Cookbook:Shiro (Ethiopian Spiced Chickpea or Lentil Stew)

Shiro (Ethiopian Spiced Chickpea or Lentil Stew)
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Shiro is a flavorful Ethiopian stew made with spiced chickpea or lentil flour. It is a popular vegetarian dish that is rich in protein and aromatic spices. Shiro has a thick and creamy consistency, making it perfect for scooping up with injera, the traditional Ethiopian flatbread. This delicious stew is easy to make and full of comforting flavors.






  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion to the pot and sauté until translucent and slightly browned.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for an additional minute until fragrant.
  4. Sprinkle the berbere spice blend, ground cumin, ground turmeric, salt, and black pepper over the onions and garlic. Stir well to coat the ingredients with the spices.
  5. Add the shiro powder to the pot and stir it into the onion and spice mixture.
  6. Gradually pour in the vegetable broth or water while continuously stirring to prevent any lumps from forming.
  7. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The stew will thicken and develop a rich flavor.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and let the shiro rest for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Garnish the shiro with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve hot with injera or bread for dipping.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • Shiro powder is available in Ethiopian or specialty grocery stores. It comes in both chickpea and lentil varieties. Choose the one you prefer or try a combination of both.
  • If the shiro stew becomes too thick upon standing, you can adjust the consistency by adding a little more vegetable broth or water and stirring until desired thickness is achieved.
  • For a heartier version, you can add cooked and chopped vegetables like carrots, potatoes, or spinach to the stew.
  • Some variations of shiro include the addition of minced meat or ground beef for extra richness and flavor.
  • Customize the spiciness of the shiro by adjusting the amount of berbere spice blend according to your taste preferences.