Cookbook:Sega Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Beef Stew)

Sega Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Beef Stew)
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Sega wat is a flavorful and spicy Ethiopian beef stew that is a favorite in Ethiopian cuisine. Made with tender beef, aromatic spices, and a rich tomato-based sauce, it is known for its robust flavors and warming qualities. It is traditionally served with injera, the Ethiopian flatbread.






  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions to the pot and sauté until they become translucent and slightly browned.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for an additional minute until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the berbere spice blend, tomato paste, ground paprika, ground cumin, ground turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to combine the spices with the onions and garlic.
  5. Add the beef to the pot and stir to coat it with the spice mixture. Cook the beef for a few minutes until it is browned on all sides.
  6. Pour in the beef broth or water, ensuring that the beef is fully submerged in the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 1.5–2 hours, or until the beef is tender and the flavors have melded together. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if needed to maintain the desired consistency.
  8. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve hot with injera or bread, and savor the bold and spicy flavors of this traditional Ethiopian beef stew.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • For the best results, choose beef cuts that are suitable for slow cooking, such as chuck roast or stewing beef. These cuts become tender and flavorful when cooked slowly.
  • Adjust the spiciness of the stew by adding more or less berbere spice blend according to your taste preferences.
  • Take the time to brown the beef before adding the liquid. This step adds depth of flavor to the stew.
  • Sega wat tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to develop. Consider making it in advance and reheating it before serving.
  • You can add vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or bell peppers to the stew for additional flavor and texture.
  • Experiment with different types of meat, such as lamb or chicken, for a variation in flavors.