Traditional Dishes to Look for in Ethiopia  Best Western Experience | Travel Zone by Best Western

Traditional Dishes to Look for in Ethiopia 

By Best Western

Ethiopia, the land of ancient history and rich cultural heritage is a treasure trove of traditional dishes that delight the taste buds and offer a glimpse into the country’s diverse culinary tapestry. With a history dating back thousands of years, Ethiopian cuisine is a feast for the eyes as much as the palate as it typically arrives on a platter covered in warm flatbread and piled high with dishes like rich stewed meats and legumes flavored with aromatic Ethiopian spices.  While most Ethiopian dishes are meat-based, there’s a long tradition of abstaining from animal products on certain days of the week. You’ll find a multitude of vegetarian and vegan dishes that are as delicious as they are healthy. That makes Ethiopian cuisine the perfect choice to please both adventurous eaters and those with dietary restrictions. Here are some traditional dishes you should seek out when visiting Ethiopia. 

Injera: The Heart and Soul of Ethiopian Cuisine 

Eating Ethiopian food, the traditional way means eating with your hands. Injera is the name of this spongy, sourdough flatbread which serves as the foundation for most Ethiopian meals. Made from teff flour, a tiny grain native to Ethiopia, injera has a distinctive tangy taste and is used as both a serving and eating utensil. Its porous texture soaks up the rich flavors of the accompanying dishes.  

Doro Wat: The Crown Jewel of Ethiopian Stews 

One of Ethiopia’s most famous dishes, Doro Wat, is a sumptuous chicken stew. This spicy, slow-cooked stew is enriched with a blend of aromatic spices, berbere (a fiery red chili paste), onions, and clarified butter known as niter kibbeh. Hard-boiled eggs are then added toward the end of the cooking process, creating a delightful interplay of flavors. 

Azifa: A Delight for the unadventurous eaters 

Think of this refreshing lentil salad as the Ethiopian answer to pico de gallo. Earthy green lentils are tossed with fresh chopped tomatoes, red onions, and green chiles to create a dish that’s naturally vegan and also gluten-free. Plus, it’s an ideal entry point into Ethiopian cuisine for those who are unadventurous eaters. 

Tibs: A Flavorful Stir-Fry Experience 

Ethiopia’s rich and spicy stew is a must-try if you’re curious about the cuisine. Small cubes of beef are sautéed in butter or oil and then simmered with onions, garlic, chili, and rosemary. It’s always served on a bed of warm injera, of course. 

Shiro: A Hearty Vegetarian Option 

The perfect choice for vegetarians or those seeking a meat-free option, Shiro is a delightful choice. This traditional Ethiopian dish is made from ground chickpea or broad bean flour mixed with berbere and other spices. The mixture is cooked into a smooth, thick stew, often served with injera and a side of greens. 

Coffee: A Ritualistic Ethiopian Tradition 

Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of coffee, and experiencing an Ethiopian coffee ceremony is a must for any visitor. The ceremony involves roasting fresh coffee beans, grinding them, and brewing the coffee in a clay pot called a jebena. The rich aroma and the process of sharing coffee with friends and family create a unique and meaningful cultural experience. 

Exploring traditional Ethiopian dishes is an exciting journey into the heart of this vibrant and diverse nation. Each dish offers a unique and unforgettable experience for adventurous food enthusiasts. So, if you find yourself in Ethiopia, make sure to seek out these traditional delicacies and immerse yourself in the flavors and culture of this beautiful country. 


Book your stay at Best Western Hotels & Resorts Ethiopia.  

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