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  • 2lbs stewing beef, in cubes
  • 1⁄4cup vegetable oil
  • 2large onions, chopped
  • 4garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2(14 ounce) cans plum tomatoes with liquid
  • 2beef bouillon cubes
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1⁄2cup dry red wine (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon juice (optional)
  • fresh coriander (cilantro) (optional)
  • Berbere pepper
  • 1teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1⁄2teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1⁄4teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄4teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1⁄8teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1tablespoon salt
  • 7tablespoons mixed mild and hot paprika (see below)


  • For the berbere, grind spices if necessary. Combine the spices and roast in a dry skillet on low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5-10 minutes, or until warm and just slightly roasted and fragrant – not browned. The proportions between hot and mild paprika powder should be adjusted to taste. I prefer 50/50, which gives a fairly hot result. The paprika powder should be of highest quality.
  • While still hot, pour the berbere pepper into a jar and seal. Will keep for months in a cool and dark place.
  • For the stew, brown the meat on high heat until brown, then add the onion, and eventually the garlic and 3 tbsp Berbere, which are NOT to become burnt.
  • Deglaze with the wine (if using). Add the canned tomatoes with their liquid, the stock cubes and the tomato paste and let simmer very slowly until the meat is tender and the stew has thickened (½ hour to 2 hours or more, depending on the meat).
  • Add salt, pepper and lemon to taste. Garnish with coriander and serve hot on Injera (Ethiopian flat bread). Also good with rice or potatotoes.


  • Bugeah

    Wow! My husband and I both love hot food, but this was so hot that I could only eat a few bites…haha! My husband loved it, but even he had to add some yogurt to it to cool it down. We made it exactly as directed, except I didn’t have any fenugreek. The flavors were good and I will probably make again but with a little less cayenne (probably 3-4 tbsp next time). I served mine over cooked millet and the husband ate it on a pita bread (we didn’t have any injera around).

  • Feej

    First time making anything Ethiopian. Also first time with fenugreek & cardamom. Both dh & I liked this. I admit, I was timid & only used 2 tablespoons cayenne. Should have used more. So a few days later, I added more cayenne to the rest of the berbere pepper mix and put it on some chicken I was grilling. We both liked it a lot. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m going to keep the berbere on-hand.

  • VeganDave

    I made a quick version of this. Canned tomatoes with chiles, garlic and ginger paste, and berbere I bought from a fantastic little Ethiopian restaurant. Very tasty over basmati.

  • Ymn’s girl

    YUM! My mom always made this dish at home (Yemen) and so was overjoyed to find the ingredients for the berbere pepper. We always had this dish with chicken and with some boiled eggs thrown in and so I made this with one whole chicken and 3 boiled eggs added in at the end. Lovely!

  • Woowoose

    Delicious! By mistake had to use ground beef instead but it worked. I’ll definitely use this again. Thanks!

  • Rhubarbarella

    This was very good! I used some niter kebbeh instead of the vegetable oil and I had my own berbere on hand which I used. It thickens up quite nicely and works well with injera. I will definitely make it again!

  • Wheatonchef

    This recipe is awesome! Very easy to make and very tender and flavorful. It is certainly spicy, but if you like a lot of complex flavors, you’ll love this one. I would definitely make it again!

  • woodland hues

    Wow!! What complex flavours are happening here! I left this to simmer for an hour and served with Ugali (Ugali). A highly satisfying meal. I prepared the berbere pepper according to the recipe except for cutting the cayenne down to 3 tbsp. I’m happy with the results – used the amount called for and found the dish to be just at the edge where I like spiciness, but it was too much for DH who isn’t into spicy the way I am. Thanks for posting this great dish!

  • hippeastrum

    Hrm, the spicyness was a little high for everyone and I reduced it to only 3 tsp too. SInce I love spicy food, I thought it was great and I will make it again sometime. I couldn’t find any fenugreek and I ran out of cloves, but it still came out pretty good I thought. Thanks!