Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

A traditional Ethiopian/Eritrean dish. Very hot, so be prepared. If you're used to hot curries, you'll love it! Berbere pepper is a spice mix of mostly paprika and chili with some other spices (recipe included). It is also delicious on barbecues and in hot tomato sauces.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the berbere, grind spices if necessary. Combine the spices and roast in a dry skillet on low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5-10 minutes, or until warm and just slightly roasted and fragrant - not browned. The proportions between hot and mild paprika powder should be adjusted to taste. I prefer 50/50, which gives a fairly hot result. The paprika powder should be of highest quality.
  2. While still hot, pour the berbere pepper into a jar and seal. Will keep for months in a cool and dark place.
  3. For the stew, brown the meat on high heat until brown, then add the onion, and eventually the garlic and 3 tbsp Berbere, which are NOT to become burnt.
  4. Deglaze with the wine (if using). Add the canned tomatoes with their liquid, the stock cubes and the tomato paste and let simmer very slowly until the meat is tender and the stew has thickened (½ hour to 2 hours or more, depending on the meat).
  5. Add salt, pepper and lemon to taste. Garnish with coriander and serve hot on Injera (Ethiopian flat bread). Also good with rice or potatotoes.
Most Helpful

Wow! My husband and I both love hot food, but this was so hot that I could only eat a few bites...haha! My husband loved it, but even he had to add some yogurt to it to cool it down. We made it exactly as directed, except I didn't have any fenugreek. The flavors were good and I will probably make again but with a little less cayenne (probably 3-4 tbsp next time). I served mine over cooked millet and the husband ate it on a pita bread (we didn't have any injera around).

Bugeah March 31, 2011

I made a quick version of this. Canned tomatoes with chiles, garlic and ginger paste, and berbere I bought from a fantastic little Ethiopian restaurant. Very tasty over basmati.

VeganDave December 23, 2009

YUM! My mom always made this dish at home (Yemen) and so was overjoyed to find the ingredients for the berbere pepper. We always had this dish with chicken and with some boiled eggs thrown in and so I made this with one whole chicken and 3 boiled eggs added in at the end. Lovely!

Ymn's girl April 14, 2008