Doro wat is an incredibly fragrant, spicy, flavorful, rich slow-cooked Ethiopian chicken stew mostly eaten for special occasions and family gatherings.
Doro wat Recipe – National dish of Ethiopia.
Doro wat is an onion-based spicy chicken stew usually made during occasions like parties, weddings, birthdays, or any day. It is one of the national dishes of Ethiopia, usually served over injera – spongy Ethiopian bread.
Low maintenance dish
Don’t worry about the length of time required to make Doro wat. It is a low-maintenance dish; once the aromatics are cooking in the oil and spice, you don’t have much to do.
What type of chicken should I use for making Doro Wat?
Traditionally, when making Doro wat, a whole chicken is used. The chicken is washed in vinegar solution and with salt and the skin is taken off before the chicken is cut into twelve, representing the twelve tribes of Jacob in the bible.
I did not use a whole chicken for this recipe, neither did I use twelve chicken pieces. I used chicken legs (drumsticks). However, you can choose to use any chicken part of your choice.
No two recipes are the same.
In Ethiopia, every family has their Doro wat recipe, and just like most African countries, they really don’t measure their ingredients. That is why it’s hard to find two exact recipes for Doro wat. In other words, they use their instincts, and the result is outstanding!
The stew gets its kick from berbere spice. Berbere spice is an Ethiopian spice made with a base of chili powder and fragrant aromatics like cardamom, fenugreek, and clove. It’s of little wonder why a whole lot of Ethiopian food is built on it. Once you use this spice, you will get addicted to it.
Berbere spice is quite spicy hence, the need for tomato paste to tone down the heat. However, if you love it spicy, you can skip the tomato paste, and if you like it less spicy, you can reduce the quantity of berbere spice in the stew.
What to serve with Doro wat
This stew is often served with Injera– a popular flatbread in Ethiopia. However, it is very versatile, and I have served it over rice – it pairs perfectly well.
Can I refrigerate Doro wat?
Yes, Doro wat can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. In order to further extend the shelf life of Doro wat, freeze it in a covered airtight freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags. If properly stored, it will maintain its best quality for about 4 to 6 months.
- Trust your instinct when adding water because Doro wat is more of a stew, not soup, so it needs to be thick. You really want to be able to scoop it with the injera, so you only need very little water. Also, bear in mind that the chicken will also release its juice inside the stew.
- If you want to get the best out of this dish, make sure you let the onions cook for the entire length of time.
- Also, don’t be in haste while simmering the stew. Give it time to slowly cook until the chicken becomes tender.
Other delicious Ethiopian recipes you might want to try:
You may also check out these delicious stew (sauce) recipes:
- 4 red onions medium-sized
- 4 pounds chicken I used skinless legs
- 3/4 to 1 cup Vegetable oil or any good cooking oil of your choice
- 2 tablespoon kibbeh Ethiopian spiced butter
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste optional
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 tbsp ginger grated
- 1/4 cup water
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup berbere spice
- 1 cup vinegar mixed with 2 cups water to clean chicken
- Clean the chicken very well and soak it in water and vinegar. Rinse and drain when ready to use.
- Boil the eggs, peel, and set aside.
- Finely dice the onions. I like to use the food processor to save time.
- Add the onions to a pot over low to medium heat. The onions will sweat and create the water they will simmer in. Continue to stir the onions to prevent burning until they change color (light pink color). About 30 to 40 minutes. When they are done, the water will evaporate, and the onions will begin to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the oil, minced garlic, salt, and berbere spice. Stir well.
- Add kebe (Ethiopian spiced butter) and the tomato paste and stir.
- Slash the chicken in two or three places. This step is optional, but it will allow the flavors of the stew to penetrate the chicken. Add the chicken inside the stew and stir.
- Add the water and cook on medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Continue to cook until the stew thickens up and the chicken becomes ender.
- Stir in the eggs and leave to cook for another 15 to 20 minutes.
If you want to get the best out of this dish, make sure you let the onions cook for the entire length of time.
Don’t be in haste while simmering the stew. Give it time to slowly cook until the chicken becomes tender.
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Saturday 18th of February 2023
The recipe ingredients include ginger, but the instructions never say which step to add it in. I'd assume it goes it with the garlic (step 5)
Saturday 11th of February 2023
You didn't indicate when to add the ginger but I assumed it goes in with the garlic. Thanks again!
Saturday 11th of February 2023
Thank you so much for this recipe! I fell in love with doro wat the first time I tried it, which was on an Ethiopian Airlines flight - it was the only inflight meal I've had that I can describe as truly memorable. I knew I had to try to make it myself. I quickly purchased some berbere and started to research recipes - only to become discouraged by some recipes that seemed incredibly complicated and made the dish seem impossibly difficult to make well. Your recipe is the first one that gave me the confidence to try it out, and now I'm a very happy camper with a delicious pot of doro wat in my kitchen. It tastes absolutely glorious with great depth of flavour, and I am so pleased. Thank you!!
Chef Lola's Kitchen
Wednesday 1st of March 2023
There's nothing like a delightful plate of Doro Wat. Happy to know you made and loved it.
Monday 26th of December 2022
This is so delicious! I’d warn fellow cooks that you may want to add wayyyyy less Berbere depending on the spice level of your mix.
Tuesday 27th of December 2022
Well said patty! Glad you liked it.
Saturday 26th of November 2022
Wow this dish as delicious i cooked it for lunch
Friday 2nd of December 2022
Glad you enjoyed it Analyn. :)