Zigni berbere (spicy Eritrean beef stew)


This zigni berbere recipe, a spicy Eritrean beef stew, is a feast for the senses. The berbere spice mix adds huge depth of flavour, thanks to its heady combination of aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cumin, cardamom and fenugreek.

First published in 2018

Zigni berbere is an Eritrean beef stew flavoured with berbere spice blend. Berbere is available to buy in shops, but you can't beat the intensity of a homemade batch.

The stew is traditionally eaten with injera, a spongy flatbread made from fermented batter. The grain used is called tef and isn't widely available, so feel free to serve with regular flatbreads or rice instead.





Season the diced beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and sear the beef on a high heat until evenly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside
Turn the heat down and add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Sauté the onion, peppers, ginger and garlic with the berbere spice for 5–8 minutes, or until soft
Add the tomato purée, stir well and cook out for a further minute
Return the beef to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes and stock and cover with a lid. Simmer on a very low heat for 1 hour, then remove the lid and simmer for a further half an hour, or until the sauce has reduced and the beef is tender
Taste to check the seasoning and serve hot
First published in 2018

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