Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken stew

Doro wat is an incredibly fragrant, spicy, flavorful, rich slow-cooked Ethiopian chicken stew mostly eaten for special occasions and family gatherings.

Doro wat served in a bowl

Doro wat Recipe – National dish of Ethiopia.

Doro wat is an onion-based spicy chicken stew usually made during occasions like parties, weddings, birthdays, or any day. It is one of the national dishes of Ethiopia, usually served over injera – spongy Ethiopian bread.

Low maintenance dish

Don’t worry about the length of time required to make Doro wat. It is a low-maintenance dish; once the aromatics are cooking in the oil and spice, you don’t have much to do.

Ingredients for making Doro wat

What type of chicken should I use for making Doro Wat?

Traditionally, when making Doro wat, a whole chicken is used. The chicken is washed in vinegar solution and with salt and the skin is taken off before the chicken is cut into twelve, representing the twelve tribes of Jacob in the bible. 

I did not use a whole chicken for this recipe, neither did I use twelve chicken pieces. I used chicken legs (drumsticks). However, you can choose to use any chicken part of your choice. 

No two recipes are the same.

In Ethiopia, every family has their Doro wat recipe, and just like most African countries, they really don’t measure their ingredients. That is why it’s hard to find two exact recipes for Doro wat. In other words, they use their instincts, and the result is outstanding!

Berbere Spice

The stew gets its kick from berbere spice. Berbere spice is an Ethiopian spice made with a base of chili powder and fragrant aromatics like cardamom, fenugreek, and clove. It’s of little wonder why a whole lot of Ethiopian food is built on it. Once you use this spice, you will get addicted to it. 

Berbere spice is quite spicy hence, the need for tomato paste to tone down the heat. However, if you love it spicy, you can skip the tomato paste, and if you like it less spicy, you can reduce the quantity of berbere spice in the stew.

What to serve with Doro wat

This stew is often served with Injera– a popular flatbread in Ethiopia. However, it is very versatile, and I have served it over rice – it pairs perfectly well.

Can I refrigerate Doro wat?

Yes, Doro wat can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. In order to further extend the shelf life of Doro wat, freeze it in a covered airtight freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags. If properly stored, it will maintain its best quality for about 4 to 6 months.


  1. Trust your instinct when adding water because Doro wat is more of a stew, not soup, so it needs to be thick. You really want to be able to scoop it with the injera, so you only need very little water. Also, bear in mind that the chicken will also release its juice inside the stew. 
  2. If you want to get the best out of this dish, make sure you let the onions cook for the entire length of time.
  3. Also, don’t be in haste while simmering the stew. Give it time to slowly cook until the chicken becomes tender.

Other delicious Ethiopian recipes you might want to try:

You may also check out these delicious stew (sauce) recipes:

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