Doro Wot

Photography by Scott Payne | Food Styling by Cindy Melin

Popular in the East African country of Ethiopia, doro wot is a dish with a wonderful blend of peppers and aromatic spices. Although ground spices can be used, the whole spices present a much more robust flavor.

Don’t let the long ingredient list and preparation time deter you; this dish is well worth the effort. Traditionally served with other wot and a vegetable salad on injera — a fermented teff bread — doro wot is just as delicious over naan or chapatti bread, tortillas or rice.

Berebere Spice Mixture
6 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon cumin seed
¾ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
¾ teaspoon peppercorns
4 cloves
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon all spice

1 chicken (5 pounds), cut into pieces (legs, thighs, breasts, etc.)
Juice of 2 limes
2 pounds red onion
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced butter)
1 tablespoon ginger, crushed
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
½ cup red wine
4 medium eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
Water as needed


  1. Remove seeds from cardamom pods and either discard or save the pods. Combine cardamom seeds with cumin, fenugreek, peppercorns, coriander seeds and red pepper flakes. Heat in a dry skillet over low to medium heat until lightly toasted. Allow to cool.
  2. Add cloves and grind in spice or coffee bean grinder. Combine with remaining spices and mix well.
  3. Remove skin from chicken and marinate in lime juice. Set aside for later use.
  4. Place onions in food processor and pulverize to a thick liquid. Simmer onions in dutch oven, stirring frequently. When all the liquid from the pulverized onions has evaporated add the butter, cover and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the ginger and garlic and allow to simmer for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add 5 tablespoons of the berebere, stir well and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add a small amount of water if needed.
  7. Add the cut chicken and wine and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and continue simmering for 45 minutes. The chicken should release enough fluid to cook itself but water can be added if necessary.
  8. Cut 4-6 slits in the boiled eggs, place in the cooked wot and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 6 ounces
Serves 12

Calories: 327; Total fat: 14g; Saturated fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 175 mg; Sodium: 252; Carbohydrates: 10g; Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 38g; Potassium: 517mg; Phosphorus: 331mg

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Cordialis Msora-Kasago
​Cordialis Msora-Kasago, MA, RD, is National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a California-based registered dietitian of Zimbabwean descent. She is passionate about African diets and the prevention of chronic diseases. Read her blog, The African Pot Nutrition. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.