This is What Traditional Ethiopian Breakfast Looks Like

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Traditional Ethiopian Breakfast

Traditional Ethiopian breakfast is a vibrant and flavorful culinary experience that offers a rich tapestry of tastes, textures, and aromas.

Rooted in the country's diverse culture and history, Ethiopian breakfast embodies the essence of community, togetherness, and a deep appreciation for wholesome ingredients.

This morning meal is not just about sustenance; it's a celebration of tradition, a gathering of family and friends, and a delightful exploration of unique flavors.

One of the standout elements of Ethiopian breakfast is injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread made from teff flour, a tiny but nutrient-rich grain native to the region.

Injera serves as both a utensil and a plate, creating a communal dining experience where everyone shares from a common platter.

The bread is used to scoop up a variety of flavorful stews and dishes, including Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew, or Misir Wat, a rich red lentil stew, both of which are beloved staples of the Ethiopian breakfast table.

Another essential component of an Ethiopian breakfast is the array of colorful and zesty condiments, known as "wats."

These include Berbere, a fiery spice blend, and Niter Kibbeh, a seasoned clarified butter, which add depth and heat to the dishes.

Breakfast in Ethiopia is a flavorful journey that balances heat and spice with the cooling influence of a side of yogurt or Ayib, a type of cheese.

Coffee, known as "Bunna," holds a special place in Ethiopian culture and is integral to breakfast.

The traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony is a cherished ritual, where freshly roasted coffee beans are ground, brewed, and served in a unique, elaborate process that brings people together to share stories and build connections.

Traditional Ethiopian breakfast is not only a culinary adventure but also a cultural immersion.

It invites you to savor the flavors of this ancient land, explore the warmth of its people, and celebrate the art of breaking bread together.

Whether you're a traveler seeking an authentic experience or a food enthusiast eager to expand your palate, a traditional Ethiopian breakfast promises an unforgettable and aromatic journey into the heart of this East African nation's food culture.


For Doro Wat (Spicy Chicken Stew):

  • 4 chicken drumsticks and thighs, skinless
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Berbere spice mix
  • 1/4 cup Niter Kibbeh (seasoned clarified butter)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt to taste

For Injera (Sourdough Flatbread):

  • 2 cups teff flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


For Doro Wat (Spicy Chicken Stew):

  1. Heat Niter Kibbeh in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Stir in minced garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the Berbere spice mix and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes to release the flavors of the spices.
  4. Add chicken pieces and coat them with the spice mixture.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for about 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Add water as needed to maintain a stew-like consistency.
  6. Season with salt to taste.

For Injera (Sourdough Flatbread):

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the teff flour and yeast. Gradually add the water while stirring until you have a smooth, pourable batter.
  2. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 6 hours or overnight to ferment. The batter should bubble and develop a sour flavor.
  3. Stir in the salt and adjust the consistency with more water if necessary; it should be thinner than pancake batter.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease it with oil.
  5. Pour a ladleful of the batter onto the skillet and swirl it to form a thin, crepe-like pancake. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until the edges start to lift and the surface is dry.
  6. Injera is typically cooked on one side only, so there's no need to flip it. Remove it from the skillet and set it aside to cool.

To Serve:

Place a piece of Injera on a large platter and spoon a generous portion of Doro Wat on top. Serve additional injera on the side for scooping up the stew. Traditional Ethiopian breakfast is typically enjoyed family-style, with everyone sharing from the same platter using pieces of injera as utensils.

Enjoy this authentic and flavorful Ethiopian breakfast with a cup of freshly brewed Bunna (Ethiopian coffee) for a complete cultural experience.

Enjoy this easy video tutorial about Ethiopian Breakfast Recipe

Source: Epicurious

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