Ethiopia: Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

(Adapted from recipe by Bizu “Riki” Mullu, printed in The Jewish Daily Forward, April 2005)

In this African country, a variety of stews and vegetable dishes are spiced with “berbere,” a seasoning made from red chili peppers, garlic, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, fenugreek, and ginger. A traditional Passover stew, Doro Wat, is a tasty example of Ethiopian cuisine. It is low in fat, high in fiber, and quick and easy to make. It can also prepared a day in advance. Simply reheat the stew in a covered pot over low heat, adding chicken broth as needed to keep the sauce moist. Serve it alongside smashed potatoes to soak up some of the yummy sauce.

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¼ cup olive oil

2 large onions, diced (about 4 cups)

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

2 small dried red chiles (available at Asian markets, Whole Foods, Penzey’s and some supermarkets) or 1 tsp. or more (to taste) of crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground fenugreek (available at Whole Foods, Penzey’s, and Indian markets)

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons whole flaxseed (available at most supermarkets and health food stores)

¼ cup water, or up to a ½ cup, as needed

4-6 pounds skinless chicken pieces (about 12)

5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and scored lightly with a knife

Coarse kosher salt, to taste



Heat olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large skillet. Add onions and cook over medium-low heat until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, and chiles and continue to cook over low heat for two minutes. (Add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to prevent onions from burning.) Stir in dried spices and flaxseed. Add chicken and 1/3 cup water and stir well. Cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked, adding remaining water if needed to maintain moisture. Gently fold in hard-boiled eggs and cook an additional 10 minutes. 

Remove from heat, and serve chicken with sauce.

Makes 4-6 servings.