Ethiopian Spread of Vegan Spices & Sides

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Ethiopian Spread of Vegan Spices & Sides

As one of Africa’s largest countries, Ethiopia boasts a rich diversity of landscapes, climates and people, and an even richer array of foods.

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Traditional Ethiopian cuisine focuses on wholesome stews (called wats), fresh fruit and veg, and fibrous flatbreads, which are known as injera and are often seen to replace cutlery and even plates in Ethiopian culture.

Injera is a true staple of the national diet and has been growing in popularity in the Western world, also. This is thanks to the fact that injera is naturally gluten-free and made from teff flour, which is said to contain a higher proportion of fibre than almost all other grains on earth.

The most integral element of all Ethiopian dishes is, of course, spice. The country’s richly-flavoured food usually packs a punch – chillies, ginger and cardamom are used generously, while the region’s famous berbere spice mix can liven up any dish, and usually stars in most Ethiopian feasts.

Is Ethiopian food vegan-friendly?

Ethiopian cuisine is predominately vegan and vegetarian-friendly. In fact, it has been praised as one of the most vegan-friendly cuisines in the world!

While meat and dairy are still present in some of the dishes, many Ethiopian meals are made up of lentils and diced vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, onions, and potatoes.

A fermented flatbread is a staple in Ethiopia, similar to a dosa, this pancake-like bread is naturally gluten-free and vegan.

Top tip: You can find berbere spice mix in most world food supermarkets or online, but if you can’t find it you can’t find it we’ve included the ingredients to make your own berbere spice mix at home.

Servings: 4


Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • For the Azifa (lentil salad)
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp lemon juice
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp gluten-free Dijon mustard
  • 100 100 g cooked lentils, drained
  • 1.5 1.5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 0.25 0.25 red chilli, chopped
  • 0.25 0.25 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • For the Gomen Wat
  • 75 75 g collard greens, chopped
  • 50 50 g green beans, sliced
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 0.75 0.75 cloves garlic, puréed
  • 0.25 0.25 onion, diced
  • 0.25 0.25 green pepper, sliced
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp Berbere Spice mix
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp lemon juice
  • For the Injera
  • 43.75 43.75 g teff flour
  • 120 120 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • For the Mesir Wat
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp Berbere Spice mix
  • 0.25 0.25 onion, finely diced
  • 0.5 0.5 cloves garlic, puréed
  • 0.5 0.5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 50 50 g red lentils
  • 150 150 ml gluten-free vegetable stock
  • For the Timatim
  • 0.75 0.75 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.75 0.75 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 0.5 0.5 cloves garlic, puréed
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp Berbere Spice mix
  • 1 1 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 0.5 0.5 red onions, finely diced
  • 0.5 0.5 fresh jalapenos, finely chopped
  • For the Shiro Wat
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 0.25 0.25 clove garlic, puréed
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp Berbere Spice mix
  • 12.5 12.5 g gram flour
  • 75 75 ml water
  • Berbere Spice Mix
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp ground coriander
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp ground allspice
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground cardamom
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground cloves
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp chilli powder
  • 0.75 0.75 tbsp paprika
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground ginger
  • 0.125 0.125 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp ground turmeric


To make the Azifa (lentil salad):

1. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and mustard in a bowl. Then add the cooked lentils, tomatoes, red chilli and red onion and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To make the Gomen Wat:

1. Bring a pan of water to a boil; add the collard greens and green beans, and cook for 5-6 minutes. Once the beans and collard greens are cooked drain off the liquid.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, onion and green pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the berbere and lemon juice and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the collard greens and green beans to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, mixing well. Season with salt, to taste.

To make the Injera:

1. Whisk together the teff flour and water in a large bowl until a smooth batter is formed. Cover this with a towel and leave it out for 24 hours to lightly ferment.
2. Add the baking powder and salt and whisk. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and use the oil to lightly coat the base of the pan. Pour in enough batter to thinly cover the pan’s base, and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the injera has cooked through completely. Once cooked, remove from the pan and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.

To make the Mesir Wat:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the berbere, onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, before adding the lentils and vegetable stock and mixing well.
2. Turn down the heat and allow the pot to simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked. Season to taste.

To make the Timatim:

1. Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, garlic and berbere, and season to taste.
2. Mix the tomatoes, red onions and jalapeños in a separate bowl; pour over the dressing and mix well.

To make the Shiro Wat:

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to brown, then add the garlic and berbere, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the gram flour and slowly pour in the water whilst whisking to ensure there are no lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, and whisk until thickened. Season with salt, to taste.

Per 272g serving of azifa: Calories 185, Fat 4.2g, Saturates 0.6g, Carbohydrate 29g, Sugars 6.6g, Fibre 10g, Protein 11g, Salt 0.13g

Per 197g serving of gomen wat: Calories 90, Fat 4.2g, Saturates 0.6g, Carbohydrate 11g, Sugars 3.7g, Fibre 5g, Protein 4.1g, Salt 0.04g

Per 48g serving of injera: Calories 160, Fat 4.2g, Saturates 0.7g, Carbohydrate 24g, Sugars 0g, Fibre 11g, Protein 5.1g, Salt 0.11g

Per 201g serving of mesir wat: Calories 246, Fat 5.4g, Saturates 0.7g, Carbohydrate 40g, Sugars 1.9g, Fibre 7g, Protein 14g, Salt 1.8g

Per 209g serving of timatim: Calories 143, Fat 11g, Saturates 1.5g, Carbohydrate 12g, Sugars 6.1g, Fibre 3g, Protein 2g, Salt 0.35g

Per 110g serving of shiro wat: Calories 77, Fat 3.3g, Saturates 0.4g, Carbohydrate 9.2g, Sugars 1.2g, Fibre 2g, Protein 3.2g, Salt 0.33g


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