Muffins recipes

National dish of Eritrea

flag of Eritrea

  • Independence: 24. 5. 1993
  • Capital: Asmara
  • Official language: Tigrinya
  • Population: 6 086 495
  • Area: 117 600 km2
  • International code: ER
  • Currency: Nakfa (ERN)
map of Eritrea

Zigini with injera


  • 1 1/2-2 lbs beef or 1 1/2-2 lbs lamb, cut into bite size pieces
  • oil
  • 1-2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 cups water, to dilute paste
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Bebere spice mix:

  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
Zigini with injera is national food (dish) of Eritrea


Sear meat in the oil, on high heat, until browned. You may like yours with more or less meat - your choice. And I have made this with ground meat (lamb). Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionaly and being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the large can of diced tomatoes, a couple of cups of water and the tomato paste. When the paste heats through it will stir in easily. Start with 2 Tb of the berbere and see how spicy and flavorful you want it. I use gobs, I love it.
Simmer the zigni on medium - low for about an hour uncovered, or until it reached a consistency that you like. Serve with a generous scattering of chopped coriander (cilantro) on a bed of rice or with plenty of injira bread for scooping. The Ethiopian woman who taught my dad to make this also would serve this with halved boiled eggs laid on the zigni around the parameter of the serving dish. Very pretty. To make berberé spice mix: Stir the spices (listed as ingredients, above) together and roast them in a dry skillet for about 7 minutes over med. low heat. Be careful to keep stirring (and not to let the spices burn) 'til roasted. You will cough while roasting the bebere! I keep mine in a mason jar in the freezer. It will keep well for a very long time in there. I didn't include the time to make the spice mix w/ this recipe as you may prefer to purchase it.


The dish Zigini is the national dish of Eritrea and can be found throughout the region and in Ethiopia as well.  It is a hearty tomato based stew with cubes of meat either lamb or beef that is made spicy with the addition of the Berbere pepper blend. I am including recipes for the dish as well as how to prepare the spice blend. The rich aromatic blend of flavors finished with the fires of the northern African pepper blend is a truly authentic way to experience the flavors of the region.  Warning, this dish is not for the weak at heart. Zigini is often served over a bread called Injera which is a low gluten flat bread prepared similar to pancakes from a batter cooked quickly on a griddle or stone. This bread is distinctive in that it can be used as both bread and as a utensil with which to consume the delicious but fiery stew.  In Eritrea the bread is made using flour ground from Teff.  This grain is the smallest grain on earth with nearly 150 grains needed to yield the same amount as one grain of wheat.

© 2011-2015 Site Map Info