Berbere Chicken with Pulses



I confess I did not create this recipe, but I’ve adapted several recipes to this one with a great success.

At the beginning I was planning to prepare this with green lentils, but as I noticed I did not have them at home I looked for a valid substitute. In the pantry I had red lentils, but I also found something better: a wonderful colored mixture of pulses!

The recipe begun with the preparation of the Ethiopian spice mixture: the Berbere Spice Blend!

This was needed for the pulses and for the chicken!

The following steps were very easy and this main dish is also a very much appreciated combination had been created!

Berbere Chicken with Pulses

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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You need:

Berbere spices blend

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 whole allspice berries
  • Seeds of 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 dried red chilies, if too hot for you seeded
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Pulses (mixture of lentils and small beans) quantity of each to taste and to availability:

  • Horse beans
  • Haricot bean
  • Mung bean
  • Green lentils
  • Brown lentils
  • Small red bean (Adzuki beans)
  • Black eyed peas


Veggies and pulses stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled diced
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoon Berbere spice blend (see above or use another mixture)
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup mixed pulses (see above)
  • 3 cup water or to taste


  • 4-6 pieces of chicken, skin removed (about 600-800 g)
  • 1 tablespoon Berbere spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)¨
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter for the skillet (if possible Ethiopian spiced butter)


  • Chopped parsley


Berbere spices blend

  1. First of all toast the seed first for a few minutes in a dry skillet to bring out their flavor. Let cool down.
  2. Grind the seeds with a spice or a coffee grinder.
  3. Add the remaining powdered spices and the salt.
  4. Pulse shortly again and store it airtight for example in a small jar.

Veggies and pulses stew

  1. Heat oil in a skillet and sauté onions, carrots, ginger and cloves until onions turn soft.
  2. Add Berbere spice blend and sauté for 2 more minutes
  3. Add tomatoes, pulses, water and salt to taste.
  4. Let cook for about 30 minutes or until al dente; add more water if needed while cooking.
  5. Pour pulses into an oven safe mold and place into the preheated oven


  1. While pulses are cooking combine chicken with the other ingredients (except of butter) and preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Fry the chicken pieces until roasted on all sides in the butter until lightly browned.
  3. Transfer chicken over the pulses, add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet and pour this liquid over the pulses.
  4. Sprinkle chicken with some more Berbere to taste and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve with chopped parsley




Spelt Injera – Ethiopian Flatbread


I came across Ethiopian recipes and especially this wonderful breads thanks to my cooking friends and the cooking games.

I’ve never been in this Country and I couldn’t imagine what kind of food specialties are popular in Ethiopia.

The real recipe is made with teff flour, but as I did not have this I tried to adapt the recipe to the ingredients I have at home.

Injera bread is made with natural sourdough, a combination of wild yeast and bacteria, it needs several days to reach the bubbling point!

In my fridge I always store an amazing sourdough starter and this was a new experience for me a new kind of bread even if similar to Indian Dosas which I’ve already made and posted in this blog.

After cooking I got amazing flexible and spongy flat.-bread!

I was very impressed from the result and happy to see how my family appreciated these.

If you don’t have sourdough starter, I suggest to use 50 ml water + 50 g flour + 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast placed to ferment/proof previously

Spelt Injera – Ethiopian Flatbread

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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You need

24 hour before

  • 100 g sourdough starter (substitute: 1/4 cup water + 1/3 cup flour + 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Next morning

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste (about 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (instant flour)


  1. The evening before combine starter with water and flour. Stir well, cover loosely and set in a warm place to ferment.
  2. The next morning add 2 cups of water 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of spelt flour, stir well, cover loosely and let ferment.
  3. When the batter is well fermented and bubbling add salt and the additional 1/2 cup of flour, if you think it is not ready, wait until next day or add instant flour or some baking powder, My dough was perfectly spongy and I added simple all-purpose flour. Stir well.
  4. After about one hour stir well and place a non-sticky skillet on the stove to heat at medium temperature.
  5. Don’t use oil, place a ladle of batter in the center of the skillet and with the back of the ladle distribute the batter in the pan. Cover immediately.
  6. Check from time to time and when the batter does not appear wet and it is set remove the bread form the skillet and place it on a plate. In general it is not necessary to bake this on the other side.
  7. Cut into half and roll them to serve.