Ethiopian Spicy Beef Stew (Key Wat)

READY IN: 1hr 30mins
Recipe by Zurie

Every now and then someone requests Ethiopian recipes. Most of the easily available recipes are the traditional stews, and there are hundreds of individual variations of these recipes with the same name. In the Kitchen Information Forum you can find a short glossary of Ethiopian food terms. The word WAT means a stew, and the basic spice mixture used in almost all stews are BERBERE. The recipes are economical, easy and tasty, and always served with INJERA (flatbread). If you type "Injera" in the search line on Food.com you will find more than a dozen recipes. Make the Berbere spice mix first. Prep time tries to include making this spice mix from scratch, although it is available from specialty and Ethiopian stores.

Top Review by Shridhar A.

In the spice mix, I would turn down the cardamom and paprika and turn up the cumin and coriander. The flavor was far too earthy and the cardamom especially overpowered the other smells. If you want it thicker, add some yogurt at the very end. Beyond that, great recipe. I actually slow cooked this recipe and it made the beef so tender. This dish also goes great with some hummus and chutney on the side. Pita bread or parathas are fine if you don't have injera.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. To make the Berbere spice mix: mix all the spices and toast in a dry, hot pan, shaking to prevent scorching. Cool the mixture, then grind into a powder. The small coffee bean grinder attachment often supplied with a processor is ideal for this. Save the leftover spice in a small glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. * Berbere can be either a dry or a wet paste, and can be bought ready-made from Ethiopian or speciality food shops.
  3. To make the stew: Add the oil and ghee or butter to a pan over medium heat. (Niter kibbeh, the real thing, is a spice-infused clarified butter which is used as the frying medium for most Ethiopian dishes).
  4. Gently fry the onion until very soft and just about caramelised. Add the garlic, berbere spice, tomato paste and sugar, mix well, and cook until thick.
  5. Add a little of the stock (or water) to make a paste. Add the remaining liquid and the meat cubes, season with salt, and cook gently for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened and reduced.
  6. Serve with injera, the Ethiopian flatbread. If correctly made and almost crispy, pieces can be used as eating utensils.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a