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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 6 cups

A vegetarian classic in Ethiopian cuisine, shiro wat is a thick, smooth stew made from chickpea flour (also known as besan). The velvety soup is flavored with berbere—a spice blend that’s packed full of fragrant seasonings—and extra cardamom to create a symphony of scrumptious flavors. Chopped tomatoes and red onion add bright acidity to the explosion of spices while tahini delivers a creamy texture to make this stew extra slurpable. You’ll love the vibrant flavor profile and easy preparation of this simple but incredibly satisfying East African favorite.

Tip: Chickpea flour can be found at Ethiopian or Indian markets or online.

For more vegan African recipes, check out these tasty ideas:


  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1½ tablespoons Berbere Spice Blend
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon tahini or cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low. Add chickpea flour; cook for 10-15 minutes or until flour releases a toasted aroma, stirring frequently. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.
  2. In a large saucepan combine onion, garlic, and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook over medium 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomato, Berbere Spice Blend, and cardamom; cook 10 minutes more.
  3. Add tahini, lemon juice, and 6 cups water to the toasted chickpea flour; whisk until smooth. Add mixture to pan with onion mixture. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until stew is thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.

Comments (5)

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Sheila4 months ago
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Love love love this s recipe! Soothing and creamy. Just delicious. This will be a great go to soup. So easy

EnMa6 months ago
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Its Ethiopian staple food.

Debbie7 months ago
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Not so impressed with this recipe. It is a thick type of soup, but needs more vegetables. I was not a huge fan of the seasoning. I won’t repeat this one.

Christina4 months ago
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I love this recipe! I doubled the recipe because I love this dish when I go to Ethiopian restaurants (I tweeked some ingredients, vegetablebroth instead of water)

Belinda7 months ago
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Very good. I added a lot more chilli, and a packet of hard tofu to bulk it out a bit. A tin of chickpeas or beans would work well too. It goes well with lentil flatbread, sliced cucumber and tomato, and pickled chillies and turnips for breakfast.


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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.

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