Doro Wat is a flavor-packed Ethiopian stew with tender cooked chicken in a fiery Berbere spiced sauce topped with boiled eggs. Traditionally slow-cooked for hours, this Instant Pot recipe delivers authentic taste in a fraction of the time. So go ahead and create the flavors of your favorite Ethiopian restaurant dish at home!
What is Doro Wat?
Doro Wat (also spelled Doro Wot, Doro We't, or Doro Wett), is a spicy chicken stew that is Ethiopia's national dish. This famous African dish has chicken simmered in caramelized onions and a robust Berbere spice blend to make a flavored packed dish.
After enjoying it for years in restaurants, I am excited to share my EASY take on the Doro Wat recipe. This is my attempt to capture the flavors using ingredients I already have in my pantry. For example, I use my homemade ghee instead of spiced Ethiopian ghee AKA Niter Kibbeh. I also use a homemade berbere spice blend that I make using the spices in my kitchen. Best of all, this modern take on the traditional recipe always delivers 100% of authentic flavors.
How to Make Instant Pot Doro Wat
- Hard boil eggs. I use the Instant Pot to hard boil the eggs, but you can also hard boil them on the stovetop. Add 1 cup of water to the instant pot insert. Place eggs on the trivet and pressure cook for 5 minutes. Allow 5 minutes of natural pressure release and then release the rest of the pressure and open the Instant Pot. Run cold water over the eggs or put them in an ice bath. This allows the eggs to stop overcooking. Peel and slice the eggs and keep them aside
- Add lemon juice and salt to the chicken, mix well and keep aside
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté (Hi) mode and heat the ghee
- Add onions and sauté them for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Place a lid on top to speed up the process
- Add garlic and ginger and cook for a minute
- Turn the Instant Pot off and add ½ cup of water and deglaze the pot using a wooden removing all the browning or stuck bits
- Add the chicken and mix well
- Layer over Berbere spice mix and tomato paste. Do not mix
- Close the Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing and adjust the cooking time to 8 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then open the Instant Pot
- Mix well. The stew may look a bit watery at this point, mix gently and simply allow it to cool down for 5 minutes and the stew will continue to thicken
- Stir in the reserved hard-boiled eggs, garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy hot.
Stove Top Instructions
Don't have an Instant Pot? Here is how you can adapt this recipe for stovetop:
Follow the recipe as is up to step 3 above. Then mix everything with an additional cup of water and cook covered on medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Make sure to stir the chicken a few times and add more water if needed. In the end, taste and add more salt and Berbere spice if needed. Add boiled eggs and garnish with cilantro.
Doro Wat is traditionally served over spongy Injera bread made from Teff flour along with sides such as Misir Wat. I am yet to master the Injera bread recipe, although I enjoy this dish with homemade Parathas to mop up all that spicy delicious sauce and hot steamed rice.
Skinless chicken drumsticks can be substituted with bone-in or boneless thighs, whole bone-in chicken cut into pieces, or chicken breasts. For boneless breasts or thighs that are cut into small 2-inch pieces, reduce the pressure cook time to 5 minutes
More Instant Pot Chicken Curries
Cooking chicken in the Instant Pot is hassle-free with perfectly cooked chicken every time. Here are some of my favorite chicken curry recipes that we often enjoy in my home:
- Healthy “Butter” Chicken
- Restaurant Fav Chicken Tikka Masala
- Mom’s Authentic Chicken Curry
- Royal Mughlai Chicken Korma
- Spicy Homestyle Chicken Karahi
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Check out this collection of 115+ quick and easy recipes
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks 8 pieces, skin removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 2 large red onions finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons garlic pressed
- ⅓ cup Berbere spice blend **
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 hard-boiled eggs peeled and sliced into half
- Hard boil eggs. I use Instant Pot to hard boil the eggs but you can also hard boil them on the stovetop. Add 1 cup of water to the instant pot insert. Place eggs on the trivet and pressure cook for 5 minutes. Allow 5 minutes natural pressure release and then release the rest of the pressure and open the Instant Pot. Run cold water over the eggs or put them in an ice bath. This allows the eggs to stop overcooking. Peel and slice the eggs and keep aside
- Add lemon juice and salt to chicken, mix well and keep aside
- Set the Instant Pot on Saute(Hi) mode and heat the ghee. Add onions and saute them for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Place a lid on top to speed up the process
- Add garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Turn the Instant Pot off and add ½ cup of water and deglaze the pot using a wooden spoon removing all the browning or stuck bits
- Add the chicken, layer over berbere (see note), and tomato paste. Do not mix
- Close the Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing and adjust the cook time to 8 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then open the Instant Pot. Mix well. The stew may look a bit watery at this point, mix gently and simply allow it to cool down for 5 minutes and the stew will continue to thicken
- Stir in hard-boiled eggs, garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy hot
- bone-in or boneless thighs
- whole bone-in chicken cut into pieces or chicken breasts
- For boneless breasts or thighs that are cut into small 2-inch pieces, reduce the pressure cook time to 5 minutes
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I used the Berebere spice from Whole Foods. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of the spice mix. It was extremely spicy.. had to tone it down with more tomato paste and coconut milk.
Yes, I should have mentioned, store bought spices can have different spice/heat levels. So you have to add per the package directions.
This was amazing! That said, I think I will need to cut back a bit on the cayenne pepper next time I make it. The chicken and egg alone was delicious and just the right heat, but naan dipped in the sauce was over the top hot!!!!
As always, thank you for sharing your recipes.
Pauline Deeb Bilima says
I am excited to try this recipe in the Instapot, looking forward to following more of your recipes! I am going to make this one for Father’s Day tomorrow – my husband prefers chicken breast. May I ask – how much chicken breast should I utilize when putting this in the Instapot, versus using 8 drumsticks as the recipe calls for? Thank you! Just want to use the right amount of chicken breast needed. (And then adjust the time to 5 minutes, correct?) THANK YOU!
Hi Pauline, You can use 2 pounds of chicken breast cut into 2 inch pieces. 5 mins pressure cook followed by natural pressure release
Pauline Deeb Bilima says
Thank you SO much!
Pauline Deeb Bilima says
One last question! I think I may have a bit more than 2 pounds of breast meat (trying to estimate, and haven't done this before in the instapot) - should I put it on the poultry setting? Or just 5 minutes manual? Thank YOU!
5 mins manual.
Wonderful dish! It was spicy and delicious!!
Lisa Dukes says
This was the easiest and most delicious thing I've eaten in awhile. I used jar ginger and garlic and 4 large chicken thighs. Looking in the pot, with the thighs piled on the onions and the spice mix and tomato paste just thrown on top, I couldn't imagine it would turn out, but as you said, a few stirs and it was just perfect. I used Marcus Samuelson's berbere spice recipe - it is delicious, and by using slightly cooler red chilies, the heat was just right (that's the nice thing about making your own). It is so versatile. I somehow think this recipe could be used to make many delicious things - veggie curries, beef stews, lots of things.
We tried this for Boxing Day and it is absolutely delicious, and so easy and healthy! It was a little spicy for us (the Berbere mix we have is really high quality!), so when I make it tonight I’ll cut down on the spice a little. Also, we didn’t have the eggs last time, but I’m going to throw those into the mix tonight.
Thank you so much for posting this! It will become a constant in our rotation from now on.
The recipe is great but I think I need a good Berber spice. I used Kroger brand it wasn’t flavorful or spicy at all. Couldn’t find it in our Whole Foods. Any recommendations online that are spicy/flavorful?
Have you seen my homemade berbere spice recipe? https://ministryofcurry.com/berbere-spice-blend/
Samantha Fernandes says
I tried this last week and it was a hit !! Quick easy and healthy tooo ! Thanks for the recipe !!
Stephen Tordella says
This had a GREAT flavor, but I had one problem cooking in my Instant Pot:
Before it came up to pressure, the IP tossed a BURN error code, and it was virtually out of moisture and was about to burn on the bottom. I added a cup of water and deglazed the bottom and started again. At the end, the texture of the chicken was perfect, and I had to reduce the sauce quite a bit. So, next time I will try 1 cup of water at the start rather than the 1/2 cup called for.
My only other change was to use 4 thighs with bone and skin, and I browned them as my first step before sauteing the onions. Ultimate flavor was spot on, and the recipe's use of only 2 tablespoons of ghee makes it more healthy than everything else out there.
Perfectly delicious! My first time trying to make any Ethiopian dish. It tasted like the restaurant's. I used your berbere spice mix. I was nervous about the half cup of water only, so I put one cup and after it was done, I simmered a few minutes to reduce.
Thank you for the feedback Erin, chicken does release some water when pressure cooked so I add less water initially.
Love this recipe! I'm making it for company tonight. The first time I made it, I skipped the eggs, but this time they're in. I agree with another commenter who said the Whole Foods berbere is too spicy. I'm going to use a little more than half of what the recipe calls for since I have the same brand. Berbere really can vary a lot! Many thanks for this great recipe!
Thank you! Eggs especially the yolk also cuts down on spice a bit when eating 🙂
The bag of bernere spice I bought uses the exact same picture you have on the recipe. Must have copied your photo.
Wow! How strange. Please share the brand name
I’m baffled by how authentic this tastes for an instant pot recipe! Well done
I just made this. My first time using my Instant Pot!!!
If I were to double the recipe would I need to change cooking times? I suspect so but I don’t know much!
This was amazing!!!
Thank you Sarah! Same pressure cooking time, the Instant Pot will take a few minutes longer to come to pressure.
Love this recipe! It was my entry way to cooking Ethiopian food and I am SO grateful. My only request is that you add the cilantro to the ingredient list. I always forget to put it on my grocery list when I meal prep. Thanks!
Thank you for the feedback. I will add cilantro to the ingredients.