Skip To Content

Ethiopian Doro Wat Chicken Stew for Shabbat

Long-simmered Ethiopian stews, known as wats, are often made for Shabbat. They are traditionally served with the pancake-like flat bread, injera, which is made before the Sabbath and wrapped in a clean cloth until the wat is ready to eat. The eggs are an intrinsic part of the dish so make sure everyone receives one in their portion.


Serves 4

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6–8 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh root ginger
1 cup water or chicken stock
1 cup passata (bottled strained tomatoes) or 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
3 pounds chicken, cut into 8–12 portions
Seeds from 5–8 cardamom pods
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
Large pinch of ground cloves
Large pinch of grated nutmeg
Cayenne pepper, hot paprika or berbere, to taste
4 hard-boiled eggs
Salt and ground black pepper
Fresh coriander (cilantro) and onion rings, to garnish
Injera, flat bread or rice, to serve

1) Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1–2 minutes.

2) Add the water or chicken stock and the passata or chopped tomatoes to the pan. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring continuously, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened. Season.

3) Add the chicken and spices to the pan and turn the chicken in the sauce. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender. Add a little more liquid if the mixture seems too thick.

4) Remove the shells from the eggs and then prick the eggs once or twice with a fork. Add the eggs to the sauce and heat gently until the eggs are warmed through. Garnish with coriander and onion rings and serve with injera, flat bread or rice.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Jewish Festival Food: Eating for Special Occasions” (Lorenz Books) by Marlena Spieler.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.