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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Shiro Wat

Ethiopian Chickpea Stew



Prep time 10 minutes        Cooking time 20 minutes   Serves 3-5


A quick delicious flavorful bean purée, shiro wat is a favorite served over Ethiopian injera.  Recipes vary, but shiro powder usually is comprised of chickpea flour, sometimes with fava bean or other lentil flours included. If you have berbere spice blend on hand, you can whip up shiro wat with little effort, but to really enhance its flavor, make your own (see .


Excellent atop injera bread along with other Ethiopian veggie stews, shiro wat also makes a very tasty bean dip to serve with crudité.




1 cup shiro powder or chickpea flour alone or mixed with fava bean or a lentil flour

1 large red onion, finely diced

Vermouth, dry white wine, no-sodium veggie broth or water to deglaze pan

2-3 teaspoons berbere or to taste

2-3 Tablespoons tomato paste

6 cloves garlic, finely minced

5 cups water, hot

Salt lightly to taste or omit if salt-free




Heat water. In a bowl add your shiro powder/bean/lentil flour and whisk in just enough heated water to create a roux, stirring to create a smooth, velvety consistency.  Set aside.


In a large saucepan dry sauté onion over medium heat until the onions soften and lightly carmelize and begin to adhere to the pan.  Deglaze pan with a very small amount of liquid.  Add the garlic and berbere and cook for just another minute.


Add the roux to the pot, mixing with the aromatics and spices, stirring well to dissolve the roux without creating lumps.  Slowly add the remaining hot water, whisking continually to avoid creating lumps.


Add the berbere and tomato paste, whisking all the while.


Lower heat and cook 10-15 minutes over a low flame, whisking periodically to prevent scorching.  Over this time, the shiro wat’s ingredients will have melded their flavors.  The longer and slower the wat cooks, the more delicious the result. 


Season to taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.


You can serve shiro wat as a loose purée or a firmer paste, depending on your preference. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so if it thickens too much, simply thin with a little water.



Shiro Wat, Ethiopian Chickpea Stew

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