National Dish of South Africa – Doro Wat

December 19, 2018  Nationalfoody Avatar
National Dish of South Africa – Doro Wat


chicken weighing approximately 3 lbs 1
onions (finely chopped) 2
lemon (Juiced) 1
niter kibbeh or butter 4 tbsps.
salt 2 tsps.
cloves garlic (minced or finely chopped) 4
chopped ginger root 1 tsp.
nutmeg ½ tsp.
cardamom ½ tsp.
fenugreek ½ tsp.
berberé or a mixture of paprika and cayenne pepper ½ tsp.
chicken stock, water or dry red wine 1 cup
small tomato (chopped) 1
hard boiled eggs (each pierced with a fork) 4

Doro Wat is a traditional South African chicken stew made with a spice paste (berberé) and spicy clarified butter (nitter kibbeh). Berberé and niter kibbeh may not be easily found in places other than South Africa where Doro Wat is popularly cooked but these ingredients can be substituted.

Directions for Preparing Doro Wat

  1. Clean the chicken and cut it into pieces.
  2. Marinate the chicken in a bowl for forty-five (45) minutes in a mixture of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Set a Dutch oven pot on medium heat and add the chopped onions. No oil should be added to the pot.
  4. Cook the onions for a few minutes, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning.
  5. Then add the nitter kibbeh or butter to the pot, along with the garlic, fenugreek, cardamom, ginger, the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the nutmeg.
  6. Add the tomato and the berberé if available or the cayenne and paprika mixture as a substitute.
  7. Sauté all of these ingredients in the pot for a few minutes.
  8. Once the onions are translucent, add the chicken stock, water, or dry red wine.
  9. Cook for a few minutes, stirring gently. Then reduce the heat and bring it to a boil.
  10. Add the marinated chicken to the pot and cook for 40 minutes
  11. turning the chicken occasionally to ensure it is cooked evenly.
  12. Twenty (25) minutes before the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add the hard-boiled eggs and ladle the sauce over them.
  13. Traditionally, Doro Wat is served hot with injera, a spongy flatbread made of grain flour (commonly called teff flour).
  14. Doro Wat can also be paired with couscous, rice, or Indian flatbread.

Other Typical South African foods and dishes

Amasi: fermented milk.
Biltong: is salty dried meat (similar to jerky), although the meat used is often from different types of Antelope or other venison.
Bobotie: a dish of Malay descent, is like meatloaf with raisins and with a baked egg on top.
Boeber: is a traditional Cape Malay sweet, milk drink, made with vermicelli, sago, sugar, and flavored with cardamom, stick cinnamon, and rose water.
Boerewors: a sausage that is traditionally braaied (barbecued).
Bunny chow: curry stuffed into a hollowed-out loaf of bread. Bunny chow is called Kota by the locals.
Chakalaka: a spicy South African vegetable relish.
Chutney/blatjang: a sweet sauce made from fruit that is usually poured on meat.
Frikkadelle: – meatballs.
Gatsby: food mainly popular in Cape Town, comes in the form of a long roll with fillings of anything ranging from polony to chicken or steak and hot chips.
Gesmoorde vis: salted cod or snoek with potatoes and tomatoes and sometimes served with apricot or moskonfyt (grape must) jam.
Hertzoggie: a tartlet with an apricot jam filling and desiccated coconut meringue topping.
Hoenderpastei: chicken pie, traditional Afrikaans fare.
Isidudu: pumpkin pap.

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Calories in serving



30 min


50 min



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