Doro Wat

Christmas is not a traditional Ethiopian holiday has most of the population is of Muslin faith or animist. But, still Christmas is still celebrated among the small Christian community and doro wat would be part of their Christmas dinner.

Recipe for 6 people:
  • juice of one lemon
  • two teaspoons salt
  • one chicken trimmed and cut into 6 pieces
  • two onions, finely chopped
  • four tablespoons niter kebbeh**
  • four cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • one piece fresh ginger root, cleaned, scraped, and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon berberé*
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs (1 per person), pierced with a toothpick.

In a glass bowl, combine the lemon juice, half the salt, and chicken pieces. Let chicken marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cook the onions over medium heat for a few minutes in a dry cast iron pot. Stir constantly to prevent them from browning or burning; reduce the heat.
Add the niter kebbeh to the onions, along with the garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom, nutmeg, remaining salt, berberé , and tomato. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. The onions should be soft, tender.
Add the chicken stock, water, or dry red wine. Bring the mixture to a low boil while stirring gently. Cook for a few minutes, then reduce heat.
Add the chicken pieces, making sure to cover them with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
After the chicken has been simmering for 20 minutes, gently add the hard-boiled eggs.
Serve hot. The only traditional way to serve doro wat is with a spongy flat bread called injera, which can only be properly made with difficult-to-obtain teff flour.

* berberé is a traditional Ethiopian spice mix that consists of : 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice ; 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon ; 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves ; 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander ; 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin ;1 teaspoon ground fenugreek ; 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg ;1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper ; 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric ; 4 to 6 tablespoons of a combination of ground cayenne pepper and paprika ; 1 tablespoons salt ; 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh (peeled and grated) or dry ; 1/4 cup oil.

** niter kibbeh is an Ethiopian spiced butter consisting of : one pound butter (unsalted), cut into pieces ; two cloves garlic, finely chopped ; one small piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped ; one very small onion, very finely chopped ; one and half teaspoon ground turmeric ; one-half teaspoon ground cardamom ; one-eighth teaspoon ground nutmeg ; one-eighth teaspoon ground fenugreek ; one cinnamon stick ; one whole clove.

Suitable for pregnant women, gluten free, nut free.