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Vegan Doro Wat

Step into the rich culinary heritage of Ethiopia with this vegan twist on Doro Wat. This hearty stew, traditionally made with chicken, embraces the robust flavors of berbere spice, creating a savory and aromatic dish. Lentils and vegetables take center stage, providing a protein-packed and soul-satisfying experience. Get ready to savor the warmth of Ethiopian spices in every spoonful.

Vegan Doro Wat



Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the Berbere Spice Mix:
  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom

  • 1 tablespoon ground fenugreek

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice

  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves

  • For the Doro Wat Stew:
  • 1 cup red lentils, soaked for 1-2 hours

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch ginger, grated

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, potatoes, and green beans), diced

  • 2 tablespoons oil (olive or vegetable oil)

  • Salt to taste


  • Prepare the Berbere Spice Mix:
  • In a small bowl, mix together all the spices to create the berbere spice mix. Set aside.
  • Saute the Aromatics:
  • In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Add Garlic and Ginger:
  • Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Incorporate the Berbere Spice Mix:
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of the berbere spice mix, reserving the rest for later. Cook the spices with the aromatics for 2-3 minutes.
  • Introduce Tomato Paste:
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and mix well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the tomato paste is well-incorporated and the oil starts to separate.
  • Add Lentils and Liquid:
  • Drain and rinse the soaked red lentils. Add them to the pot along with vegetable broth and water. Stir well.
  • Simmer the Stew:
  • Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are partially cooked.
  • Incorporate Vegetables:
  • Add the diced vegetables to the pot and stir. Continue simmering until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  • Adjust Seasoning:
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add more berbere spice if desired, and salt to taste.
  • Serve:
  • Serve the Vegan Doro Wat over injera (Ethiopian flatbread) or with rice.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories300
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 8g 13%
    • Saturated Fat 1g 5%
  • Sodium 600mg 25%
  • Potassium 800mg 23%
  • Total Carbohydrate 55g 19%
    • Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
    • Sugars 8g
  • Protein 15g 30%

  • Vitamin A 4000%
  • Vitamin C 25%
  • Calcium 120%
  • Iron 5%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Tips for Perfect Results:

  1. Berbere Spice Intensity: Start with a smaller amount of berbere spice mix and gradually add more to achieve your preferred spice level. Taste as you go to avoid overwhelming heat.
  2. Vegetable Choice: Experiment with a variety of vegetables based on personal preference. Bell peppers, sweet potatoes, or spinach can add both flavor and nutritional variety.
  3. Injera Option: If injera is hard to find, you can substitute it with other flatbreads or even rice. Injera’s sourdough taste is distinctive, but the stew pairs well with various grains.
  4. Lentil Soaking: Soak red lentils for at least 1-2 hours before cooking to reduce cooking time. This step enhances the lentils’ texture in the final dish.
  5. Adjusting Spice Levels: Taste and adjust the seasoning throughout the cooking process. If you prefer it spicier, add more berbere spice. For a milder version, reduce the spice quantity.

Alterations and Modifications:

  1. Gluten-Free Option:
    • Alteration: Ensure that the berbere spice mix and vegetable broth are gluten-free. Serve with gluten-free alternatives like rice or quinoa.
    • How to Achieve It: Check labels for gluten-free certifications, and choose a vegetable broth that is gluten-free. Substitute injera with gluten-free flatbreads or grains.
  2. Oil-Free Version:
    • Alteration: Skip the oil and use water or vegetable broth for sautéing the onions and spices.
    • How to Achieve It: Use a non-stick pan or add small amounts of water or broth to prevent sticking. Sauté onions until translucent, then proceed with the recipe.
  3. Adding Protein:
    • Modification: Enhance the protein content by adding chickpeas or tofu cubes to the stew.
    • How to Achieve It: Include pre-cooked chickpeas or tofu cubes during the vegetable addition stage. This provides additional protein and makes the dish more filling.
  4. Reducing Spice Heat:
    • Modification: If you’re sensitive to spice, reduce the amount of cayenne pepper in the berbere spice mix.
    • How to Achieve It: Gradually add cayenne pepper in small amounts. Taste as you go and stop when the desired spice level is reached.
  5. Slow Cooker Option:
    • Modification: For a hands-off approach, adapt the recipe for a slow cooker.
    • How to Achieve It: Sauté the aromatics and spices on the stovetop, then transfer everything (except the vegetables) to a slow cooker. Add vegetables and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Vegan Doro Wat:


  1. Cooling the Stew: Allow the Vegan Doro Wat to cool slightly before storing. This prevents condensation inside the storage container, reducing the chance of freezer burn.
  2. Airtight Containers: Transfer the cooled stew to airtight containers. Consider dividing it into smaller portions for easier thawing and reheating.
  3. Labeling Containers: Label containers with the date of preparation to keep track of freshness.
  4. Refrigeration: Store the airtight containers in the refrigerator if you plan to consume the stew within 3-4 days.
  5. Separate Injera or Rice: If serving with injera or rice, store them separately to maintain their respective textures.
  6. Avoiding Odor Absorption: If using plastic containers, ensure they are free from strong odors to prevent the stew from absorbing unwanted flavors.


  1. Cooling to Room Temperature: Ensure the stew cools to room temperature before freezing. Placing hot food directly in the freezer can raise its temperature, affecting nearby frozen items.
  2. Freezer-Safe Containers: Opt for freezer-safe containers to prevent freezer burn. Consider using containers with a tight seal or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  3. Leaving Headroom: Leave some headroom in containers or bags to accommodate expansion during freezing.
  4. Wrapping Injera or Rice: If freezing injera or rice separately, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  5. Double Layering: If using a freezer bag, consider double-layering for added protection against freezer odors.
  6. Vacuum Sealing (Optional): If you have a vacuum sealer, vacuum-seal portions for extended freshness.


  1. Gradual Thawing: Thaw the stew gradually in the refrigerator. This ensures even thawing and helps maintain the stew’s original texture.
  2. Avoiding Temperature Fluctuations: Avoid thawing and refreezing as it can affect the quality of the stew.
  3. Reheating: Once thawed, reheat the stew on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir occasionally to distribute heat evenly.
  4. Checking Consistency: If the stew appears thicker after thawing, add a little vegetable broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.


  1. Stovetop: Reheat on low to medium heat, stirring frequently. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  2. Microwave: If using a microwave, heat in short intervals, stirring between each interval to ensure even heating.
  3. Checking Temperature: Ensure the stew reaches a safe internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) before serving.
  4. Serving with Fresh Injera or Rice: Reheat injera or rice separately to maintain their freshness and serve with the reheated stew.

By following these detailed storage and freezing instructions, you can ensure that your Vegan Doro Wat maintains its flavor and quality even after being stored or frozen.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I make Doro Wat ahead of time?

Yes, the flavors often deepen when allowed to sit. Prepare it a day in advance and reheat before serving for an even more flavorful experience.

Is there a substitute for injera?

Certainly, you can serve Doro Wat with rice, quinoa, or any flatbread of your choice.

Can I freeze Vegan Doro Wat?

Yes, it freezes well. Store in airtight containers, leaving some space for expansion, and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Can I adjust the spice level after cooking?

Absolutely! Even after cooking, you can stir in additional berbere spice mix gradually until you reach your desired spice level.

What other vegetables can I add?

Feel free to experiment with vegetables like sweet potatoes, bell peppers, or spinach to customize the dish to your liking.

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