Margarita's International Recipes




I messed up when making this recipe. Instead of reading the background article about it, which described what the original recipe is like, I proceeded to make it according to the instructions, not realizing that it had been heavily modified from the original. The results were fine, though nothing to write home about.

It turns out that the original fata recipe calls for berbere – a spice mixture which has become much more commercially available in the US in the last decade -, and that's what I'd use if I was to make it again. The original recipe also does not call for the addition of the fresh onion, tomato and jalapeño (which I personally didn't use anyway). Basically, the original recipe is bread, tomato sauce and yogurt.

I'm copying the recipe as published in Saveur, but putting optional next to the ingredients that you would not use if making the real Eritrean version.

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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, mnced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp berbere (or substitute with 1/2 tsp hot paprika, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp cayenne)
  • Kosher salt & black pepper to taste
  • 3 crusty rolls, torn into 1 1/2” pieces
  • 1 tomato, cored and diced (optional)
  • 1 jalapeño, ciced (optional)
  • Greek yogurt


Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and half of the diced onion and fry until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, spices and salt and pepper. Cook for 12 minutes.

Place bread pieces in a serving bowl. Spoon sauce on top. Optionally, sprinkle with the remaining chopped onion, the diced tomato and the diced jalapeño . Spoon yogurt to taste.

Adapted from a recipe in Saveur.

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