Shiro Wat (Ethiopian Chickpea Stew)
Ethiopians have a strong tradition of religious fasting: every Wednesday, Friday, and before every religious holiday. On these fasting days, shiro wat is probably the most popular Ethiopian dish.
Shiro, or shiro wat, is a traditional Ethiopian chickpea stew made with powdered chickpeas or wide bean meal. It is frequently cooked with minced onions, garlic, and, according to regional preference, ground ginger or diced tomatoes and chili peppers.
It is brought bubbling to the table in a small clay pot. Shiro is typically served with injera, a traditional Ethiopian flat bread.
Shiro is vegan, but there are non-vegan variations that use niter kibbeh (a spiced, clarified butter) or meat (in which case it is called bozena shiro).
Enjoy this classic shiro wat recipe!
Ethiopian Shiro Wat
- 1 cup shiro powder (ground chickpeas)
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tsp garlic grated
- 1 tomato finely diced
- 1 jalapeno sliced – no seed (optional)
- 1/2 cup canola oil or Niter Kibbeh
- 1 tsp berbere
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups water
- Finely dice the onion and sauté in a tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Stir frequently for 6 minutes, allowing the onion to sweat slowly. Have on hand a cup of hot water to add as needed to prevent browning.
- Add the rest of the oil and cook until the onion is translucent and tender, for about another 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato and mix, allowing for the sauce to cook down for approximately 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté, adding splashes of water as needed. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Pour in the shiro powder (ground chickpeas) and stir frequently to ensure the mixture is not lumpy. Cook on high heat for another 4 minutes.
- Reduce the heat slightly to a simmer, and allow to thicken. Add water as needed until you have the desired texture and thickness.
- Stir in the berbere, add sea salt to taste, and garnish with Jalapeno (optional).