East African Recipes

Find top-rated East African recipes including dora wat, an Ethiopian chicken stew, and injera, a traditional sourdough flatbread.

Staff Picks

Berbere Spice Blend

Rating: 4.93 stars
14
I love berbere spice, a classic Ethiopian spice blend, but it never occurred to me to make my own. Actually, authentic berbere spice would use whole spice seeds/pods, toasted, and ground. But I usually toast the spices during the cooking process. Berbere is one of the most delicious and versatile spice mixes ever.

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

Rating: 4.59 stars
887
My Ethiopian friend brought this dish to a potluck and I've been making it ever since. It is healthy and delicious. Do not add liquid. The cabbage and potatoes release enough moisture on their own.

Mandazi (African Donuts)

Rating: 4.64 stars
11
These amazingly soft triangle-shaped donuts are very famous in East Africa where I come from. They are excellent with a cup of tea or coffee. The dash of cardamom adds an authentic taste which makes it different from regular donuts. You can serve it with either honey or jam. Could be also served with curry - that is how we like it...

Sambusa

Rating: 4.24 stars
41
This is a Somali recipe. I learned it by watching my Somali friends around Ramadan and I was able to make my own variation. They are really good and I can't stop eating them. They are served during Ramadan, Weddings, Parties, or just because. Since I am married to a Somalian man, I learned to cook a few things, and there are some of my American dishes he loves as well. For a variation you can substitute shredded beef for ground beef.

Green Banana Fries

Rating: 4.36 stars
66
I learned about this when I was in Kenya. I've never tasted better fries nor more nutritious fries. Potatoes aren't that common in Kenya but bananas and roots are. They taste as good as any fast food French fries and are healthier. Green bananas are the healthiest because they have all their vitamins where ripe ones lose most of them because they're too ripe. Green bananas do not have a strong banana flavor at all. It's very deceptive and very healthy. I couldn't stop eating them.

Doro Wat: Ethiopian Chicken Dish

Rating: 4.76 stars
21
I love Ethiopian food but had difficulty finding authentic recipes online. I ultimately found 3 or 4 recipes and altered them all to incorporate them together in an attempt to capture the flavors. Typically served with injera and some side vegetable dish. I prefer Atkilt, a cabbage and potato dish, but there are many delicious options.

Somali Spaghetti Sauce

Rating: 4.8 stars
15
This is Somali-style spaghetti sauce with my own little twist. We make this once a week in our house (my daughter craves it!). I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Berbere (Ethiopian Spice)

Rating: 4.92 stars
12
For those of you who have difficulty locating berbere in your local grocery store, this recipe is a good substitute that is easy to make. Note that it is quite spicy, so use to taste. This spice combination is used in many Ethiopian dishes including doro wat, an Ethiopian chicken dish.

Sabaayad (Somali Flatbread)

Rating: 4.75 stars
4
Sabaayad is a Somali flatbread made from flour. It is golden brown, crispy and flaky on the outside and soft on the inside. You can eat it with almost anything: honey, cinnamon sugar and a cup of tea, stew, sauce or by itself. My husband and I love to eat it with honey while it is still hot. My kids love to cut them into small pieces, put them in a bowl, add little bit of sugar and shah (Somali tea), and eat them like that.

Chapati (East African Bread)

Rating: 4.5 stars
2
Adopted from Indian cuisine, chapatis have been a part of East African cuisine for centuries. The East African recipe is slightly different from its Indian counterpart. This bread accompanies African soups and stews well. Preparation is minimal, making this a great choice for cooks that are in a pinch.

Injera (Ethiopian Teff Bread)

Rating: 5 stars
1
A naturally fermented, spongy, gluten-free flatbread from Ethiopia is made from teff flour and water, using wild yeast to ferment over a couple of days. It is then cooked like a crepe and turned into a flavorful, tangy bread to serve with your favorite Ethiopian food. The fermentation process can take up to 2 or 3 days, depending on your climate. Injera is typically served with vegetables and/or meat on top where the bread is actually an eating utensil.

Gomen Wat

Rating: 4.44 stars
55
Traditional Ethiopian vegetarian dish. I've cut down the amount of oil that is used in the dish and added some different spices to complement the collards.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Doro Wat
Try making this popular Ethiopian and Eritrean stew at home! You can buy berbere online, or make your own spice blend.
Ethiopian Beets and Potatoes
"I absolutely fell in love with this and it will be a staple item for me. The sweetness from the beets plays so well with the potatoes. I can eat this just by itself." – sanzoe

Tikil Gomen (Ethiopian Cabbage)

Rating: 4.7 stars
10

This is one of many Ethiopian dishes. It is a typical dish that is served alongside other dishes on injera. It's very simple and tastes great. There are many variations on this recipe; it can be prepared with just the cabbage, with carrots and potatoes, with meat, and so on.