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

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 lbs/800 g chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, clarified butter (ghee), or niter kibbeh (fragrant butter)
  • 6 teaspoons berbere spice mix (or less, to taste)
  • 6 large red onions (chopped)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
  • salt to taste
  • 11 ounces/450 mL of water or chicken stock (add as required)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 6 eggs (boiled and 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.

    Marinate chicken
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of niter kibbeh, ghee, or vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed 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 niter kibbeh, ghee, or vegetable oil. 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 water or stock. 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. 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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