Archive for February, 2013

Ethiopian Dinner


Ethiopian dish served over Ethiopian flat bread

I’m back in business after a month hiatus due to moving into a new place.  Having boxes all over the place isn’t conducive to cooking!

In any case, I wanted to try an Ethiopian recipe this month.  After doing some research online I found a chicken recipe that seemed pretty good.  The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s a three in one.  So really it kinda makes up for my lack of cooking last month.  Having said that, today I will be blogging about three Ethiopian dishes : Doro Wat, Injera and Berberé.

To note : If you live somewhere like Gander, it might be a little difficult to get your hands on some of these ingredients.  I was able to find all of the important ones at least but it took a little extra work for some of them. Health food stores or international markets are likely your best friend for this dish.

Berberé : This is a spicy red pepper paste that is one of the ingredients for the main dish.  I strongly recommend that you start early in the day or make your Berberé the day before.  It’s also important to not that you need a coffee grinder and a food processor / blender for these recipes.

Ingredients :

  • 2 tps of whole cumin. I was unable to find them in whole form, so I had to settle with 2 tps of ground Cumin.
  • 1 to 2 tps of Red Pepper Flakes.
  • 1 tps of Cardamon seeds. This was something else I was only able to find the ground version of… honestly I doubt it makes that much of a difference.
  • 1 tps of Fenugreek seeds. I was able to find this in a small Pantry store in town.  Apparently its one of the most important spices for these types of recipes… so if you can’t find it you’re a not going to get the best results.
  • 8 to 10 whole peppercorns
  • 6 allspice berries – I was unable to find this in whole form… however I also messed up and thought I bought the ground stuff and actually forgot about it.  I was in mid production when I realized I forgot to buy it so I just proceeded without it.
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 to 4 dried chillies. I also had to find these in the small Pantry store.
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1.5 to 3 cloves of crushed garlic. If you don’t know how to crush garlic just look it up online.  I only used 1.5 for mine, as the Doro Wat recipe called for an equal amount of garlic, so I divided my 3 cloves between the two.  And honestly, 6 cloves would have been an awful lot of garlic.
  • 1 tbsp of Paprika
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup oil.  I used Safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup of Red Wine. If you don’t want to use wine water will also work.  I picked up some Barefoot Merlot from California.  It is labeled to go well with chicken / poultry.

Process :

  1. Lightly toast all your whole ingredients in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Be careful not to burn them, you need only heat them long enough to have their aroma come out.  Takes no longer than a 2 to 3 minutes. Stir them around constantly.
  2. Do the same for your dried chillies. These are really easy to burn so make sure you you flip them often. Toast these until they become soft.  Turn off your heat and chop each of them up into 3 or 4 pieces.  You can discard the seeds.
  3. Place all your toasted whole ingredients along with your chopped chillies into a coffee grinder and grind them up into a powder.
  4. Place the powder from the grinder into your food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend them into a paste.  When you are done, it should look like a nice orange paste.

You can store this in your fridge for about a week or you can also decide to freeze it in the freezer if you want.

The next thing you’ll want to make is the Injera.  This is probably the trickiest part of this recipe as it requires some special flour and if you don’t have an evenly heated surface it will make this very difficult.  Ideal would be to have a special made grill that can allow you to heat the whole surface at a specific temperature.  I was relying on the even heating of my cast iron frying pan.  I was also unable to get my hands on the required Teff flour (apparently this is pretty important to get the authentic taste and consistency).  So my recipe will be for the quick alternative method of making it.  The reviews on it seemed to be that this recipe will be good enough but not great. However, if you can get your hands on Teff flour, by all means look up the actual recipes online.  To note that some people commented that making the batter and letting it sit for a few days may yield better results.  I let it sit for a few hours, but not quite a few days.

Injera : Ehtiopian flat bread.

Ingregients :

  • 1 and 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 to 2 and 1/4 cups of Club Soda.
  • fresh squeeze lemon juice ( this is to add bitterness after they are done)

Process :

  1. Preheat your cast iron pan on low to medium heat.
  2. Mix your dry ingredients together and then mix in your club soda.  You should end up with something that looks like pancake batter.  You don’t want it too runny, nor do you want it too thick.  I’m not sure if I got this right or not to tell you the truth, but I was happy with the results.  You can add soda or flour accordingly to fix the consistency.
  3. Using a paper towel wipe down the surface of your pan with some oil then spread about 1/2 cup of batter onto the pan.  Be sure to flatten it out nicely and quickly with your spatula.
  4. Your injera will cook pretty quickly, 2-3 minutes tops.  When the bubbles on the top side begin to burst and dry out a bit, flip it over.  It shouldn’t take more than a minute on the second side to cook properly.
  5. Repeat this process until your batter is done. Make sure you wipe your pan with oil each time or you can make it difficult to flip.
  6. Brush each injrea with some lemon juice and then transfer them onto a pan and put into the oven on warm.

Note: I guess you could probably make the Injera while your Doro Wot is cooking… I however used that time to do the dishes.  These are pretty tricky to make them look authentic.  I found the approximate recipe to be pretty decent.  It was about 60% as stretchy as the real stuff.  I’m not sure about the flavour but I ate two of them while I was cooking the rest and I didn’t mind it at all.


Doro Wot : Ethiopian Chicken stew.

Ingredients :

  • Boneless skinless chicken. Recipe calls for 2 pounds.  I used 4  chicken breasts and cut them each into 3 equally square shaped pieces. It’s probably easier just to buy a pack of thicken thighs.  Recipe also says that drumsticks can be used.
  • Lemon juice – 1 to 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 to 2 chopped onions
  • 1.5 to 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp of peeled and chopped Gingerroot. I’m not sure how you are actually suppose to peel this stuff, but I just cut the skin off with a knife.  You lose a fair bit, but I bought way too much anyway.
  • 1/2 cup of Oil, butter or Niter Kibbeh. I used safflower oil again as 4 recipes were quite enough.  If you want to try the Niter Kibbeh you can look up a recipe. It is essentially a spicy clarified butter.
  • 2 tbsp of Paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Berberé
  • 3/4 cup of water or stock
  • 1/4 cup of red wine
  • 1 tsp of cayenne Pepper
  • *salt and pepper for flavour (this one depends on you… I grounded in a few dashes of peppercorn and left out extra salt.)

Process :

  1. Marinade your chicken pieces in a mixture of the salt and lemon juice for roughly 30 minutes.  If you do this first, if should be ready by the time you’re done the rest.
  2. Puree your onions, garlic and ginger in your food processor.  You may need to add a little water if necessary, my onion has plenty of juice in it.
  3. Heat your oil(or kibbeh) in a large pot on medium.  When its heated up add you paprika in and stir it to colour your oil.  This should take 1 to 2 minutes and you need to again be careful not to burn it.
  4. Add your Berberé into the pot and mix it together, letting it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Again, stir it from time to time to make sure you don’t burn it
  5. Add in your onion-garlic-ginger puree and let it saute for about 5 to 10 minutes.  The goal is to reduce the moisture and nullify the raw onion aroma.  Again, stir this from time to time so you don’t burn it.
  6. Add in your stock/water, wine, Cayenne pepper and your chicken pieces (leave out the lemon marinade). Bring this to a bowl then drop the heat to low and cover the pot.
  7. Let it cook for 45 to 50 minutes. (you can check to make sure your chicken is cooked through, but after 45 minutes it should be)

I originally wanted to serve this with a little bit of rice on the side but it was pretty late so I just made due without the rice.  Serve up a few pieces onto one of your Injera and cover with sauce.


I was really impressed with this dish.  It was quite a bit of work, which I hadn’t really planned all that well but in the end it turned out quite delicious.  It turns out as a pretty spicy dish.  It is however a flavourful spicy and not an overly hot spicy. You can however, adjust the pepper intake of this if you wanted to make it very hot spicy.  Because I chose the wine to go well with with chicken I poured myself a glass to go along with the dish.  The flavour and aroma is pretty close to curry.  It is definitely a delicious, spicy chicken dish.

All my recipes were taken from www.whats4eats.com.  However I did cross reference them with a few other sites to make sure.



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