Recipes That Survived the Journey From Ethiopia (2024)

By Leah KoenigFebruary 13, 2013

In this week’s edition of the Forward, Ingredients columnist Leah Koenig writes about the Shabbat traditions of the Ethiopian Jewish community. Savor the recipes below.

Doro Wat

The use of spice is very subjective in Ethiopian cuisine, so add or subtract to your liking. You can find berbere at specialty food shops, and order a kosher-certified blend online at teenytinyspice.com.

Recipes That Survived the Journey From Ethiopia (1)

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Serves 4–6

6 eggs 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
6–7 garlic cloves, grated
1 piece (2-inch) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 ½ pounds chicken legs or thighs (or a combination), skin removed
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon berbere
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Place eggs in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil over high heat; turn off heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Rinse eggs under cold water, peel them and set aside.

2) Meanwhile, add the oil, onions, garlic and ginger to a Dutch oven or large pot set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover pot with lid and let cook until very soft, 5–6 minutes.

3) Add the chicken and about 2 cups of water; raise heat to medium. Stir in the tomato paste and spices, and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer; cover and cook until sauce thickens, about 35 minutes. If mixture begins to look dry, add more water as needed.

4) Add peeled eggs to pot, and continue to cook until chicken is fully cooked through, an additional 10–15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings; arrange chicken on a piece of injera, or divide onto plates, and spoon sauce over top.

Kik Wot
Yellow Split Pea Stew

Like the doro wat above (see note), adjust the seasonings and spices in this dish to your taste.

Serves 4–6 as a side

2 cups yellow split peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions (yellow, red or one of each), finely chopped
6–7 cloves garlic, grated
1 piece (2-inch) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon berbere
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Place the split peas in a medium saucepan, and cover with water, 2–3 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; lower heat slightly and cook, skimming off foam as it accumulates, until peas are soft but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2) Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a separate saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, and cook until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover and let cook until very soft, 5–6 minutes.

3) Add cooked split peas and just enough water to cover them. Stir in the spices; season generously with salt and pepper. Raise heat slightly, partially cover the pot with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and liquid mostly evaporates, about 30 minutes. If mixture begins to look dry, add a little more water. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving with injera or rice.

Recipes That Survived the Journey From Ethiopia (2)

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