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Taste The World: Doro Wat Recipe for Easter [Ethiopia]

What is Fasika?

Easter is a special time for Christians, but we don’t always celebrate it the same. For Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, Easter is the most sacred of all the holidays throughout the year. Ethiopian Easter is called Fasika. During Ethiopian lent, which is 55 days long rather than 40 days, participants will abstain from consuming any meat, dairy or animal byproduct. Some even choose to fast these foods for a total of 200 days out of the year.

Fasting continues all the way through Fasika (Easter day), culminating in a large feast! This feast mainly consists of meat that has been freshly slaughtered, specifically for Easter. From lamb and goat, all the way to ox and chicken, you will likely find all of these meats (if not more) present at this feast. This platter of meats is often served with Injera, an Ethiopian flatbread. You can learn how to make Injera here. One of the traditional onion and chicken dishes served at this feast is called Doro Wat. This is what we will be making today!

ingredients needed to make doro wat on top of a cutting board


Ingredients for Doro Wat:

13 cup berbere spice blend (you can find the kind I used here)

1 lb. of red or yellow onions (about 2 large onions)

5 tbsp olive oil

5 medium garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped

Kosher salt for taste

1 1/2 lb. of chicken drumsticks with the skin cut off

12 tsp mekelesha spice blend (you can purchase here)

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Injera or another flatbread, for serving


Doro Wat Recipe

Doro Wat can take some time and a good amount of love, so plan anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours to prepare this dish.

Directions: Phase 1

  1. First you’ll take 1/3 cup of berbere and mix it with 3 tablespoons of cold water to create a thick paste to use later.
  2. Chop your onions and place them into a larger pot. Turn the stove on a low-medium heat and stir your onions occasionally. Stir them for about 20 minutes until they are translucent and soft.
  3. While you are stirring your onions, chop both your garlic cloves and ginger. You will need about 1 tsp. of ginger peeled and chopped and about 5 chopped cloves of garlic.
  4. Now add your olive oil, garlic, and ginger. Stir together for about a minute, then add the berbere paste you made and add some kosher salt to taste and 1/4 cup of water. Let this cook for about 5 minutes on low heat.
  5. Cut a few slits in the sides of each piece of chicken and add them to the mixture, making sure to cover all sides of the pieces with the sauce. Add 1 1/2 cup of water to the pot and mix together. Bring the pot to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 35 minutes, making sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and set to the side. Cover the chicken, as you will be adding this to the mixture later.

Directions: Phase 2

  1. Turn the heat down to low-medium and cover the pot. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the pan. Cook for about one hour or until the sauce thickens.
  2. While the sauce is thickening, cook your hardboiled eggs, and let them cool to the side.
  3. Once the sauce has cooked for one hour, add 1 tsp of your mekelesha spice blend. Mix well, add 1 tablespoon of water and cover the pot. Let the sauce simmer for another 15 minutes.
  4. Peel your hardboiled eggs and add slashes to them like you did the chicken.
  5. After the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, add the chicken back to the pot along with the hardboiled eggs. Immerse them in the sauce and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. While the pot is cooking, place your injera (flatbread will also work) on your plate until everything is ready to eat.
  7. Place the meat, egg, and sauce on top of your injera. Enjoy!

*The finished recipe for Doro Wat is quite spicy, so feel free to serve it over rice.

berbere paste in a bowl raw onions in a pot on the stove chopped ginger and garlic on a cutting board cooked onions in a pot being mixed with salt and berbere pastepot of onions, garlic, ginger, and berbere paste mixed together on the stove a pot of doro wat on the stove, chicken being added
doro wat Ethiopian food


Other recipes you may enjoy:

Taste The World: Injera Recipe [Ethiopia]

Taste The World: Chicken Adobo Recipe [Philippines]

5 Ways to Help Ethiopian Orphans Thrive