                  4. In a coffee grinder, combine the toasted spices along with the rest of the ingredients listed. Grind into a fine powder.

                                  5. Store mixture in a glass jar.

                                  1. Including my recipe for quick teff crepes as well -- they're NOT injera, as they are not fermented, but they'll do the trick in a pinch! They have a tender and silky texture from the teff flour.

                                    Teff Crepes

                                    makes about a dozen crepes

                                    1 1/2 C. water
                                    2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
                                    1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
                                    1 egg
                                    1 C. (120 g.) teff flour
                                    1/2 C. (60 g.) whole wheat flour
                                    1/4 tsp. kosher salt
                                    1/4 tsp. baking soda

                                    butter (for greasing the pan)

                                    1. Place ingredients in blender in order listed. Blend until smooth.

                                    2. Heat a 10-inch non-stick crepe pan over a medium-low flame. Lightly butter the pan, wiping out excess with a paper towel so a very fine layer of butter remains.

                                    3. Ladle 1/4 cup of the crepe batter to the pan, shaking and tilting the pan to create an even layer of batter. Once you have an even layer, cover the pan immediately.

                                    4. After 30 seconds, check for doneness -- the edges of the crepe will begin to curl away from the pan, and the top of the crepe will be dry.

                                    5. Use a thin spatula to carefully release the crepe from the pan and remove to a plate. These crepes have less gluten holding them together than traditional ones, so they will be VERY delicate -- take care not to tear them. Once they are cooled they will be a little easier to handle.

                                    6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 with remaining batter until it is all used up. You can stack the crepes directly on top of each other -- they won't stick.

                                    1. And finally, here's a photo of the shiro wot and crepes I made this weekend.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. Abish
                                        Recipe from : A Taste of Africa

                                        4 fluid ounces vegetable oil
                                        1 large onion, diced
                                        1 tablespoon grated root ginger
                                        1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
                                        2 tomatoes, diced
                                        1 pound lean minced beef
                                        (salt to taste)
                                        3 eggs, beaten
                                        1 tablespoon turmeric
                                        1 tablespoon butter with 1 tbs. chopped parsley
                                        extra parsley for garnishing
                                        8 ounces goat's cheese, grated (optional)

                                        Heat oil in pan and sauté onion until golden.
                                        Stir in ginger, garlic, tomatoes, minced beef and salt.
                                        Cook on low 15 - 20 min., stirring regularly to prevent burning.
                                        Combine eggs with mixture in pan and cook 10 min. Remove from heat.
                                        Add turmeric and seasoned butter and top with parsley and cheese.
                                        Serve with rice or fresh bread, mix with steamed corn and eat all together, or use it to stuff other vegetables.