10 Absolutely Necessary Dishes in Ethiopia

Ethiopian family

Ethiopians use a lot of spices like thyme, saffron, coriander, basil, mustard, red pepper, and cardamom.

Almost all foods contain garlic.

In Ethiopia, they usually serve big plates with different components.

You can pass the plate and share a large portion with family or friends.

Ethiopian cuisine is one of the oldest in the world and it deserves our special attention.

Learn why.


Shiro is a very thick sauce cooked from chickpea flour and spices.

You have to pour it over a piece of injera.

To prepare Shiro, you need to get chickpea flour, Berber, onion, and garlic.

You can get a ready-made mixture for Shiro in the Ethiopian shops.

They are simply diluted with water.

Chickpeas on the table


In Ethiopian cuisine, injera is for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The Ethiopians take the tef, wheat, rice or rye flour, depending on taste and prepare sourdough which is basic for injera.

The advantage of the tef injera is that this cereal does not contain gluten so it’s allergen-free.

After baking, you get a large sponge-like tortilla where you can apply different fillings.

Sourdough in a jar

Doro Wat

Doro wat (chicken stew) is one of the most famous African dishes.

There is another version of the recipe with the beef instead of chicken.

To cook the beef dish sik sik wat, it is enough to replace chicken with beef, leaving everything else in this recipe unchanged.

Doro Wat is a super spicy dish!

Traditionally, it is served with Ethiopian injera bread.


Tibs is one of the most popular dishes in Ethiopia.

To prepare this dish, you can take lamb, goat or beef meat.

Then you cut the meat in cubes and quickly roast it with hot peppers and onions.

In the end, you should flavor it with a spoon of fragrant clarified oil, vegetables, and rosemary.

Just like with the rest of the Ethiopian dishes, you should tear off a piece of injera, take a couple of tibs slices, dip them in a Berber sauce, and eat.

Roasted beef


Fir-fir is the most common breakfast in Ethiopia.

It is one of the easiest and cheapest dishes.

The secret ingredient is the leftovers of injera.

Yesterday’s injera is cut into bands and dried.

After that, fir-fir is stir-fried with Berber and served with a portion of fresh injera.


Gomen is kind of vegetarian food which is based on the collard leaves.

You can eat it as a separate dish or as a side dish for your lamb or beef if you are a meat-eater.

The leaves are simply fried in a little hot fat and get crispy.

Kik Alicha

One of the most important spices in Ethiopia is turmeric.

One of the most popular dishes that are seasoned with this spice is Kik Alicha.

It sounds very exotic, but in fact, it is a bowl of split pea soup.

Besides, you can feel garlic and onions which give a delicious flavor to the dish.

No doubt, you should eat it with injera just like the Ethiopians do.

Mesir Wat

Mesir Wat is very similar to the previous dish that we have discussed.

This is a kind of a creamy sauce but made of red lentils.

It is delicious, spicy, and ultimately vegetarian.

Dip injera, feel good!


Fresh salads are also a part of the culinary culture of Ethiopia.

How else could you balance those spicy, delicious, yet heavy meat dishes?

Salata resembles a Greek salad since it’s cooked with fresh tomatoes, onions, and green vegetables.

It is necessary to season the salad with olive oil, sprinkle some lemon juice, and add some salt.

Gomen be Siga

Gomen be Siga is cooked from an Ethiopian spiced clarified butter called niter kibbeh, beef, lamb, or any other meat, and collard leaves.

There can be different variations of this dish like lamb and spinach, beef and collard greens, or kale.

Instead of serving the dish on a plate, the Ethiopians serve Gomen be Siga on injera.

Grilled meat

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