Doro Wat From 'The World's Best Spicy Food'

Doro Wat
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).
Reprinted with permission from The World's Best Spicy Food: Where to Find It and How to Make It by Lonely Planet. Copyright 2014. RRP: 19.19 Published by Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Recipe Facts

Active: 45 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • Berbere Spice Mixture
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup sweet paprika
  • Doro Wat
  • 4 tablespoons nit'r qibe (Ethiopian spiced butter) or unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1–2 tablespoons berbere (to taste)
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • Salt
  • Injera, for serving


  1. For the berbere: Heat a large heavy ban. Add the ginger, cardamom, fenugreek, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; roast over a low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

  2. Add the salt, cayenne pepper, and paprika and roast over very low heat for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool; store in a sealed jar.

  3. Doro Wat: Heat the butter over low heat in a large wok or deep frying pan. Add the onions and, stirring frequently for about 25 minutes, cook until caramelized.

  4. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for five to eight minutes, until soft. Add the berbere and 2 cups of water. Stir well.

  5. Season the chicken with salt. Add the chicken to the wok, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well cooked.

  6. Uncover the wok and raise the heat to medium-high. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to a thick, gravy-like consistency.

  7. Add the eggs and stir to warm them through. Taste and season with more berbere and salt. Serve with injera and eat with your fingers.