Ethiopian Food – Traditional Dishes & Recipes

Want to cook some traditional Ethiopian food? The Ethiopian cuisine is not so well known around the world, but it definitely deserves more attention.

Ethiopian food consists of lots of vegetables, spicy meat and delicious creamy stews, also known as “wat” in the country. In this article, you can read more about the Ethiopian cuisine and its traditional dishes.


If you love meat, then you have to taste the local dish tibs. It’s a dish made from meat that has been cut into smaller pieces and fried in oil together with onions.

It’s a classic when it comes to Ethiopian food, so make sure to taste tibs when you’re in the country.

thiopian Tibs


A popular breakfast dish in Ethiopia is fatira, which is a pancake that’s usually served with scrambled eggs and honey.

It’s a popular dish to eat during Eid-al-Fitr in Ethiopia, a holiday that ends the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Photo: Sarah Browning


Shiro is a tasty and spicy stew that vegetarians can eat. It’s made from chickpeas, beans, lentils and the Berber spice mix which is made from 16 different spices. In some recipes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, chili and ginger are also added to the recipe.

Like many other traditional dishes from Ethiopia, this dish is served with the delicious injera bread.

Ethiopian food


Beyainatu translates into “a little bit of everything” and consists of several vegetarian dishes served on injera bread. You usually get various vegetables, potato, curries, lentil stews and much more when you order this dish.

Beyainatu is served on a large plate that’s for sharing with friends and family. The food is eaten with your hands using the bread.



In the Tigray region, tihlo is a specialty. You could say it’s the Ethiopian version of the Swiss fondue.

Tihlo consists of small dough balls that are made from barley flour. You put the dough balls on skewers and dip them in a spicy stew.

Photo: Rod Waddington

Yasa tibs

Yasa tibs is made of pieces of fish marinated with the Berber spice mix and lime juice. The fish is fried in sesame oil together with olive oil, peppers, garlic and ginger.

It’s a tasty Ethiopian dish that’s a must to eat if you like fish.

Ethiopian food


Injera is a staple food in the Ethiopian cuisine. It’s a flat sourdough bread made from fermented teff flour.

It’s a bread that’s served with most traditional dishes in Ethiopia. If you order a dish, it’s almost always sure that you’ll be served injera bread as well.

Ethiopian food


Kitfo consists of ground beef and is one of the most popular dishes in the country. It’s a dish that’s common to eat during special occasions and preferably together with friends and family.

The meat is usually served raw, or slightly cooked (which is called leb leb). But you can also ask if you can get the dish “betam leb leb”, which means that it should be more cooked.

However, the meat is marinated in a chili spice mix together with the tasty and spicy butter “nitre kibe”. It’s usually served with cooked spinach “gomen” and the cheese called “aib”.

Ethiopian food

Tere siga

This is a traditional dish that’s not loved by everyone who travels to Ethiopia. Tere siga translates into “raw meat” and that’s exactly what the dish is all about.

Tere siga is raw meat that has been cut into pieces and served with a sauce on the side.

It’s one of the few dishes in Ethiopia that’s eaten with cutlery. They have a ritual called “q’wirt” where they cut up the meat, which is a big part of the meal.

Just be careful if you’re planning to taste this dish in Ethiopia as there’s a risk of getting sick from the uncooked meat. There’s a small risk of salmonella and tapeworm.

Tere siga

Enkulal firfir

Enkulal firfir is an Ethiopian breakfast dish that you do not want to miss during your trip.

It’s scrambled eggs made from eggs, spicy Ethiopian butter (nitre kibe), peppers, chili, tomatoes and onions. Enkulal firfir is served with bread that’s usually freshly baked in the morning.

Enkulal firfir

Doro wat

Doro wat is a chicken stew that’s very tasty. In the pot they put chicken, eggs, onions, Berber spice mix and Ethiopian butter.

This’s one of the dishes that’s a must to taste in Ethiopia. It’s absolutely amazing.

Doro Wot

More about Ethiopian food

Ethiopian food is usually served on a large plate with various dishes – made to share with friends and family. In Ethiopia, eating food together with loved ones is a big part of the culture.

It’s common to see people feeding each other with a piece of bread and food with their hand, which is called “gursha”. Taking your time and feeding someone you love is a big part of their food culture – something that’s quite interesting to see when visiting Ethiopia.

Do they eat with their hands in Ethiopia?

Yes, you eat traditional Ethiopian food with your hands. You tear off a piece of injera bread that you use to scoop up the food.

Ethiopian food

What spices are used in Ethiopian food?

The most common spice in Ethiopian food is berbere, which is a spice mix of 16 different spices. This spice mix includes garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, chili powder and fenugreek.

It’s a delicious spice mix that gives the Ethiopian food a good taste.


Do you have more questions about Ethiopian food? Leave a comment below!

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