Today, we are discovering the cuisine of Ethiopia, the cradle of civilization, and its national dish: doro wat.
Ethiopian cuisine has very ancient origins. Over the centuries, the Ethiopian culinary tradition has had many influences due to the presence of people from other territories and the habits of different ethnic groups.
It has been influenced by the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Islam is strongly anchored in the culture of the population. For this reason, there are no Ethiopian recipes with pork. Beef, lamb, mutton and chicken are preferred.
The Ethiopian culinary art can be vaguely reminiscent of the flavors in Indian cuisine. It is tasty, often very spicy and focused mainly on meat dishes. In this regard, it is worth remembering that in Ethiopia, food is linked to long periods of fasting planned by the Coptic religion, followed by periods when meat becomes the main basis for meals.
The consumption of very spicy foods seems to be a code in Ethiopian cuisine, a code that gives food a therapeutic and symbolic value. Very spicy foods are in fact linked to the demonstration of “strength” and “stoicism”, desirable qualities in the character of any Ethiopian.
Ethiopian dishes are also almost always served witht he traditional Ethiopian bread called injera.
The doro wat recipe is prepared with two iconic ingredients of Ethiopian cuisine: the berbere, a traditional Ethiopian spice blend and t’edj.
What is tedj?
T’edj, or tedj, is an Ethiopian or Eritrean mead that is flavored with gersho leaves, similar to hops.
Mead, one of the first alcoholic beverages that man ever drank, is a fermented drink made of water and honey. In lieu of t’edj, which can be difficult to find, you can use mead from Brittany, called chouchenn.
What is doro wat?
Doro wat is a very spicy dish, made with chicken, liver, gizzard and boiled eggs. It is a very popular dish in Ethiopia, and because it includes chicken and eggs, it is prepared for very special occasions. It is often served with injera, the traditional Ethiopian bread.
One says that Ethiopian girls are ready for marriage when they know how to cook a doro wat and homemade berbere perfectly.
Did you know Amharic was the official language of Ethiopia? And what does doro wat mean in Amharic? Doro is chicken and wat is stew. This Ethiopian recipe was truly delicious!
- 4 chicken thighs
- 2 livers
- 2 gizzards
- 3 scallions , chopped
- 3 shallots , minced
- 5 cloves garlic , crushed
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 (1-inch) piece ginger , freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons berbere (recipe below)
- 2 tomatoes , peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 (4-oz) can tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup t'edj (Ethiopian mead)
- 1 lemon
- ½ cup water
- 1 onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1½ tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 8 cardamom seeds
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cloves
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 pinch allspice
- Broil livers and gizzards. Cut into 4 pieces and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the chicken pieces.
- Add the water, 1 small handful of salt, lemon juice, and the skin of the lemon. Mix well, set aside 20 minutes and rinse quickly.
- In a large pot, brown the chicken in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the onions and shallots.
- Cover and sauté 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the ginger, garlic, berbere, and mead.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add livers and gizzards and simmer for another 15 minutes over low heat.
- Peel the boiled eggs and poke 3 small holes on each side.
- Dip the eggs in the sauce so that it penetrates through the holes.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- In a skillet, toast the cardamom, coriander, ginger, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice on low heat for 2 minutes.
- Allow to cool, stirring the mixture occasionally.
- Add the garlic, onion, half the salt and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix everything. Set aside.
- In the skillet, put the chili powder, white pepper, paprika and remaining salt.
- Toast on low heat for 1 minute. Pour the remaining water gradually, stirring constantly.
- Add the spice mixture, stir vigorously and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Put this mixture into a jar.
- Cool and cover the top with a layer of oil.
- You can keep it for 10 days in the refrigerator.