Source: Raghavan Iyer, cookbook author and culinary instructor | Catégorie: Plats principaux

Ethiopian Chicken with Berberi Sauce and Fresh Ginger

This historic dish is a prime example of how a handful of the right spices, introduced by traders along the spice route, create a perfect balance of hot and sweet. Add good quality poultry, canola oil, a few onions and pieces of ginger and you have a meal fit for a king. If you can find injera bread – spongy, crepe-like, sourdough bread from an Ethiopian restaurant or store – you will witness a heavenly marriage on your very own plate.

Ethiopian Chicken with Berberi Sauce and Fresh Ginger


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (removed from green or white pods) 2 mL
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns 2 mL
  • 3 to 5 dried red cayenne chiles (like chile de arbol), stems removed
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 3-inches/7.5-cm long)
  • 2 small yellow onions, one coarsely chopped and other finely chopped
  • 2 pieces fresh ginger (each about size and thickness of 25-cent coin)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup canola oil 60 mL
  • 1 cup tomato sauce 250 mL
  • 3 lbs (1.5 kg) cut-up bone-in chicken, skin removed (see Cook’s Tips)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea or kosher salt 5 mL 


  • 1. In small bowl, combine cumin, cardamom, peppercorns, chiles and cinnamon. Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan feels hot, add to spice blend pan. Toast spices, stirring them constantly as they bloom with nutty aroma and turn just a shade darker, 1 to 2 minutes. Quickly remove spices from pan and transfer to plate to cool, about 5 minutes. Once cooled, transfer spices to grinder, like coffee grinder, and grind to consistency of finely ground black pepper. 
  • 2. In food processor, place coarsely chopped onion, ginger, garlic and ground spices. Mince ingredients to consistency of slightly coarse paste. 
  • 3. In same skillet, pour canola oil and heat over medium temperature. Once oil appears to shimmer, add finely chopped onion and stir-fry until it turns light brown around edges, about 5 minutes. 
  • 4. Add paste to skillet and cook, stirring ingredients occasionally, uncovered, until moisture in paste evaporates and canola oil starts to separate from mix, 5 to 8 minutes. 
  • 5. Add chicken pieces and allow them to absorb flavors from other ingredients, turning occasionally, uncovered, until some pieces turn lightly brown, about 5 minutes. 
  • 6. Pour in tomato sauce, sprinkle in salt and stir well. 
  • 7. Lower heat to medium-low and cook chicken, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat in thickest parts is no longer pink inside and juices run clear, 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • 8. Serve chicken warm with aromatic sauce alongside a plate of rice, couscous or in the traditional way with slices of hard-boiled eggs. 
  • Cook’s Tip: Cut-up, bone-in chicken can be found in every grocery store’s meat department. These skin-on pieces are easy to work with compared to the messy process of skinning a whole chicken and cutting it into smaller pieces. To skin, hold chicken piece in one hand and with a paper towel in the other hand, pull off skin, using towel to help you grip skin. Sometimes partially freezing chicken also makes skinning easier. While pre-cut pieces make for less work, they are typically more expensive than a whole chicken.


8 servings


1 chicken piece and 1/3 cup (75 mL) sauce


Per Serving

Lipides12 g
Gras saturés1.5 g
Cholestérol110 mg
Glucides9 g
Fibres3 g
Protéines38 g
Sodium500 mg