Ethiopian Doro Wat

Ethiopian doro wat recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
616 Calories
41g Fat
20g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 616
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 382mg 127%
Sodium 692mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 18mg 90%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 809mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Doro wat is an onion-based chicken stew from Ethiopia. If you walk into any Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurant around the world, you will undoubtedly be served this incredibly tasty dish. Doro wat is frequently served on top of injera with other wats and salads. During the Lent period before Easter, different types of lentils, chickpeas, and vegetables are often consumed.

You will notice many recipes published on the internet call for the use of chicken stock. This is normally needed where a smaller quantity of onions have been used, and therefore, more liquid is needed. In recipes where a significant quantity of onions has been used, the extra liquid is not necessary as there is enough wat base for cover; the chicken pieces will cook on a low heat resulting in the "sweating" out of its own liquids. Naturally, you will be cooking this in your kitchen to suit your time and effort. If by your judgment, the recipe could use more moisture, add a little water as required.


  • 2 pounds (800 grams) chicken thighs and drumsticks

  • 1 small lemon, juiced

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, clarified butter, ghee, or niter kibbeh, fragrant butter

  • 6 large red onions, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons berbere spice mix, more or less to taste

  • 1 (1-inch) piece) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • Salt, to taste

  • 11 ounces (450 milliliters) water, or chicken stock, add as needed

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala

  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for doro wat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Marinate the chicken pieces in the lemon juice. Refrigerate, covered, while you cook the onions.

    Marinate chicken
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil or butter in a large Dutch oven, or other heavy-duty pot over medium-low heat, add the onions and cook gently for an hour until reduced into a sweet paste. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

    Heat onion
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil or butter. Add the berbere spice, followed by the ginger and garlic and fry until fragrant. More berbere spice can be added depending on how much heat is desired. 

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the pot along with the stock and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer on low heat for 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Halfway through, sprinkle the garam masala over the wat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.

    Add chicken pieces
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Add the boiled eggs to the wat and stir to coat completely. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if desired. Serve the doro wat on top of injera to enjoy it the traditional way. Alternatively, this can be enjoyed with Indian flatbread or rice.

    Doro wat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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