Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

Yield: Serves 5  

Prep Time: 30 minutes 

Cook Time: 1 hour 

By Elham Ismael

Doro Wat is one of the most famous of all African dishes.  You will find it in every Ethiopian restaurant and virtually anyone who is familiar with African cuisine will have heard of it.  Another version, although not as commonly known here, is Sega Wat, made with beef (fyi, you’ll find recipes online calling it Sik Sik Wat, but I’ve confirmed with the chefs of several Ethiopian restaurants that it’s Sega Wat).  You can directly substitute beef for chicken and follow the same cooking instructions.

Traditionally Doro Wat is served with an Ethiopian flatbread called injera. It’s kind of a spongy pancake made with teff flour (a grain indigenous to the area), and the batter is left to ferment for up to four days before it’s used. The injera is used in place of an eating utensil to scoop up the chicken stew.



5 chicken legs (you can use other  parts of chicken but cooking time may vary)

 2 tsp white vinegar 

 lemon juice from 1 lemon

4 large red or white onions,  finely chopped

2 tbsp oil

5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (optional) 

2 tbsp of our Berbere spice mix (add more or less depending on spice preference but you want it to be red in colour) 

2 cups of water or chicken broth

2 chopped  tomatoes 

Half a can Pasta sauce (approximately 11/4 cups)

¼ cup niter kibbeh ghee (Ethiopian spiced butter) (optional) 

salt, to taste

4 hard cooked  eggs 

To buy Thirteen's Berbere Spice CLICK HERE


  1. Soak the chicken legs in water. Add vinegar and the lemon juice. Let it soak for 15-20 minutes, then drain and lightly rinse the chickens. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the chicken a few times to help it absorb the flavours later while cooking.
  2. In a medium pot over medium-low (no oil here yet!). Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they are soft and the water from the onion is absorbed, then add the oil. 
  3. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for about 4 minutes until the onion is golden brown, then stir in the Berbere spice and cook for another 5 minutes and  gradually add  the water and  keep stirring. 
  4. Add the chicken legs and tomatoes . Cover lightly and add pasta sauce, cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add butter and salt to taste, cook for another 10 minutes. 
  6. Pierce the hard cooked eggs for the flavours to be absorbed, add themadd them to the sauce and stir.
  7. Serve with injera (we have linked where you can buy injera in Ottawa at the bottom of the page), rice or bread.  

Places to find injera in Ottawa 

  • Iham Injera  590 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa (Gluten free) A lot of Quickie convenience stores sell injera from this bakery, ask if your nearest Quickie has injera.  
  • Tizita Bakery 365 Booth St, Ottawa 
  • Damas Supermarket 3033 Carling Ave, Ottawa
  • Habesha Restaurant 99 Montreal Rd, Ottawa