Margarita's International Recipes

Ethiopian / Eritrean

Doro Wat

Tsebhi Derho

Spicy Chicken Stew

I was first introduced to Ethiopian cuisine when I went to college, and doro wat was always my favorite. Imagine my surprise when I was able to cook at home a dish that tasted almost identical to that of my favorite Ethiopian restaurant. I made this dish quite a bit in my first few years of cooking, but it uses so much butter that I haven't made it in quite a while. It's definitely a special occasion dish.

When I first started cooking Ethiopian food, I had to make the berbere (a spice mix) myself, though now I can buy it at stores carrying African products. If you can't find it at one, then follow the recipe below. Ethiopian food can be very spicy, and this dish is very much in that tradition. If you can't stand the heat, use less berbere.

Getting the right consistency on this dish can be hard at times, the butter is supposed to somewhat congealed into a sauce merged with the onions, it usually needs to cool down a bit before that happens. If it's not working for you, you may want to boil it off for some time longer, to make sure most of the water is gone.

Traditionally, doro wat is served with hard boiled eggs. I, personally, don't like hard boiled eggs so I usually don't include them.

Doro Wat


  • 5 lbs chicken parts, skinned
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 6 cups chopped red onions
  • 2 cups spiced butter
  • 1 cup berbere
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamon
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 hard boiled eggs (optional)


Place chicken parts and lime in a large bowl. Cover with water and set aside.

Heat a large cooking pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and brown, stirring frequently so they don't stick to the pan. Add the spiced butter, and cook until it melts, if necessary. Add the berbere and mix well. Stir in half a cup of water, and then the wine. Stir in the ginger, cardamon and salt. Drain chicken and add it to the pot. Add a couple of cups of water, bring to a boil, and then simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is done. When the sauce starts to thicken add the black pepper. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Add the hard boiled eggs, if using, and cook until these warm up. Serve with injera.

Adapted from a recipe in Daniel J. Mesfin's Exotic Ethiopian Cooking

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