Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew

January/February 2012

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (202 votes)

This spicy chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils. Depending on brand, berbere spice blend can be rather spicy. For a less spicy stew, start with 3 tablespoons spice blend rather than 5.

Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew

26 Reviews for Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken Stew


We loved this dish. It is one of the BEST things I cook.

So hot nearly inedible and I love hot

I scoured the internet for berbere recipes, compared many in a chart I made, and blended one, reducing the hot pepper element as all the recipes seemed to consist of mainly ground red pepper of various description and paprika. The fractional teaspoons of other spices made me think that the option of using garam masala and fenugreek would give the dish a completely different flavor. So, I made the berbere using crushed red pepper along with about a dozen other spices. I was really disappointed that after cooking this stew all day that it just tasted of hot pepper. In retrospect, I calculated that the berbere recipes will contribute about two teaspoons of red pepper per serving. Perhaps my crushed red was just too hot. Another illustration of the effect of spice pungency on recipes. EW should have provided a tested berbere recipe.

nice use of lentils

I'm of Ethiopian descent, and can tell you that traditionally this dish doesn't have wine in it, just water or broth, and it's either made with lentils or chicken but mixing them together is a great idea.
** One major tip to mellow out the berbere spice, you have to saute' it with the onions for at least 15 minutes on medium/low heat, sturing often. If you make the dish a day or 2 ahead, it tastes even better, the spice really mellows out, and marries well.

good flavor...

Delicious, it is spicy, but it was easy and yummy!


We are used to eating very hot spicey food. This is simply too HOT with 5 Tablespoons of berbere spice. It will need a lot of yogurt and rice to cool this down!

Comments (1)

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Anonymous wrote 2 years 47 weeks ago

I agree great flavor, but I

I agree great flavor, but I would have enjoyed it more if it was a little less spicy

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