[Photograph: Kate Williams]

Doro wat is the reason I fell in love with Ethiopian food. The rich, spicy gravy, perfect for scooping up with tangy injera bread, had me at the first bite. And the fall-off-the-bone chicken drumsticks and springy boiled egg never hurt either. The stew in Lonely Planet's The World's Best Spicy Food is an easy-to-make version of the dish. Perhaps it is not quite as deep in flavor as some of the best I've eaten in restaurants, but between the spicy homemade berbere and abundance of butter, it's a close-enough approximation that can be made on a weeknight.

Why I picked this recipe: Doro wat is my favorite thing to eat at Ethiopian restaurants, so this recipe was a no-brainer.

What worked: Simple, rich, and comforting, this stew is great even without injera bread.

What didn't: I wanted more complexity and less heat in the berbere, so I added extra cardamom, ginger, coriander, and cinnamon to the blend before using it.

Suggested tweaks: If you can't get a hold of injera bread, you can try making it yourself. Or, for an inauthentic version, you can serve the doro wat on top of rice (just don't tell anyone I said so).

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The World's Best Spicy Food to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, SFoodie, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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