There are plenty of wonderful dishes and variations of each dish to eat in Ethiopia, but here are ten dishes that is widely available and extremely delicious. When you travel to Ethiopia, don’t miss these foods.
1. Shiro wat
Along with injera, shiro wat, also just called just shiro, is one of the most widely consumed dishes in Ethiopia.
If you ever order a mixed combination platter of food (like yetsom beyaynetu), or if you eat vegetarian food, shiro wat will nearly always be among the selection.
Shiro wat is made from chickpea and broad bean flour, mixed with garlic and onions, and made into a thick, almost paste like substance. Kind of like refried beans but smoother. Non-vegetarian versions of shiro often includes lots of butter, but the vegan version usually includes a little olive oil instead.
2. Misir wat
Another staple for the vegetarian repertoire of Ethiopian dishes is misir wat, or red lentil stew.
The lentils are cooked with a few spoons of berbere spice powder to give them a nice redness in color, and cooked until tender, yet they still have some texture to them.
3. Salata (Ethiopian salad)
A combined by both the fresh flavorful vegetables paired with the injera, and sort of mixing up each bite with another curry, and that contrast of the tomato lemony salad that made it taste so good.
4. Chechebsa (kita fir fir)
Imagine a paratha (a flaky oily fried bread) shredded into bite sizes pieces, then fried up with some butter and just a hint of berbere for flavoring. Chechebsa in Ethiopia, it was served with a side of fresh honey and a bowl of plain yogurt. The contrast of the oily spicy doughy bread with sweet honey and yogurt was unique and flavorful.
5. Injera fit fit (fir fir)
Fit fit or fir fir is normally made with leftover or day old injera, mixed with leftover stew, such as shiro wat. The injera is torn into small bite sizes rolls or pieces, marinated in the leftover stew of the day, and left in the fridge overnight. The injera pieces in fit fit or fir fir become really moist and fall apart, quite sour, and also very juicy. The sponginess of the injera soaks up a lot of liquid. It’s served cool, sometimes even with ice cubes in it.
6. Doro wat
One of the great Ethiopian foods is doro wat, or chicken stew. Using the omnipresent mixture of berbere spices, a heavy load of Ethiopian butter, chicken, eggs, and onions, doro wat is born. The sauce is mostly made from onions that have been stewed down for so long, they disintegrate into a puree.
7. Key wat
Key wat is a fantastic Ethiopian beef stew.
The meat is usually cut into tiny cubes, then stewed with a generous amount of red berbere seasoning, some extra cumin, fenugreek, onions, garlic, and a bit of tomato puree to make the sauce. The meat and sauce combination of key wat makes for the perfect dish to mop up all the flavorful sauces and juices. The bottom of the injera, at the end of your meal, is always packed with flavor.
8. Gomen be siga
Gomen is a popular vegetarian dish, mostly just collard green fried up with some butter. It’s really good as a vegetarian dish, but even better when it’s mixed with some extra garlic, diced pieces of beef, and some extra vegetables, known as gomen be siga – and it’s no longer vegetarian.You can either spoon out scoops of collard greens and beef onto a piece of injera, or you can dig right into the bowl.
Kitfo, a dish made from raw minced beef, is one of the most beloved local dishes in the entire country. It’s a food that’s often eaten on special occasions, with good friends or family. You can either order leb leb, which is very slightly cooked, or the normal kitfo which is completely raw. The minced meat is mixed with mitmita, a blend of spices, and niter kibbeh, the Ethiopian herbed butter, and that’s it
10. Derek tibs
Despite there being plenty of vegetarian food available in Ethiopia, if you’re a meat lover, many Ethiopians are also in love with meat.
Walking along the streets of Addis Ababa, you’ll get whiffs of freshly butchered meat, hanging in the open-air butchery ready to be sliced off and served by the chunk.You can normally choose between beef or goat, and the meat is sliced up into pieces, fried with butter, and served inside a flaming hot ceramic dish. Derek tibs is sometimes also seasoned with rosemary and garlic, and served with awaze, a chili dipping sauce on the side, and rolls of injera.