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Traditional Ethiopian spicy beef stew with injera

Served with injera, a sourdough-risen Ethiopian flatbread, this spicy beef stew is the ideal winter warmer for all its spice and tenacity.


For the injera
¾ cup white bread flour
¼ cup teff flour
1 cup water
Pinch salt
1 tbsp oil
For the berbere spice
6 cardamom pods, bruised
4 cloves
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
For the spicy beef stew
2 tbsp butter
1 kg beef chuck
2 onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp grated ginger
400 g tin chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
For the Swiss chard
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch allspice
500 g Swiss chard

For the injera
1. Place white bread flour and teff flour in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, and add water and salt. Mix until smooth, then allow to rest for 5 hours.
2. Fry the injera just before you are ready to eat. Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan.
3. Pour in 1 cup batter and swirl to coat the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Flip, turn the heat down, cover and cook for 5 minutes. The bread will be darker brown in spots and should puff up with a pocket like a pita.
For the berbere spice
1. Preheat a pan and dry-roast all ingredients until fragrant. Crush with a mortar and pestle.
For the spicy beef stew
1. Melt the butter in a pot. Sear the meat until brown, then remove and set aside.
2. Fry onion, garlic and ginger in the same pan for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in 3 tbsp berbere spice and fry for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stock, and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Return the beef to the pot and cook over low heat for 3 hours, stirring every now and then to make sure the stew doesn’t stick to the base of the pot.
For the Swiss chard
1. Heat the butter and oil in a pan and fry the ginger, garlic and allspice for 2 minutes.
2. Add the chard and fry for 5 minutes, until wilted.

Recipe & styling: Chiara Turilli
Photography: Samantha Pinto //

These injera pancakes with berbere chicken are another Ethiopian favourite!

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